Former Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday that the U.S. economy needed “concerned, thoughtful, and sustained leadership” — though he did not explain what, exactly, that meant.
Biden published an op-ed reacting to news that the U.S. economy had contracted by an annualized rate of 32.9% in the second quarter of 2020, thanks to coronavirus-related shutdowns and riots that kept many cities from re-opening. New unemployment claims also rose slightly, exceeding 1.4 million.
In his op-ed, Biden said:
The depth of economic devastation our nation is experiencing is not an act of God, it’s a failure of presidential leadership. Had President Trump taken immediate and decisive action, tens of thousands of lives and millions of jobs would never have been lost.
And now, Trump is failing to effectively manage our recovery — and Republicans in Congress are refusing to give working families the help they need today. We won’t get our small businesses and our workers back to full strength on denials and magical thinking — it’s going to take concerned, thoughtful, and sustained leadership. Only paying attention to the stock market and ignoring science won’t deliver progress. Giving big businesses even bigger deductions for three-martini lunches won’t help working families keep their health care, put food on the table, or pay their rent.
We’re months and months into this pandemic, and still President Trump has failed to step up and mobilize an all-out response to COVID-19 or to drive a safe and effective recovery. It’s unacceptable. We need to extend meaningful and substantial relief for workers now and ensure our states and local governments are not starved into laying off teachers, first responders, and health workers. We need a massive public health response to save lives and get our economy back up to speed so we can get to work and build back better than before.
Biden’s economic plans include large-scale spending — three times that proposed by Hillary Clinton in 2016 — as well as an immediate tax hike, and canceling the Keystone XL pipeline.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.