So Much For a Transitional Presidency
But as the polling showed with the first stimulus package, Americans are looking to their government now to help and to solve problems in a way that they have not in years. The infrastructure package appeals to that heroic conception of ourselves as a nation that works and gets stuff done.
Congressional Republicans, who like shovel-ready photo ops during midterm years but dislike handing wins to a Democratic White House, have the choice of getting on board or getting out of the way. And if they obstruct, Biden shouldn't be shy about again jumping on the budget reconciliation express and pass the plan without GOP support. It's that important.
The funding mechanism for the package, an increase in corporate taxes that would raise the maximum rate from 21 to 28 percent (which is still lower than the former top rate of 35 percent), also allows Republicans to claim a win, of sorts. As Biden points out, it would sock corporate behemoths such as Amazon, which paid federal taxes for the first time in years in 2019, CNBC reported. If Republicans and Democrats can agree on nothing else, it's their disdain for Amazon.
Last April, at the dawning of the pandemic, as Congress tinkered with the first coronavirus relief package, I wrote that we would eventually need more than a mere reopening, that we'd need a reset on everything, a complete rewiring of the way we think about everything, and the way we treat each other as a people.
With the plan Biden unveiled Wednesday, we're being presented with that very opportunity, to heed our higher angels, and to aspire the way our parents and grandparents did.
We owe it to them, and to all who we lost, to seize this moment. To not only reopen, but to remake the nation once more.
An award-winning political journalist, John L. Micek is Editor-in-Chief of The Pennsylvania Capital-Star in Harrisburg, Pa. Email him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @ByJohnLMicek.
Copyright 2021 John L. Micek, distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.Copyright 2021 John Micek, All Rights Reserved. Credit: Cagle.com