Joe Biden once dreamed of an FDR-size domestic-reform agenda. But the collapse of negotiations in Congress on the compromise of the compromise of that agenda will ensure he achieves nothing of the sort — not Roosevelt-size, not Obama-size, nor even Clinton-size. (Bill Clinton managed to increase taxes on the rich, expand the Earned Income Tax Credit, and create a health-care benefit for poor children.) In addition to losing its chance to address any domestic social need in an enduring way, the administration is also having imperiled its global leadership on climate change and a global corporate minimum tax, two measures that hinged on Biden getting his own country's house in order. It would be unfair to measure the Democrats against the full-bloom version of their most ambitious measure. They deliberately set out the most ambitious version of their agenda at the beginning in the understanding it would have to shrink — and indeed, not all the components had the administrative capacity to be enacted anyway. Razor-tight margins of control in both chambers of Congress always meant compromise would be necessary. At the same time, by realistic or even minimal standards of performance, this two-year term, almost certain to be the… Read full this story
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