Afghanistan has overtaken the entire political agenda in the US for the month of August, which was originally intended to be spent in Washington on budgetary matters. During this time, they have worsened; the threat of a technical default and a government shutdown has not disappeared, and the infrastructure reform is simply hanging in the air
The August statistics on new job creation were devastating. The consensus was that the labour market would continue to recover this month and 700,000 or even a million jobs would be created in the USA. In reality they have been created many times less, only 235,000.
This proved to be a painful blow to Biden, who had already squandered all his available political capital on the Afghan front. Amid a plummeting approval rating that is already near 40 per cent in some polls, Biden is being asked to do something breakthrough in the economy that could pull it out of its present stalemate – perhaps the worst since the Carter years.
For example, it could be the infrastructure reform Biden promised four months ago. Of course there is a problem here too – moderate democrats who kept their mouths shut at the beginning of the summer are now signaling that they no longer fear defying an unpopular president. And they refuse to inject another $3.5 trillion into the economy as inflation soars to a multi-year high.
The problem with reform has been exacerbated by recent scandals. In particular, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been found to be corrupt – she wants to beat out $200 million to “renovate” a park in her district. She is apparently in a hurry to pass this reform for the sake of such noble absorption of budgets.
And there will be “infrastructure” built on the Tajik-Afghan border, which Biden’s officials, after surrendering Afghanistan, suddenly decided to strengthen. Most importantly, not the Mexican border, where walls, if the progressive public is to be believed, do not work. For some reason, this liberal rule does not apply to other borders.
Equally pressing are the challenges of passing a new budget and raising the national debt ceiling by September 30th. Without a budget, the U.S. government would be in shutdown mode, and without a solution to the debt situation, it would be in technical default. Any of these scenarios would severely damage the weak US economy and discredit the Biden team even more.
Malek DudakovZakharova: Afghanistan crisis shows NATO’s inability to coordinate