Ken Blackwell is Senior Fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance at Family Research Council. This article appeared on Townhall.com on April 22, 2022.
President Joe Biden is desperate to skirt the blame for his own economic blunders -- but finding a convincing scapegoat is proving to be an arduous task.
For the past several weeks, the White House has bent over backwards in an effort to dodge accountability for skyrocketing inflation and the surging price of gasoline.
In early March, the national average for a gallon of gas for Americans broke the$4 benchmark-- and has continued to climb ever since. Around the same time, inflation also hit a 40-year high of7.9 percent, outpacing wage gains and putting an additional strain on average consumers. Meanwhile, wholesale inflation recently reached an all-time record of10 percent, indicating that consumer prices are likely to keep rising for some time.
Historically, economic performance tends to impact the outcome of elections more than any other variable. For that reason, Biden does not want to be associated with these negative economic milestones so close to a crucial standoff against the GOP in the midterms.
“I’m sick of this stuff,” the President said recently when asked about inflation. “We have to talk about it because the American people think the reason for inflation is the government is spending more money. Simply not true.”
Biden’s argument is neither accurate nor believable.
Despite his best efforts to distract the American people from the rising price of fuel, food, and other basic commodities, his approval rating remains deeply underwater. The voters are simply not pleased with the abysmal results of Biden’s economic policies -- and they are holding him accountable for his failures.
Even the mainstream press, which typically bats for Biden at any given opportunity, is refusing to defend the White House on inflation. A recent fact check from the Associated Press, for instance, called out Biden for falsely claiming that there is no link between inflation and government spending.
“Biden sidesteps reality,” AP admitted. “Government spending has been a clear factor behind rising consumer prices, though it’s not the only one.”
AP went so far as to mention that numerous economists rightly criticized Biden’s so-called “American Rescue Plan” as a reckless stimulus package that would trigger higher inflation if it was signed into law.
“Biden last year signed a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package known as the American Rescue Plan — and many economists say that caused inflation to run higher than it otherwise would,” AP wrote.
Biden also has to take full responsibility for the astronomical prices of fuel across America. Since taking office, his administration has implemented harsh environmental regulations, halted the Keystone pipeline, and forced the country back into the disastrous Paris climate agreement. All of these actions have served to limit domestic energy production at a time when global demand is rebounding from the pandemic and foreign supply is restricted due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Skyrocketing energy costs should not have come as a surprise -- even before Biden was elected, the Democrats openly embraced radical policy proposals such as the Green New Deal which championed draconian environmental regulations.
In 2019, Biden released his own climate policy platform which lauded the Green New Deal and its mission. “Biden believes the Green New Deal is a crucial framework for meeting the climate challenges we face,” the document read.
Evidently, Biden is determined to keep this campaign pledge.
The result was entirely predictable. On the campaign trail, President Trump repeatedly warned that Biden’s policy platform would trigger unprecedented spikes in fuel prices.
“And gas prices, you like that $2.00 gas, right? How about $5.00, $6.00, and $7.00?” Trump said in October, 2020. Later that day, Trump made a similar prediction: “If Biden wins, there will be no fracking, no oil, no natural gas, no jobs, and no future. Under Biden, gas prices will explode.”
Regrettably, he was right.