• Philip Ammerman

COMPLETELY OUT OF TOUCH?



I'm surprised at the arrogance shown by Bloomberg’s Editors to call the Democratic Party “out of touch” in its 8 November editorial. Especially in light of the legislative achievements it mentions.


What does it mean to be “out of touch”? Merriam-Webster defines this as:


in a state of not knowing what is happening, how certain people feel


Is that really the case with today’s Democratic Party? I certainly don’t see any evidence of that in light of the facts.


In a government system where the Executive is Democratic, the Legislative has been deadlocked in the Senate with a 50-50 tie (and with the filibuster making passing certain types of legislation impossible) and with the Judicial firmly in the hands of Republican-nominated justices on the Supreme Course, the Biden Administration has managed to pass a number of key acts mentioned:


  • $ 2 trillion for Covid relief

  • $ 1.2 trillion for infrastructure

  • $ 280 billion for research and chips manufacturing

  • $ 667 billion for a new veterans’ benefit

  • $ 350 billion for green energy

  • a huge relief effort for Ukraine

The $ 1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan was passed in March 2021, which was the second year of COVID hitting the United States. This bill was passed without a single Republican vote in support. The bill included $ 300 in weekly unemployment relief, a $ 1400 subsidy for each taxpayer, and over $ 350 billion in state and municipal support. It also funded the purchase of COVID vaccines. All over the world, governments understood the need to provide further support after the first COVID year in 2020. The US was no exception: the CDC estimates that 460,000 Americans died of COVID in 2021. The New York Times reports that to date, over 96 million Americans have contracted COVID and over 1 million have died from it. How can this possibly be out of touch?


The $ 1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was passed with bipartisan support. Among others, it seeks to fund clean water to American cities, rehabilitate and replace aging infrastructure, add new infrastructure in the form of rail lines and airports, and provide better internet access. How does anyone who has visited or lived in the United States not understand how much this is needed? How is this out of touch?


The $ 280 billion CHIPS and Science Act passed with Republican support. It seeks to re-establish and strengthen a domestic microchip supply chain, replacing US reliance on imports from China. The European Union and China have equivalent domestic support packages for their semiconductor industries. This may be esoteric to the average voter, but it is entirely strategic in nature. Does this mean it is out of touch?


The $ 667 billion PACT Act is designed to provide long-term care to US veterans exposed to toxic substances fighting America’s wars abroad. This bill passed (the second time around) with Republican support. How does Bloomberg define out of touch? Because we don’t see sick veterans, we should ignore them? Out of sight, out of mind? Get real.


The Inflation Reduction Act includes substantial loans and tax credits for families and corporations investing in clean energy. But it also reduces prescription drug prices, benefitting tens of millions of citizens, and also reduces the costs of healthcare. This was passed without Republican support. Everyone knows how over-priced US medication is? And everyone understands how important climate change is. Democratic and Republican voters alike are affected by these issues. How is this being out of touch?


Finally, Ukraine. Every funding supplement for Ukraine has passed with Republican and Democratic Party support. In some cases, Republican lawmakers pressed for higher expenditure than requested by President Biden. Moreover, every serious public opinion poll, whether by a general polling company such as Reuters or Gallup or a specialised one such as the University of Maryland’s Critical Issues Poll shows an overwhelming majority of support among US citizens for supporting Ukraine. How is this being out of touch?


How many Republican voters have been and are beneficiaries of the acts passed by an "out of touch" Democratic administration? How many Republican lawmakers have benefited from these?


I have to wonder, reading this editorial, just how independent and objective Bloomberg is regarding the current elections. And just how strong its editorial policies are.







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