How Biden Can Fight America’s Three Front War

This article first appeared in The Washington Times.

President Biden speaks at an event in Jackson, MS standing in front of an American flag

President Biden is fighting a three-front war.

• A civil war. Last summer, hard-left enabled hooligans sacked our cities and on Jan. 6, the radical right invaded the Capitol. Each was met with too little police resistance thanks to cynically opportunist, administratively-inept political leaders.

• A public health disaster. The vaccine rollout debacle lays bare how moribund most public health and local government agencies have become.

• An economic mess. A stronger, more effective stimulus is needed to get most folks back to work, but COVID-19 also aggravated deeper structural problems. Young people who were underemployed and never fully recovered from the 2008 Financial Crisis, and the fallout from the digital revolution will leave 5 to 10 million adults ill-skilled and permanently unemployed or scrapping along in part-time work for years.

All this is set against the background of China pirating our economy and climate change.

Mr. Biden is quite right that fixing what’s broke at home, cultivating allies abroad and getting America engaged again in international forums like the WHO and the Paris Climate Accord is essential. No matter how inadequate those institutions may be, withdrawing American participation, as President Trump did, created a wide opening for Beijing to expand its soft power.

But Mr. Biden is wrong to drive every domestic policy decision through the prism of climate action and race and gender justice — and to seek solutions through harsh mandates.

More robust growth during the Trump years raised outcomes for minorities and provided money for utilities and auto companies to pursue more quickly clean energy and electric vehicles than many advocates of jackboot government planning will admit.

American business needs a cheerleader — Mr. Biden can provide where Mr. Trump failed — but hardly needs coercion. The Europeans and Chinese are driving Teslas, because American enterprise can get things done old world state planning can only aspire.

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Peter Morici is an economist and professor at the Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, and widely published columnist. He is the five time winner of the MarketWatch best forecaster ...

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