Op-Ed by the President: Looking Back at 2022, I Feel More Confident about America than Ever
Yahoo News: Joe Biden: Looking Back at 2022, I Feel More Confident about America than Ever
[Joseph R. Biden Jr., 12/22/22]
Americans have been through a tough few years, but I am optimistic about our country's economic prospects. Americans' resilience has helped us recover from the economic crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic, families are finally getting more breathing room, and my economic plan is making the United States a powerhouse for innovation and manufacturing once again.
We entered this year with inflation still too high and families concerned about prices. Tackling inflation and giving families more breathing room was and is my top economic priority. We are making important progress transitioning from historic recovery to stable, steady growth. For the last several months wages have been increasing faster than prices, gas prices are at their lowest levels since last summer, and year-over-year inflation has been slowing.
As I have said, it's going to take time to get inflation back to normal levels, and we may see setbacks along the way. The Federal Reserve has a primary responsibility to control inflation, and I have appointed highly qualified people to lead that institution, given the critical importance of its dual mandate of maximum employment and stable prices. But Americans should have confidence that my plan is working.
We are seeing the results. The economy has created more than 10 million jobs since I took office, and the unemployment rate is near a 50-year low. The unemployment rate for Black Americans and Hispanic Americans is near historic lows. The number of Americans filing for bankruptcy is half its pre-pandemic rate. 2021 and 2022 are on track to be the best and second-best years for small business applications on record.
I ran for office not just to address the economic crisis we faced in January 2021, but to rebuild the middle class and grow the economy from the bottom up and the middle out. The heart of my economic strategy to strengthen the middle class is to rebuild the backbone of our economy — our nation's industrial strength. To be a country where we make things, where we continually innovate at the cutting edge, and help create new products at lower costs for our economy and the world. To bring back the forgotten places in this country with jobs that pay a good salary and don't all require a four-year degree. To make everyday life more affordable, because if Americans have just a little bit of breathing room, the middle class can grow and build the strongest economy in the world.
For too long, we were told that the best way to grow our economy was for government to cut taxes for the wealthy and cut regulations for big corporations. That trickle-down vision never worked for working people; it made our economy more unequal and our supply chains more vulnerable to disruptions.
I have a different vision for our economy. A vision based on the simple idea that, when we grow our economy from the bottom up and the middle out, not only do the poor and the middle class have a ladder up, the wealthy do too.
The economic legislation I have signed into law since becoming president is proving that when we invest in America — especially in our infrastructure, clean energy, and high-growth industries that are central to our economic and national security — we can make this vision a reality, of growing our economy, creating good-paying jobs you can raise a family on and lowering costs.
Thanks to the economic agenda I have signed into law, Americans are getting to work rebuilding our roads and bridges, connecting every household to high-speed affordable internet and removing lead pipes across the country. American workers are manufacturing fiber optic cable and steel for infrastructure projects coast to coast. We are fighting the climate crisis and creating good-paying manufacturing jobs for the clean energy future. We are investing in semiconductor manufacturing, bringing back critical supply chains from overseas, and lowering the prices of everything from cars to dishwashers. Businesses are investing billions of dollars across the country in new manufacturing lines, creating thousands of good-paying jobs.
Thanks to the hard work we've put in over the past year, we are lowering costs for American families. We are lowering health care premiums and prescription drug costs — including a new $35 cap on the cost of insulin that will take effect next month. We are eliminating the junk fees that increase the price Americans pay on everything from airfare and hotel rooms to banking and concert tickets, saving people money and making it easier for innovators to bring new business models to market. We are making hearing aids available over the counter, saving families as much as $3,000 per pair.
We have accomplished this while also asking the super-wealthy and profitable corporations to pay their fair share, and ensuring that no one making under $400,000 per year pays a penny more in taxes.
I recently traveled to Phoenix, where Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company announced that it is building another factory to produce advanced, cutting-edge chips for tech companies like Apple. TSMC's investment is one of the largest in the history of the United States — what policymakers call foreign direct investment — and it is a direct result of my economic legislation, and because companies around the world know that American workers can do the job. While in Phoenix, I was joined by workers who will construct the new TSMC facility and engineers who will be employed there when the new factory opens. And I was joined by Paul Sarzoza, the owner of a cleaning business whose biggest customer is TSMC. He currently employs over 100 Americans and, thanks to the semiconductor deal, he plans on hiring more in the new year. Economists call that a "multiplier effect." I call it my economic plan at work.
There's no denying that it's been a rough few years, with a global pandemic and global inflation that have lasted longer than almost anyone expected. But as we look back on 2022 — and look forward to what lies ahead — I have never been more confident about what the American people and the American economy can achieve.
Joseph R. Biden, Op-Ed by the President: Looking Back at 2022, I Feel More Confident about America than Ever Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/359190