Biden's economic plan is working: Top White House official

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Washington, May 27 (PTI) The economic plan of US President Joe Biden is working and the American people have rallied around the vision he has outlined to move the country, badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, forward, a top White House official said on Thursday.

Mike Donilon, Senior Advisor to the President, in a White House memo said over the last four months, the US has made 'tremendous progress' against the twin economic and health crises that Biden inherited when he took office.

“President Biden’s economic plan is working, and the American people have rallied around the vision he has outlined to move us forward,' he said.

The US economy grew at a robust annual rate of 6.4 per cent in the first three months of this year, unchanged from the government's initial estimate. The recovery from last year's deep recession gained steam at the beginning of this year, helped by vaccines to combat the virus and trillions of dollars in government assistance.

He underlined that more than half of all adult Americans are fully vaccinated, coronavirus deaths have dropped more than 85 per cent, and the country is reopening after a year of 'darkness and hardship'.

“With the pandemic in retreat, our economy is on the move: 500,000 new jobs created each month on average, new unemployment claims dropping by nearly half, and record-setting growth ahead of us,” he said.

According to a report from the Labour Department, the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped last week to 406,000, a new pandemic low and more evidence that the job market is strengthening as the virus wanes and the economy further reopens.

Thursday's report from the Labour Department showed that applications declined 38,000 from 444,000 a week earlier. The decline in applications reflects a swift rebound in economic growth.

“As we turn the page on this dark chapter in America’s history, we stand at an inflection point about what kind of economy – and country – we want for ourselves and for future generations,” Donilon said.

'The American people understand that the economy they had before the pandemic left far too many people behind, and that more and more families were finding that their grip on a middle-class life – and the security it affords – was precarious,' he said in an apparent criticism of the previous Donald Trump administration.

Donilon in the memo said the President has outlined his vision for an economy that moves the country forward by building from the bottom up and the middle out.

Donilon said later in the day Biden will make his case about the economic path forward, and he’ll do it in Cleveland – 'the kind of proud, blue collar, union city that built our country into the world’s industrial powerhouse.' “He’ll talk about the historic investments in roads, bridges, R&D, manufacturing, and education that we must make to create good-paying jobs and ensure all Americans are lifted by the rising tide of prosperity. He’ll talk about what we can, and must, do to ensure that the future is made in America – and that we can continue to out-compete and out-innovate China and the rest of the world in the 21st Century,” he said.

He said recent polls show a clear story, 'the policies articulated by the President reflect the values deeply held by the American people.' He said when Republicans criticise the President’s plan to rebuild our economy through long-overdue investments in the country’s infrastructure, they’re criticising what their own constituents have been urging for decades.

“When they attack the President’s plan to make the wealthy finally pay their share of taxes, they’re attacking the American people’s basic sense of fairness. The American people – across the political spectrum – are sending a clear message, the question now is whether Congressional Republicans will listen,” Donilon said. PTI LKJ PMS AKJ PMS PMS