Inheriting a Country

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Amelia Payne, Staff Writer

We are about to have a boom,” Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell said last week after the Biden stimulus bill, which puts $1,400 in the hands of singles earning $75,000 and couples earning $150,000. It also gives $3,000 a year for each child ages 6 to 17, and $3,600 for each child under 6 (The Washington Post). Makes sense that we’d have a boom… we’re dumping money directly into the hands of the people. But McConnell’s statement is a little bit out of context, as he added, “if we do have a boom, it will have absolutely nothing to do with this $1.9 trillion.”

He isn’t entirely wrong. See, back in 2020, former President Donald Trump also gave the nation five stimulus bills that aided the frail economy. Republicans enthusiastically supported these bills, quickly passing them through the House and the Senate to provide aid to Americans. These bills had already set up the nation for an economic upturn. So, as McConnell put it, the Democrats “inherited a turning tide” (Politico). Yet, while McConnell has a point, it doesn’t resonate politically. The Democrats and Biden will get the credit and praise when the economy eventually starts booming again. In a similar vein, Trump has been credited for historically low unemployment rates and a booming economy before the nation shut down for Covid. Many Dems in 2017 argued that Trump was “inheriting an eight-year boom that had begun under Obama” kickstarted by the Recovery Act that pumped $800 million into a recession-ridden economy. A crumbling economy that Obama inherited from George W. Bush. It’s quite a vicious cycle. 

Many, including American Enterprise Institute personnel James Pethokoukis, believe that the country is looking at a “super-recovery”. Republicans will argue that it was already well underway or attempt to switch the focus to Biden’s recent political failures, but the one thing that remains true is how Biden’s political reputation will certainly improve after the inevitable economic boom. It rings true for any president, no matter what state they inherit the country in. Obama stepped into office as the economy was in recession, and after stepping out he sent unemployment rates on their way down. Trump inherited the hard work of Obama and was praised for work he didn’t do, yet gave Biden a head start (and all the credit) on a hopeful upturn of the economy after Covid hit hard.