January 29, 2024
The Washington Post had a piece on how many Black men are not enthusiastic about the economy under President Biden. This is a useful and important piece, since polls show that Black men are not very supportive of Biden. Historically, Blacks have overwhelmingly supported Democratic presidential candidates, if Biden cannot count on winning a large majority of Black votes he will have difficulty getting re-elected.
While it is important for Post readers to see the views of Blacks who are disappointed with Biden, most Blacks do still approve of President Biden’s performance. Many positive aspects of the economy and Biden administration policies have benefited Blacks.
First, and perhaps most important, the unemployment rate for Blacks hit an all-time low of 4.8 percent in April of last year.
In the same vein, the employment rates have been hitting record highs. Low unemployment has also allowed Blacks to make progress in closing the racial pay gap.
Other Biden administration policies have also benefitted Blacks. The number of people enrolled in the Affordable Care Act exchanges has increased by more than five million since President Biden has been in office. Since the exchanges primarily benefit more moderate-income households, it is likely that a large number of Blacks have enrolled in the exchanges since Biden took office, both because he has tried to increase knowledge of the exchanges and made the subsidies considerably more generous.
The Biden administration has also forgiven the student loan debt of almost 4 million people. This has also likely disproportionately benefitted Blacks, since many of the people who had loans forgiven had gone to for-profit schools that were determined to be engaged in predatory activity, collecting tuition for degrees of dubious value. These schools have targeted Blacks and other disadvantaged groups.
Biden also made the income-driven repayment plan for student loan debt far more generous. Under his plan, people making less than $32,500 a year would not have to pay anything towards their debt. There should be few people enrolled in this plan who will find their debt to be a major burden.
Given the large number of Blacks who have materially benefited from the Biden administration’s policies there surely must be some who are enthusiastic about his re-election. It would be useful to present the views of some of these people.