What President Biden Inherited
What President Biden Inherited From Trump
When President Biden took office, our country had just watched MAGA mobs and the armed militias incited by then-President Trump and his criminal co-conspirators storm the Capitol in an effort to overturn the 2020 election results. Our country was also still deep into the pandemic and we were beset by the effects of climate change – wildfires ravaging California, Colorado, Washington and Oregon, massive storm damage in South Dakota, Nebraska, Illinois, and Iowa and hurricanes in the East. It was in a word: horrific. Yet, as life has resumed normalcy, it easy to forget the utter disaster that President Biden, VP Harris and Democrats inherited from Trump and the Republicans:
- A public health crisis. Trump’s mismanagement of the COVID-19 response combined with a coordinated disinformation effort by Trump, Republicans and the right wing media to paint COVID as not a real threat set the U.S. on a disastrous course. When Trump left office in 2021, millions of Americans had been diagnosed with COVID-19, over 350,000 Americans had died of COVID, only 4% of the population was vaccinated, many had not seen their family and friends in person in nearly a year. COVID testing and K-95 masks were still difficult to get, and home tests were neither affordable nor readily available.
- An economic crisis. When Trump left office, the economy was in a recession, 9.3M jobs had been lost and 3M lost health insurance. Unemployment was 6.4% – an 80 year high with 22.2M people losing their jobs. The GDP was its lowest since the 1930s. To make matters worse, Trump and Republicans added 40% – $7.8 trillion – to the deficit with the Republicans’ massive $2.2T tax cut for the ultra-wealthy contributing $2T. Even before the pandemic hit in 2020, Trump and Republicans had added an unprecedented $3.3T despite a strong economy and cuts in social spending.
- A constitutional crisis. A week before the 2020 election, Trump appointed and the GOP Senate confirmed Amy Coney-Barrett to the Supreme Court. At the same time, Trump, MAGA Republicans and their right wing media began to spread the Big Lie. This continued even after Biden was declared president and Trump lost over 60 lawsuits challenging the election results with frivolous claims. Then, on January 6th, Trump and his co-conspirators incited MAGA Republicans to storm the Capitol in an effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election, endangering the lives of former Vice President Mike Pence, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, every member of the Democratic Party, causing the deaths of five Capitol police officers and injuring 138 Capitol police officers. Since then, Trump and the MAGA GOP continue to undermine our democracy with voter suppression laws and attacks on the rule of law.
- A national security crisis. From the start of his presidency, Trump refused to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. He appointed unqualified family members to top administration positions, giving them access to confidential and classified information. 11 members of his campaign staff and administration were indicted. In 2019, Trump withheld Congressionally approved security funding for Ukraine in an effort to pressure President Zelensky into providing information Trump could use against Democratic challenger Joe Biden. Trump and members of his administration also pressured other countries into spreading conspiracy theories to help Trump win the 2020 election. Most recently, it was reported that Trump stole highly classified documents from the White House, including nuclear secrets, and lied about taking them.
- A diplomatic crisis. Trump embraced authoritarian leaders – Putin, Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud (MBS), Kim Jong-Un, Viktor Orban – and disparaged democratic allies and NATO. He withdrew the US from the Paris Agreement, U.N. Human Rights Council and the World Health Organization. He blocked Congressional funding to the United Nations. Trump threatened other countries with the use of force and yet, entered into a deal with the Taliban with no enforcement. Trump attempted to significantly cut funding of the State Department, refused to fill many open positions and launched an investigation into 130 current or retired State Department officials during the time of Hillary Clinton’s leadership. If Trump had been re-elected, he planned to withdraw the US from NATO. By the end of his tenure, the US international reputation had plummeted.
- An environmental crisis. When Trump took office, 2016 had been the warmest year on record and climate scientists repeatedly sounded the alarm that action must be taken immediately. Trump responded by reversing more than 100 environmental rules, withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, boosting fossil fuel production, implementing the the largest expansion of offshore oil and gas leasing ever proposed, replacing the Obama-era Clean Power Plan with a new rule which did not cap emissions, repealing the Clean Water Rule, rewriting policies to benefit chemical companies, and increasing new vehicle emissions standards.
- A judicial crisis. While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked not only the appointment of Obama Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, but district court judges as well, McConnell fast-tracked Trump’s judicial appointees with 226 federal judges, 54 appeals court judges and 3 Supreme Court justices – Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett – the last one confirmed one week before the 2020 election. The majority of these judges are Federalist Society members with extreme right judicial philosophy that is unhindered by the Constitution.
- An anti-democratic, obstructive MAGA GOP. Despite the January 6th insurrection which forced members of Congress to hide from the violent MAGA mob and armed militias, 147 GOP members of Congress voted not to certify the 2020 election results of an election they all knew to be legitimate. (Not one claimed their own election was illegitimate.) Then, during both of Trump’s impeachment hearings, the vast majority of Republicans – who all knew what Trump and his co-conspirators had done (see January 6th Committee section) – voted against impeaching Trump. When it was recently discovered that Trump stole classified documents, including nuclear secrets, from the White House, the MAGA GOP rallied around him. There has also been a concerted anti-democratic effort by the GOP to suppress the vote through gerrymandering and voter suppression laws.
LAST UPDATED ON SEPTEMBER 20TH, 2022