What Joe Biden Should Say.

AuthorGlastris, Paul
PositionEditor's Note

Below is a transcript of President Joe Biden's 2022 State of the Union address--if he'd let me write it.

Madam Speaker, Madam Vice President, Members of Congress, and my fellow Americans:

Last April, I spoke in this chamber about the immense crises we then faced. The worst pandemic in a century. The worst economic emergency since the Great Depression. A violent takeover of this very building aimed at stopping the lawful certification of the electoral count and overturning the will of the voters.

But I said the opportunities were great, too--and we seized them. We passed the American Rescue Plan, which put money into the hands of families and businesses that were hurting through no fault of their own. It worked. We now have the fastest growth in jobs and income in a generation.

We also went to wartime footing to increase supplies of the COVID-19 vaccine and get shots in arms. When I became president, 1 percent of Americans had been fully vaccinated. Today, nearly 70 percent have been.

The crises, however, have not disappeared. And new ones have arisen, including mutations of the coronavirus and the highest inflation in decades--inflation that is eating away at the hard-won wage gains of average Americans.

I want to talk tonight about how we can meet these challenges. For they expose how the economy has become rigged against working Americans and the national interest, and what we must do, together, to make things right.

Let's begin with the recent surge of inflation. Some speculate that it was caused by the very federal spending that saved the economy. If that were true, long-term interest rates would be soaring--but that isn't happening. The stronger evidence is that the inflation spike was triggered by the worldwide pandemic, which led to supply chain problems that my administration has been fixing, and labor shortages that are improving as more Americans are going back to work. But the root causes go deeper.

Consider the price of beef. It's up more than 20 percent since the fall of 2020. At the same time, the profits of the meat-packing industry are up more than 300 percent. Why? Because the federal government, led by administrations of both parties, allowed the meat industry to consolidate. Four companies now control 55 to 85 percent of the markets for beef, pork, and poultry. They use that monopoly control to jack up prices on consumers. They aren't passing that revenue along to livestock farmers, who are still hurting. They're spending...

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