May 17, 2022


Making living better

Opinion | ‘My Fellow Americans’: Four Times Columnists Channel Joe Biden

3 min read

Table of Contents

But as much as we all want to go back to normal, there’s no way I’m not going to push for something new. The one initiative I really, really want to get accomplished is help for low-income parents. Financial aid and access to high-quality child care. If I can just do that, I’ll be satisfied. Many of my colleagues won’t be, but hey, I’d be happy to be remembered as a president who made things better without high drama. I’ll be the one who’s grinning when everybody yawns.

My fellow Americans:

I want to speak to you about a new challenge we face that few politicians talk about. That’s the challenge of falling birthrates, the fact that since the financial crisis in 2007, a smaller and smaller share of Americans is starting families, raising kids.

Our birthrate fell to a recorded low in 2020. That’s bad for our future: It means our society gets older faster; it means we have fewer workers for every retiree; it means fewer young people to take risks, dream big, come up with the invention or figure out the big idea that makes the world a better place. And it’s bad for all the Americans who are having fewer children than they want right now, who have dreams of family that aren’t being fulfilled.

This is a free country. It’s not the government’s job to tell anyone when or whether to have kids. But we can do more, a lot more, to make sure that Americans feel they have the support they need to take the plunge into parenthood. My administration is trying to do that with policies like a bigger child tax credit and universal pre-K. The other party likes to say that they’re the pro-family party, and some of them have reached across the aisle on this — but mostly they’ve just left American parents on their own. So tonight I’m challenging Republicans to step up and actually help the American family they claim to cherish, so that young people, young couples, feel they can afford it when it comes time to raise the next generation, to have the kids they already want.

And I also want to say something on a personal level to those young Americans who look at the world around them, who look at climate change or the pandemic or the threat from Russia and get worried about bringing a kid into this world. I’m not that young myself, as you may have noticed, which means I’ve seen a lot of history. When I was born, World War II was raging, we’d just gone through the Great Depression, and a big part of the globe was in the hands of ruthless totalitarian dictators bent on mass murder. And then when it came time to have kids of my own, the Cold War was on, and we all lived under the threat of nuclear war.

I’m not going to tell you that my life was easy. I’m certainly not going to tell you that raising kids was easy. I’ve seen a lot of struggle, a lot of tragedy, in the world and in my own family. But looking back, even with all the risks, all the danger, all the sorrow, I just want you to know: It’s worth it. It’s worth it. The challenges are big, but they’ve always been big — and the thing is, folks, human beings are bigger, and every new life you bring into the world is another candle lit against the dark.

My fellow Americans:

Let us start again.

I campaigned for president promising to bring our nation together. The promise has not been met. I will not point fingers. I will own my share of the failure. And I will work much, much harder to find common ground with all Americans. | Newsphere by AF themes.