The crises for Biden
President Biden faces two extraordinary crises. One is the covid pandemic, and the other is the federal debt accumulated in response to the pandemic. The debt may prove to be worse than the pandemic, because failure to pay the government's debts could lead to closure of government services and millions of jobs lost.
Looking back at the 2020 fiscal year, President Trump and his party saw a record-setting $3.1 trillion deficit, thanks in part to the covid crisis. Before Biden was elected, Congress started working to lower the deficit to $2.3 trillion, and the Congressional Budget Office has predicted the deficit will trend below $2 trillion by 2022. Unfortunately for the budget, Democrats have chosen to throw money at the pandemic by giving away money in stimulus checks and are now trying to pass a $2 trillion infrastructure bill. The only way to pay for all of this is to raise taxes on corporations and rich folks.
But Biden and his Democrats may not be able to institute tax increases large enough and long enough to pay the government's debts. Republicans may sweep Congress in 2022 and shoot down all the tax increases initiated by Democrats. The U.S. may actually experience periods of fiscal default, millions of government employees and contractors could be out of work, and essential government operations, even for the military, could be shut down indefinitely.
U.S. health damaged
What is happening in our country, in our politics, that allowed a president to maneuver so deeply into authoritarian territory with such minimal pushback from his party? Rather than standing up for truth, most Republican Congress members are sinking deeper into a cult of personality. The disturbing events surrounding Jan. 6 should be viewed as a warning. While we may be eager to move on, the health of our democracy needs our sustained thoughtful attention.
We owe it to our democracy to seriously ponder the magnitude of what happened--so many vital democratic norms so brazenly violated. Only those unwilling to look at facts could continue to believe the big lie. Why would the secretary of state in Georgia, a Republican who voted for Trump, withstand death threats to his family in order to steal the election for Joe Biden? Why would Liz Cheney risk ending her political career unless she was standing up for truth?
Despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Donald Trump continues the big lie fully knowing the harm and confusion it creates for his own supporters. How could his ego-serving deception conceivably be viewed as patriotic and not as damaging to our nation's health?
If the former president had managed to successfully overturn the valid election results, can anyone believe he would have stopped after those anti-democratic maneuvers succeeded? Vladimir Putin, Viktor Orbán in Hungary and Erdogan in Turkey were all initially democratically elected, but subsequently in a stealthy fashion began to dismantle democratic institutions. The first anti-democratic step is almost never the last. History sounds the alarm--if "our" party's political strongman cheats to win an election, it won't be long before everyone's freedom is jeopardized. We were given a chilling audition. May the mercy of God be with us if we repeat the mistake.
Evolved ... or created
How the Earth began cannot be proven, because none of us were there when it happened. Our schools allow for only one view: evolution. I find it much easier to believe in creation as the beginning of life. Why? To believe in evolution, you must believe that everything came into existence out of nothing. I believe if that's what happened, it's the only time that has happened. We know you cannot make anything out of nothing.
By contrast, to believe in creation you believe an intelligent being designed everything we see. I believe the universe, the Earth, the seas and everything in them scream "design." Take the human body. Could anyone come up with a better design?
Take just the human hand, as an example. At the end of two arms we have two hands, perfectly placed in proportion to our body. A thumb and four fingers on each hand are the exact length needed for tying a shoe lace or fastening a button. Our hands receive directions from our brains so that we grasp, hold, write, type, cook, sew, or build. Some hands are especially gifted and enabled by their brain to play musical instruments, write literature, create jewelry, and build furniture, homes and skyscrapers. On and on I could go about just the subject of hands.
In summary, I see no harm in discussing the possibility of creation along with the theory of evolution in the schoolroom.
Come up with a plan
While reading the article in Friday's Democrat-Gazette, I couldn't help noting Sen. John Boozman's comment that President Biden's plan is just another attempt to "pass the left's long-held policy goals."
Darn right, Senator! Same policy goals President Roosevelt had in the 1930s when he had to lift the nation out of the Hoover (Republican) Depression. This is not to say either President Roosevelt's, or President Biden's, plans were perfect, but, until the Republicans come up with better plans than "trickle-down economics" or, worse, sheer obstructionism, I have no choice but to support the Democrats.