AMAC Exclusive – By Claire Brighn
After more than a year and a half with Biden in office, nothing seems to be going right, from the border crisis to crippling inflation and sky-high gas prices. Poll after poll shows that Americans are pessimistic and desperate for some relief from the slew of debacles that have wreaked havoc on their lives. Yet just as they did with their botched Afghanistan withdrawal last year, Biden and his administration have with increasing vigor recast these calamities in positive terms, incredibly suggesting that everything is going exactly as planned.
No issue captures the disconnect between what the Biden administration is saying and what the American people are actually experiencing better than the sorry state of the U.S. economy. According to Gallup polling, 77% of Americans say the U.S. economy is getting worse – the highest number in over a decade. U.S. GDP shrunk by 1.6% last quarter, and most economists are predicting that the country is already in a recession. Business sentiment has plummeted to a nine-year low and consumer sentiment is at its lowest in 70 years. A Fox News poll taken July 10-13 shows that 70% of Americans say that they’ve had to cut back on their spending to afford basic necessities. More Americans are on food stamps; food banks are turning up empty shelves; and many people are delaying retirement, to name just a few of the ominous signs.
But to hear the Biden administration tell it, this is exactly how things are supposed to be going. Earlier this month, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre proclaimed from the White House podium that the United States is now “stronger economically than we have been in history.” That’s right: in history. Likewise, Biden Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo recently said that “if you were to ask me what I think of the economy, I’d say we have a very strong economy.” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has similarly claimed that the economy is “growing at a very rapid rate,” characterizing Biden’s economic policies as a success. Biden himself has stated, “Under my plan for the economy, we’ve made extraordinary progress.”
When it comes to record high gas prices, the Biden administration – after blaming everything from the pandemic to Vladimir Putin – is now trying to spin the increases as a positive. In May, just as gas prices hit above $4.50 a gallon, Biden said the country was “going through an incredible transition,” alluding to the radical policy of phasing out oil and gas preferred by far-left Democrats.
The argument here is that as American families are forced to choose between groceries and gas, it will incentivize more people to switch to electric cars – never mind the fact that most working- and middle-class Americans can’t afford them. In one of the more tone-deaf comments uttered by a Biden official, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg told a House Committee last week that “the more pain we are all experiencing from the high price of gas, the more benefit there is for those who can access electric vehicles.”
But as on so many other issues, Biden wants to have it both ways on gas: after driving prices to historic highs, the White House is now bragging that after a modest fall in prices, Americans are “saving” money on gas. Either way, they apparently believe things are going just great.
The Biden administration is applying similar logic to the growing food shortages. Biden’s USAID Administrator, Samantha Power, has talked about “never let[ting] a crisis go to waste.” More specifically, she said that while “fertilizer shortages are real now…we are working with countries to think about natural solutions like manure and compost…and this may hasten transitions that would have been in the interest of farmers to make eventually, anyways.”
Democrats are telling a similarly fantastical story on the border crisis. Biden border officials continue to insist that the border is “under control,” even as June set a new record for illegal crossings. According to CBP data, there have already been more than 2 million illegal crossings in 2022, already outpacing the 1.9 million illegal crossings in all of 2021 and far surpassing any other year in history.
But despite the rosy picture the Biden administration wants to paint, Americans are not buying it. In an April Trafalgar poll, 39% cite “lowering inflation and fixing the economy” as their top midterm voting issue – a figure that is likely far higher now, even as Democrats appear increasingly unwilling to even acknowledge there is a problem. In a different May Trafalgar poll, 53% said the Biden administration is “intentionally letting gas prices rise to make Americans use less fossil fuels.”
Nevertheless, Biden and Congressional Democrats appear wholly unwilling to course correct – something which is bound to cause trouble not just in the midterms, but in 2024, too. With mountains of radical bills already drawn up, voted on, and more lying in wait in Congress, Biden recently said about his stalled climate and energy agenda: “I am not going away. I’m going to use every power I have as President to continue to fulfill my pledge to move toward dealing with global warming.” While the disastrous results of Biden’s policies are bad enough on their own, that callous attitude toward the destruction he and his fellow Democrats have caused is likely winning them no second looks among an increasingly disaffected voting public.
Claire Brighn is the pen name of a conservative researcher and writer with previous domestic and foreign policy experience in the Executive Branch.
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