The American Prospect: How Biden Can Move On From the Obama Era

January 13, 2021 Media

Last week, Joe Biden announced that he would not succumb to deficit hysteria in crafting his plan to lift millions of people out of pandemic-caused economic crisis. “With conditions like the crisis today, especially with such low interest rates, taking immediate action—even with deficit financing—is going to help the economy,” Biden remarked to press at a transition event.

It was an important moment that showed the president-elect’s ability to adapt to changing evidence. After 2008, the incoming Obama administration pivoted too soon to deficit politics and austerity, causing significant harm and slowing the recovery. Biden appears to have learned from this mistake, and is determined not to repeat it.

He has the ability to learn a lot more, particularly about the Obama administration’s relationship to corporate power. A detailed report from the American Economic Liberties Project, fittingly called “The Courage to Learn,” painstakingly documents how the Obama team failed to stop a wave of consolidation across the economy, and enabled a crisis of untrammeled corporate abuse against workers, against competitors, and against the broader economy.