AuthorConniff, Ruth

President Joe Biden's historic $4 trillion economic agenda, the likes of which the United States hasn't seen since Lyndon Johnsons Great Society, is transformational.

It has been gratifying to see Biden lean into his bold, progressive plan, announcing it in a joint session of Congress and hitting the road along with Vice President Kamala Harris to tout the administration's achievements of the first 100 days and their ambitious plans for the future. Learning the lesson of the Obama Administration, which failed to take credit for its accomplishments, Biden is going on the offense. Good for him.

And good for progressives, who are seeing their long-term goals written into federal legislation with the backing of the administration and a real chance of passing.

Biden did not look like a progressive candidate on the campaign trail. Those of us who voted for Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders were bracing for centrism and compromise in an era when Republican Party leaders have openly embraced sedition, violence, and white supremacy.

To many of us, Biden did not seem like the right answer to Trump. But he has proven us wrong. On KPFA radio in Berkeley, California, the day after Biden's speech, the host of the morning show, where I was a guest, posed this question: Does Biden actually believe in progressive goals? Or is he just playing politics?

My answer: Who cares?

Biden did not get where he is in his long political career by embracing progressive ideas. But he is embracing them now, as President, and that's all that matters.

There's no point trying to peer into his soul to try to determine if his intentions are pure. Yes, Biden spent his whole career building a reputation for reaching across the aisle. But he is now taking Democratic priorities to the hoop, getting things passed before the midterm elections, while the Democrats still hold slim Congressional majorities, and not waiting around for Republican support.

Yes, he carried water for the banks when he was the Senator representing the corporate tax haven of Delaware. But now he's taking a page from Bernie Sanders, citing research by the progressive Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy showing fifty-five of the United States' biggest corporations paid no federal income tax last year on $40 billion in profits, and demanding that they "pay their fair share."

Biden's reputation as a middle-of-the-road establishment type actually helps him play the role he is now playing: building a broad...

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