Downtown Colorado Springs

The issue: 

The president has proposed major expansion of government.

What we think: 

Biden’s plans are actually good for business.

Tell us what you think: 

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It’s been four months since the violent pro-Trump insurrection at our nation’s Capital. Four months. It seems astonishing that this country can look so steady when it was teetering on the brink of autocracy just 120 days ago.

In his first address to Congress, 100 days into his presidency, Joe Biden showed a determination to steer the nation decisively away from chaos, focusing instead on stable, principled leadership and goals that would benefit every American.

After four years of presidential tirades heavy on self-aggrandizing delusions, fearmongering and vindictiveness, it was heartening to hear facts, coherent plans and solid data. Biden’s speech, for most of the country, was an hour-long sigh of relief.

An Ipsos snap poll found nearly 73 percent of Americans approved of his remarks, and a majority of respondents — 60 percent or more — supported the proposals he outlined.

The poll found:

• 69 percent of Americans support requiring employers to give 12 weeks paid family and medical leave;

• 66 percent support passing the American Jobs Plan, boosting investments in infrastructure;

• 65 percent support making up to two years of community college free;

• 65 percent support tax increases for the wealthiest Americans (Biden specifically excluded anyone earning under $400,000 a year);

• 64 percent support increasing IRS audits and enforcement against wealthy tax dodgers;

• 63 percent support lifting the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour; and

• 51 percent agree “trickle down economics have never worked in America” — with even 4 in 10 Republicans saying it was a failed theory.

Biden’s solid focus on jobs, families, infrastructure and education is not only popular with Americans, it’s good for business. His proposals to expand child care and elder care while building better educational opportunities and access to affordable health care will help decrease turnover and make recruitment easier across the board, yes — but they’d be game-changing for small businesses, whose employees have not normally had access to these benefits.

Strong investment in infrastructure is long overdue — Industry Week noted last year that “crumbling infrastructure is hurting America’s competitive edge,” adding the country is in “dire need” of improvements to roads, bridges, waterways, ports, runways and drinking water systems.

The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates failing to close the infrastructure gap will cost the U.S. economy $7 trillion by 2025. With fewer resources to pour into workarounds, small businesses are hardest hit when public infrastructure falls into disrepair. What’s more, the work of building and improving infrastructure across the nation will create jobs for small businesses.

Donald Tobin, dean of the University of Maryland’s Francis King Carey School of Law and a tax law professor, called Biden’s American Jobs Plan “...a business plan,” saying “these are the kinds of investments that provide support for economic growth.” He told Forbes that business leaders “should be pleased with President Biden’s speech. Business leaders know you cannot lead without confidence, hope, and investment in infrastructure and people. Businesses succeed when people succeed.”

The post-address Ipsos poll looked at the president’s proposals, not at his administration’s remarkably successful COVID vaccine strategy, but that’s another example of the active government Biden favors — policy-focused, pragmatic and intent on steadying the ship. The faster COVID is under control, the sooner restrictions will be lifted so that life — and business — can hit full speed again.

In Biden’s first address, we saw a steady hand, a lack of appetite for manufactured drama and a readiness to use government not only to rebuild and transform the economy, but to level the legal and economic playing field for all Americans. After four years of endless upheaval, it’s exactly what we need. These plans deserve our support.