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Biden gets a 2.0 GPA this semester

It has been around 10 months since Biden was inaugurated. In that time, many things have happened, including the rollout of vaccinations, the crisis in Afghanistan, rising gas prices and more. He currently has a 42% approval rating. Many are relieved that it is Joe Biden in the White House instead of former President Trump; however, those on the far left criticize him for his moderation and failure to maintain campaign promises. At the same time, those on the far right dislike him for his perceived progressivism. Some of the aforementioned events may be the results of Biden’s actions, but others may stem from circumstances outside Biden’s control. With that said, how well is Biden really fulfilling his duties as President? Let’s look at how his political performance could be graded on a scale from A to F.

Campaign promises: B-

Biden has kept his major campaign promise of battling COVID-19; vaccines have become available to all who want them in the United States, and cases have declined overall. He had promised to end the war in Afghanistan, and while it didn’t go as smoothly as planned, Biden did fulfill that promise. Biden’s Attorney General Merrick B. Garland issued a moratorium on federal executions after Biden’s campaign promised to eliminate the federal death penalty. Biden has resumed ties with the Palestinian authority, and rejoined the Paris climate agreement. He has made proposals that earmark almost $300 million for community-oriented policing initiatives, and $100 billion for broadband expansions. These are only some examples of the many campaign promises that he has filled. However, Biden has failed to fulfill some of his promises as well. Nothing has been done to protect veterans from deportation, end for-profit detention centers, double the value of Pell Grants, make public colleges tuition-free for families who make less than $125,000 annually, expand social security benefits, or restrict super political action committees (PACs). One unfulfilled campaign promise that has stirred national attention is his failure to cancel student debt. 

The economy: C

Biden has made many claims about the strength of the economy; the BBC looks into his claims here. While it is true that there has been steady economic growth this year, a lot of this growth began before he was inaugurated. Biden has added over five million jobs to the national total, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is the greatest number of jobs added in the first 10 months of the presidency since 1939. While wages have increased by 4.9%, the cost of living has increased by 6.2%; therefore, wages are down when adjusted for inflation. Gas prices have increased greatly; however, this is more due to high demand and low supply of fossil fuels rather than anything that Biden has done.

Social justice: D

Most of Biden’s failed promises are economic rather than social policies. He has made proposals to expand social services for people during and after incarceration, make two years of community college free, and offer universal preschool to 3 and 4-year-olds. He has tried to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, and update the Voting Rights Act. He has raised the annual refugee cap, and is helping push the Equality Act through congress. However, he did not double the number of immigration judges as promised. He has not directed federal resources to help prevent violence against transgender people. He has failed to repeal the Hyde amendment or codify Roe v. Wade. He has received a failing grade in this category for failing to close all border camps.

Overall, Biden is passing some of his classes. But he still could definitely up his game by fulfilling more campaign promises, doing more to strengthen the economy and fight inflation, and taking a stronger stance on social issues.