Indeed, he has a paper thin majority in Congress. And that’s what makes this so startling. You think of major social programs. They were initiated by presidents who had won landslide victories, FDR in 1932, LBJ in 1964.
But I think there were a couple of explanations for this. First, the Biden people are very aware that Obama may have asked for too little in 2009, which did not prevent a slow, weak, politically damaging recovery. So they’re asking for a lot.
Second, the infrastructure plan is very popular, according to the public opinion polls, among even Republicans. And really interestingly, when people learn that Biden wants to pay for it with tax increases on corporations, the support goes up.
The third thing is, the Democratic Party, as we know, has moved substantially to the left. So there’s pressure on Biden to be big.
And last, and I think we have to remember this especially, the Biden people know that history says they’re going to lose those majorities in Congress in the midterms. And if they want to get big stuff done, they’ve got to do it in these first two years.