Joe Biden has a strange way of saying thank you
Joe Biden has an unusual way of saying thank you.
For the first time since 1976 — when Georgia threw its Electoral College votes to favorite son Jimmy Carter — the Peach State, by the narrow margin of 0.24 percent (11,779 votes), gave its 16 votes to Democrat Joe Biden. How does President Biden repay the favor? By supporting Major League Baseball (MLB) moving its All-Star Game from Atlanta due to recent legislation changing some of the rules on how votes can be cast and counted in Georgia.
Americans agree about making voting as easy as possible for eligible voters, while also putting safeguards in place to assure that elections are fair and honest. Beyond that, it gets a lot harder to get agreement between the two parties on the subject, or anything else for that matter.
According to those supporting the new law in Georgia, it makes voting easier and protects the integrity of the process. For those opposing the legislation, passed by a Republican majority in both houses of the Legislature and signed by Republican governor Brian Kemp, it is nothing more than a transparent effort to suppress voting among groups unlikely to give their votes to Republicans. Specifically, the accusation is that this is a deliberate attempt to suppress participation by black Americans.
Before jumping into the debate, President Biden might have been well advised to have listened to Stacey Abrams — an individual nobody can say is insensitive to issues of race — and newly elected senator Jon Ossoff. Both urged MLB to keep its All-Star Game in Georgia. They believe that punishing individuals counting on the income and sales from the game, many of them minorities, is counterproductive. At the same time, both urged that All-Star Week be a time to heighten awareness for social justice, racial equity, and the shortcomings of the new election law in Georgia.
In short order, however, MLB decided to move the game.
After spending decades demonizing corporate America, suddenly Democrats were applauding big corporations. It seems as though these corporate executives concluded that it was better to do Democrats' bidding and promote their messages than to constantly contend with Democratic opposition to business agendas.
This all should scare the daylights out of anyone who has a job, counts on the stock market for his retirement account, or is doing something as basic as saving for a summer vacation.
There is little argument among serious economists — call it settled economics — as to the features that do the most to create and maintain a strong job market. This includes legislative and regulatory stability, risk management and mitigation, and a reasonable level of taxation. What Joe Biden did with his comments and actions flies in the face of these principles.
It is perfectly fine for anyone to stand up for what he believes is right. However, when the particular call to action is one that demonstrably hurts the very people the activists claim to care about, it seemingly would be fair to ask if there are alternative options to make known your displeasure. As we attempt to finally get past COVID-19, it is not the time for cheap political grandstanding. Americans have been struggling emotionally, mentally, and financially over the past year. The last thing an American president should be doing at a time like this is advocating any policy that strips financial opportunity from already hurting Americans.
For Joe Biden to lend his office to a course of action that will predictably and unnecessarily cause economic hardship to Americans is not just unwise. It is rank hypocrisy of the worst order. A man who promised to bring us together is both further dividing us and creating economic pain among the very groups he pledged to make his priority. This country has gone through some tough times in this past year. Perhaps, as President Biden learns a little bit more about how to express gratitude, he could take the time to learn how economics actually works. It's time to stop playing partisan politics and get the economy moving in the right direction.
Jessica Curtis is a Republican strategist and the executive director of GOPAC.
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