Promises Made, Promises Broken: All in a Days’ Work for U.S. Presidents — Part 2

The Two Faces of Biden

Take a long swig of your favorite morning beverage, sit back in a comfortable chair and get ready to experience a plethora of emotions ranging from shock and sadness to disbelief. If you want to read Part 1 before diving into Part 2, click here.

President Biden is hardly the first U.S. president to lie his way into the presidency. He follows a long line of illustrious presidential liars. Considering his numerous and momentous deceptions this early in his presidency, he is edging his way up to first place in the pantheon of liars.

Here are some of his most noteworthy lies covered in Part 1 — the $2,000 checks that je promised would appear in most American mailboxes never materialized replaced by $1,400 checks in fewer American mailboxes; the public option, prescription drug reform and some minimal student debt relief that he promised would appear in his first budget were MIA. How about his campaign pledge to reverse the Trump tax cut package which gifted oligarchs and corporations with $4 trillion? Not a chance. What about Biden’s pledge to pay for desperately needed infrastructure repairs by taxing individuals making over $400,000 and corporations? That landed in the same circular file as his other broken promises. Despite his promises to uphold the rule of law and prevent violations of human rights, his foreign policies are predominantly a continuation of the deadly policies of the Trump presidency, especially in Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Palestine. He’s waffled on his campaign promises on immigration reform, including resuming the construction of Trump’s border wall. If you believe the administration’s claim that construction is ongoing to patch up some “gaps,” there’s another bridge in your future.

On the domestic side, President Biden has been riding roughshod over the promises candidate Biden made. Candidate Biden assured over 45 million young people carrying student debt —“It [student loan forgiveness] does figure in my plan… The legislation passed by the Democratic House calls for immediate $10,000 forgiveness of student loans…They’re [student debtors] having to make choices between paying their student loan and paying their rent. It [debt forgiveness] should be done immediately.” [Forbes, 11/17/2020]. Far short of a genuine solution, particularly considering that in most developed countries education costs almost nothing, it is at least a step in the right direction. Particularly when you consider that the tax relief Obama and Trump and now Biden handed to billionaires could have wiped out student debt two or three times over.

When he became President Biden, the promise to erase $10,000 of student debt disappeared into the ether. But that wasn’t the only disappointment suffered by low-and middle-income   young people whose only sin was not to be born into the moneyed elite class that bankroll Joe Biden and other democratic politicos. To compound the misery of these over-burdened youngsters, shortly after Biden took the oath of office, he directed his Acting Solicitor General to intervene in the Supreme Court’s decision to hear McCoy v. United States, a case which, if successful, would allow student debtors in extreme financial distress to discharge their student loans in bankruptcy.  If the Supreme Court refuses to hear the case, bankruptcy will remain out of reach for millions of young people. The Biden administration’s reason is as laughable as it is pathetic. The appeal should not get a hearing since the Department of Education “may revise its regulations and policies in the future.”  It just so happens that the DOE has been “reviewing” bankruptcy regulations for the past three years and has yet to arrive at a conclusion. What’s really going on here is the usual two-step as one of the two major parties goes the extra mile to make sure their biggest campaign donors are able to keep bilking student debtors out of boatloads of money.

One thing Joe didn’t lie about. His commitment to his uber rich donors: “Nothing will fundamentally change.”

That’s not the only pending Supreme Court case the Biden administration has in its sights. The Boston bomber case was first taken up by Trump’s federal prosecutors who lost a bid to overturn a lower court decision that vacated the death penalty. Celebrating their guy’s victory, Biden’s federal prosecutors filed an identical brief asking the Supreme Court to reinstate the death sentence as an appropriate response to what it called “one of the worst” acts of terrorism on U.S. soil since Sept. 11.  But that wasn’t what lying Joe promised voters on the campaign trail. In July 2019, candidate Biden tweeted — “Since 1973, over 160 individuals in this country have been sentenced to death and were later exonerated. Because we can’t ensure that we get these cases right every time, we must eliminate the death penalty.”

To make absolutely certain no one knew who was on first, press secretary Jen Psaki announced — “President Biden has made clear, as he did on the campaign trail, that he has grave concerns about whether capital punishment, as currently implemented, is consistent with the values that are fundamental to our sense of justice and fairness. How can the president of the United States be both opposed to the death penalty and yet be in court fighting to preserve it? The answer is troubling— “By seeking to overturn the court of appeals’ decision in the Tsarnaev case, the Biden administration is breaking from his promise to work to end the federal death penalty.” [Aamra Ahmad, ACLU senior legislative counsel]  Once again “Nothing would fundamentally change.”

Hopping from Biden’s savage reversal of his death penalty campaign promise to his equally shameful but not unexpected surrender to the drivers of wage slavery, corporate titans opposed to raising the federal minimum wage to $15. That’s not what Biden said on the campaign trail “Let’s not just praise them, let’s pay them.” It didn’t take long for his paymasters (aka campaign donors} in the business community to set him straight.  “I put it in but I don’t think it’s going to survive. My guess is it will not be in [the stimulus bill].” [Biden to CBS News on 2/6] Of course it wasn’t.

Healthcare issues were a major source of backpedals and flip flops. Candidate Biden promised to send legislation to Congress to direct Medicare to negotiate “lower drug prescription prices to counter their staggering cost. Trouble was he “forgot” to include it in his $1.8 trillion American Families Plan. His major drug industry donors heaved a sigh of relief when they realized it was all smoke and mirrors. Nothing would fundamentally change.

Canadian Drug Importation

Along with Medicare negotiating drug prices, candidate Biden promised to allow U.S. consumers to import drugs from Canada. “Consumers [will be able] to import prescription drugs from other countries to create more competition for U.S. drug corporations.” The reality— business as usual. Taking refuge in that old canard big Pharma rolls out periodically that safety will be “compromised” if the U.S. allows the importation of drugs from Canada, on June 1, the Biden administration announced — “Although two proposals have been submitted to FDA, no timeline exists for the agency to make a decision.” Translation: don’t look to be able to legally buy your prescriptions from Canada at one-half or less what they cost in the U.S. anytime soon or ever.

We haven’t even scratched the surface of Biden’s “lying eyes,” but one more example will have to suffice and it’s a doozy —the most egregious and grotesque retelling of exceptional American history at once darkly humorous and downright pathetic — How would it be if the United States were viewed by the rest of the world as interfering with the elections directly of other countries and everybody knew it? What would it be like if we engaged in activities that he [Putin] engaged in? it diminishes the standing of a country.’”[Joe Biden]

US Election Interference

Even The Washington Post, official mouthpiece of the democratic party, had previously reported what everybody already knew. From a 2016 exposé, “The U.S. tried to change other countries’ governments 72 times during the Cold War.”  Despite spending more on war than any other country on earth, the U.S. has been remarkably unsuccessful in its regime change operations — “During the Cold War… 26 of the United States’ covert operations successfully brought a U.S.-backed government to power; the remaining 40 failed.” [The Washington Post, 12/23/16]

The final irony? Here’s Biden on April 15 declaring a “national emergency” over a report by the National Intelligence Council (the same department that found non-existent WMDs in Iraq) that Russia “interfered” in the 2020 U.S. election by spreading “unsubstantiated or misleading claims about President Biden.”  Biden proclaimed that “[US] elections are sacred…an expression of the will of the American people. And we cannot allow a foreign power to interfere in our democratic process with impunity.”

Here’s Time magazine celebrating on its cover U.S. interference in the 1991 Russian election in order to make Boris Yeltsin the first president of Russia — “Yanks To The Rescue: Rescuing Boris: The secret story of how four U.S. advisers used polls, focus groups, negative ads and all the other techniques of American campaigning to help Boris Yeltsin win…”

The whole world knows about the U.S. penchant for interfering in other countries’ elections. Except President Biden.  Cause for concern?

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