* “Welcome to the Biden boom. While the First Quarter of 2021 is history, the data are still coming in. Forecasts of real economic growth…now run in the 7%-8% range. More important, there is a good chance the stellar First Quarter won’t be a flash in the pan.”–Alan S. Blinder, former vice chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve.
* World stage update: President Biden just hosted a two-day virtual climate summit that featured more than three dozen world leaders, including China’s Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin. In June the president will make his first overseas trip to attend the G7 Summit in England and a NATO meeting in Brussels. The unequivocal global and ally message: Indeed, the U.S. is back.
* “Every employee should get paid leave to get a shot, and businesses should know that they can provide it without a hit to their bottom line.” That was President Joe Biden who also highlighted a tax credit in his $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package, which will reimburse businesses and non-profits (with fewer than 500 employees). There’s another bottom line here. The president is underscoring the sobering reality that Americans’ vaccine demand is becoming a bigger challenge than supply.
* We hear that Biden hasn’t been full bore about going after flawed gun laws because his top priorities have been the pandemic and infrastructure help. In short, the inevitable push back from the usual suspects will only induce more polarization at a key policy inflection point. It’s beyond frustrating, as well as infuriating and embarrassing, that a tragic and literal life-and-death issue is just another political component part.
* “The last person in the room.” That’s history-making VP Kamala Harris when the president makes an important decision. It’s also something that wasn’t said of the previous vice president.
* “I do think they should be separated.” That was West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, a key moderate in infrastructure spending, in advocating the separation of physical from human (such as child care and education) infrastructure.