Even within his first few weeks in office, President Biden has made clear the major differences that his administration will have from the preceding one. Economically, Biden plans to spend much more than former President Trump in an attempt to solve several major crises, including the coronavirus, the economic catastrophe the pandemic has created, and climate change. Many economists agree that in times of economic recession, like we are in right now, huge government spending can help to alleviate the financial burden on poorer citizens.
Biden’s greatest spending, and the one that he seems most committed to, is an attempt to work towards ending the wreckage, both financial and medical, that the coronavirus pandemic has caused across America. Shortly before entering office, Mr. Biden announced his nearly $2 trillion plan, of which only about $400 billion was allocated to attacking the virus directly. This money would be used mainly to speed up vaccine distribution and to ensure that poorer or more rural citizens have access to the shots. Around $350 billion more are to be used to aid state and local governments avoid budget deficits. The remaining money is supposed to go directly to families in several forms: there are $1400 stimulus checks to every adult whose income is below a certain level, additional unemployment benefits, substantial subsidies for child care, and paid leave for workers. Together, the benefits are meant to lighten the heavy economic toll which most Americans have bore since the start of the pandemic, and hasten its end.
Biden also plans to address more long term crises through government spending. Shortly after entering office, the president unveiled a major spending plan to battle climate change that will cost the government hundreds of billions of dollars. The plan ended almost all fossil-fuel subsidies, terminated oil and gas leases on public lands, and instructed federal organizations to pay for zero-emission vehicles and carbonless electricity. The plan was a follow-up to some of the climate-related bills that Biden pushed through on his first day in office through executive orders, including the rejoining of the Paris Climate Agreement, which Trump had previously removed the US from. While the complete transference to more environmentally-friendly vehicles may take time, the bill is supposed to have an extraordinary impact. The Biden administration says that the bill will help reach their goal of attaining a carbon-free electricity industry by 2035.
The president and his predecessor have many major differences on a range of political, social, and medical issues. But it appears that one of the biggest changes that the new administration is bringing to Washington is a willingness to spend on a much larger scale in response to disasters than Trump had ever even considered.