“No matter who you are, where you’re from, or who you voted for, I am ready to listen to you, work for you and earn your trust … My administration will never stop listening to you.” Nevada Gov.-elect Joe Lombardo victory speech, Nov. 14.
On Nov. 14, Gov.-elect Joe Lombardo repeated many of the promises he’d made during the campaign. He promised he would “never stop listening” to his constituents. Then he ended his speech by refusing to take questions.
He also said, “Although I won’t be sworn in until January, our journey begins now.” He promised “full transparency, which I intend to lead by.” To show how serious he was about this promise, he refused entry to the event to reporters from the Las Vegas Sun and the Nevada Current news website. (Associated Press, Nov. 14)
The contradiction between Lombardo’s words and his actions are not reassuring for how he will run his administration. Unfortunately, this is standard practice for too many Republican leaders, who make great promises but rarely follow through.
We all know how over four years, former President Donald Trump repeatedly promised a great infrastructure bill (never happened) and a beautiful health care plan, cheaper and covering more than the Affordable Care Act (no plan ever presented). He failed despite the fact that Republicans had 52 members in the Senate and 241 members in the House of Representatives, clear majorities in both houses of Congress.
Trump could talk a great game but rarely followed through. His best talent was tearing down existing programs, not creating new ones. The only major legislation passed during his administration was a huge tax cut for the wealthy. He left office with millions fewer jobs than when he took office and a major pandemic crippling our society.
In contrast, President Joe Biden listened, made promises and followed through. When he took office, the Senate was 50-50 and Democrats had a slim majority in the House, 221-211. Despite that, on Nov. 15, 2021, Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law. This bipartisan bill passed in the Senate by 69-30 and in the House by 228-206.
Nevada will receive a total of $4 billion for roads, water infrastructure, airport improvements, broadband infrastructure and many other projects which will create jobs and improve Nevadans’ lives. In less than two years, Biden succeeded where Trump failed.
Biden didn’t need to pass a new health care plan, although he did expand the Affordable Care Act to cover 5 million more people. However, he did improve several existing programs. Beginning on Jan. 1, all CDC recommended vaccines for adults will be free to Medicare recipients, including the very expensive two-dose shingrix vaccine ($212 per dose) for shingles.
Under the Inflation Reduction Act, the monthly copay for insulin for Medicare recipients will be capped at $35. Out-of-pocket drug costs will eventually be capped at $2,000/year. These provisions will benefit tens of millions of senior citizens, something Trump was never able to do.
Trump promised to bring manufacturing to the U.S., but many of the projects he boasted about never actually happened. In 2019, before COVID hit, American manufacturers were actually cutting jobs. (Reno Gazette Journal, Dec. 18)
In contrast, on Aug. 9, Biden signed the CHIPS and Science Act, a bill which provides $52 billion for computer chip production. Factories are already breaking ground in Arizona, Idaho, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas. This will create jobs, help protect our national security and help ensure America won’t be at the mercy of foreign computer chip companies. (RGJ, Dec. 19)
Job creation has been steady under Biden. The economy as a whole is improving. Inflation is rising in Europe but dropping here. “The easing of supply bottlenecks has begun to provide some relief from the inflation that this year reached a four-decade peak.” (RGJ, Dec. 12)
“Average gas prices have tumbled from $5 a gallon in June to as low as $3.26 a gallon, according to AAA, below their average a year ago. Supply chain snarls are also coming to an end. Ports have cleared ship backlogs. And the cost of shipping a cargo container from Asia has returned to its pre-pandemic price.” (RGJ, Dec. 14)
Under Biden’s policies, our economy is recovering from the shambles it was in when Trump left office. Unlike many Republican officials, Biden listened to what Americans needed and wanted. He did what he promised.
As we start the New Year, let’s hope Lombardo does the same. Happy New Year!
Jeanette Strong, whose column appears every other week, is a Nevada Press Association award-winning columnist. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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