Opinion: Your Say on Joe Biden’s first 100 days

Biden has given us hope in hard times

Now that Joe Biden is in the White House, I feel a great sense of optimism about the future. He became president with such a huge agenda, including fighting the coronavirus pandemic, which has already taken more than 580,000 lives in the U.S. alone, the tremendous rise in unemployment it caused, the huge impact on our economy with so many people out of work, violence like the killing of George Floyd by a police officer, the climate crisis, and the list goes on and on.

When the first cases of COVID-19 were announced in March 2020, we were really isolated. The only people we could be with were family members who lived in our house. My dear husband went to heaven the year before, and family and friends helped me so much to learn to live without my best friend as he played golf on the heavenly course. Luckily, I had my sweet dog to be with me night and day. We were so isolated, the only place we could go was to the grocery store. Watching the news just exacerbated the difficulties as we saw so many people being laid off.

However, in his first 100 days in office President Biden accelerated vaccine production and more than 230 million doses of the vaccine have now been administered. His American Rescue Plan provides $7.6 billion to support COVID-19 response efforts. I am so grateful for this plan because in February, I received both vaccine doses, and now so have all my family and friends. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the president’s chief medical advisor, said last week that when you receive both doses, you can get together for small family gatherings if everyone is fully vaccinated and wears a mask. Although the ceremony will be livestreamed online, we will be able to have a family gathering to celebrate my granddaughter’s graduation and give her a happy send-off when she leaves for college.

The American Rescue Plan also authorized a $1,400 stimulus check for each eligible person ($2,800 for couples), plus an additional $1,400 for each dependent (regardless of the dependent’s age). These stimulus checks had a very positive impact on the economy. Also, at the end of April the stock market had the biggest monthly gain this year.

President Biden’s speech to Congress on April 28 demonstrated his tremendous compassion and concern for the American people. His plans include investing in families with universal access to pre-kindergarten, two years of free community college for all Americans, lower child care costs and comprehensive paid family and medical leave. He also plans to combat the climate crisis by growing our clean energy economy, investing in zero emission vehicles and creating good-paying jobs for the future of America. He also wants to end gun violence and reform policing, treat immigrants with dignity and rebuild our relationships with allies around the world.

He is so wise, so compassionate, so motivated to make our country and the world a better, healthier, peaceful place. His first 100 days offer a very positive, uplifting view of the future for all Americans!

Virginia Redman, Encinitas

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Administration must reassess all spending

Thus far the only focus of the president, his administration and Congress has been new spending. There hasn’t been an audit or assessment of existing spending. This needs to be discussed.

Let’s start with the military. The U.S. has more than 800 foreign bases with 21 in Germany. The current and primary threat assessment concerns the South China Sea, not Central Europe. Perhaps we can close half the bases in Germany and 30 or 40 more around the world and, with the concurrence of the local government, put one or two bases on Taiwan. The cost of closing bases vs. ongoing maintenance and overhead is not important if the bases do not serve critical purposes. This needs to be discussed.

As the pandemic evolved, we saw deficiencies in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. The CDC manufactured and launched a defective diagnostic test and the WHO failed in the pandemic investigation. Why is the CDC manufacturing diagnostic tests without routine Food and Drug Administration submission and oversight? In fact, how is this diagnostic test product process within the CDC’s responsibility? The growth of CDC’s self-appointed purview along with all the other agencies’ expansion has been below the radar for years. Who is auditing the staff sizes and activities of each agency against their respective charters? This needs to be discussed.

An infrastructure plan is easy to sell as a top-level priority and in the first 100 days this has been very popular. But how much of the plan could be implemented quickly? Where are the “shovel-ready” projects? Where are the details of what and when? A comprehensive project plan — what, when, who and how — understood by Congress and all of America is absent. This needs to be discussed.

Gas taxes are collected at the state and federal level. Has there been an audit of how this money is being spent to ensure it is going to roads? San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria unveiled a plan recently to target underserved areas for road repairs. Is there anything like this planned as part of the congressional objective or will the bill just provide a dollar figure? We need to understand how much is allocated to actual repair and how much to administration and overhead. Before we throw more money at these infrastructure projects can we assess how our government spends existing taxes? This needs to be discussed.

In summary, the first 100 days of the Biden administration were totally focused on new spending without any apparent assessment or audit of the proposed details or existing spending. Furthermore, there are insufficient specifics for project management. While the potential may sound good and will, in part, be useful to improve the country, much more detail than a dollar figure is needed for this initiative to proceed. Our government should recognize that these objectives should not only solve problems cost-effectively, but also consolidate government while fostering jobs outside of government. Only essential jobs should be part of the government payroll, whether they be in the military or regulatory agencies. This should be discussed.

Glen Freiberg, Rancho Santa Fe

Biden ignores noise and focuses on issues

Considering President Joe Biden inherited a boatload of challenges upon taking office, I don’t think anyone can logically describe his first 100 days in office as right or wrong. Having said that, I appreciate the fact that he has spoken transparently and frequently to the American people. From day one he has been focused on progress, whether that refers to battling the pandemic, encouraging vaccinations, wearing a mask, mending international fences or discussing plans to build back better.

Myriad news outlets and Fox News talking heads pounced immediately, deriding any topics on the president’s agenda that are designed to recoup losses created by the previous administration. It seems they are enthusiastic only when they can direct criticism of him to a certain segment of the population, those still denying the 2020 election results.

Refusing to take the bait, President Biden has shown grace, class and sincerity. As he said during his campaign he would be a president for all Americans. He’s been around the D.C. block once or twice. Okay, more than twice. But over the years, Joe Biden has learned to reach across the aisle to court agreement and compromise. And while his predecessor campaigned with a promise “to drain the swamp,” he only jumped right in himself as soon as he was sworn in in January 2017.

I trust the new administration under Joe Biden’s leadership. Together his administration will accentuate the positive, but not deny, hide or obfuscate disconcerting news or events. This will require the cooperation of Congress, logical discussions and doing a job that legislators were elected for. Sadly, it doesn’t look promising given the current political climate and a roadblock known as Mitch McConnell.

However, I also believe that with millions of people supporting his vision, coupled with truthful and honest reporting, we can accomplish anything.

Let’s echo the strength, resolve and unity of the same America that survived the Depression and World War II and stood in line for Salk vaccinations. Together.

Serena Contreras, Mission Hills

U.S. on the move but in the wrong direction

Yes, America is on the move towards more government intrusion into our daily lives.

Joe Biden’s speech to Congress was, as usual, nothing more than spin and political rhetoric. In his first 100 days, Biden has created a humanitarian, national security and health catastrophe on our southern border. I think he has eliminated thousands of jobs with his energy policies, and he has made us weaker by not standing strong against our enemies.

Less than 6 percent of his “infrastructure” bill goes towards infrastructure, and less than 9 percent of his $1.9 trillion “COVID relief” bill went to anything having to do with defeating the virus, as I see it. Get ready for higher taxes as inflation has already raised gas and everyday living expenses. Homicides are skyrocketing in every major city and police are leaving the forces in droves as his administration continues to demonize them and divide us by race. His move is in the wrong direction.

Kathleen LaGrua, Escondido

Nation’s mood has changed completely

What do you think of Joe Biden’s efforts in his first 100 days? Considering the unholy mess President Biden inherited from Donald Trump, not bad, not bad at all. He still has a mess at the border but that is going to take years to turn around.

The important thing to me is that the national mood has completely reversed. It has gone from angry, frightened and distrustful to one of hope and uplifting confidence that we can and will work our way out of this.

Bruce Higgins, Teralta East

Biden wants to control our lives

There are many ways to stimulate economic growth. During the Trump presidency a tax cut incentivized economic growth, encouraged companies to expand, add employees and grow the economy. That plan was pretty successful no matter your political leanings. The coronavirus pandemic came along and upended everything.

Now we have a new administration under Joe Biden who plans to flood the country with money and hope to achieve prosperity. We’re moving ever closer to a socialist country and there is no way back once we become one. Do we really want the government to have near total control over our lives? We must vote for lawmakers who believe in freedom for all Americans, not just more power. The politicians we have been electing are wolves in sheep’s clothing.

J.F. Dickey, Oceanside

Biden restored dignity to the job

In the first 100 days of Joe Biden’s presidency he has restored dignity, civility and sanity back to the office of President of the U.S. Gone is the pushy, bullying attitude from his predecessor that became the accepted norm in the White House. The juvenile name-calling is no more. Common sense has replaced the insane moves of an ignorant, arrogant self described “stable genius.” Egoism is banished in favor of what’s good for everyone. Caring, empathy and consideration for our fellow human beings rids us of the “what’s-in-it-for-me?” attitude. Our standing in the world is slowly returning to what it once was. And besides all of that Joe has delivered 200+ million COVID-19 vaccination shots.

That’s not a bad start for the first 100 days. However, Joe isn’t taking a vacation yet. He knows there’s much more work to do. He’ll roll up his sleeves and get to it.

Neil Proffitt, Oceanside