Let's hope whoever Joe Biden was trying to please with his Atlanta speech is happy, because the rest of the country is still scratching its head. While most Americans are struggling to find groceries (and wondering how they'll pay for them when they do), the man in charge was flying to Georgia to rail about nonexistent voting problems. And it's not just the president who's out to lunch. When the worst inflation number in 40 years hit, several Democrats were holed up in emergency meetings. But they weren't brainstorming economic solutions, CNN points out. They were there to persuade moderates to blow up the Senate rules.
It's that kind of disconnect, voters believe, that's fueling this horrible mess. "I don't want to say this, but when Donald Trump was here, it was nothing like this," said a woman in Nevada who voted for Democrats last time around. "Instead of things getting better," she said, "it's getting worse every time." And instead of bringing people together to solve our problems, the president can't even admit they exist. When reporters asked Biden about the seven-percent inflation, he called it "progress."
"The reality Democrats are missing," CNN warned, "is that people are hurting right now." They pointed to the upset in Virginia's gubernatorial race as a preview of things to come if Biden's party doesn't get serious about these economic hardships. "Republican Glenn Youngkin pulled off a shock win by actually listening to what voters were saying about education and the cost of groceries -- while Democrats were running against the extremism of ex-President Trump." There's legitimate pain and anxiety in our nation right now and absolutely no indication that the party in charge cares about helping us out of these crises. Instead, the president is zipping off to Georgia to call people who support voter ID policies racist.
It's a tone-deafness that Democrats will almost certainly pay for. As Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) pointed out on "Washington Watch," "The average family in America paid $3,500 more last year to buy exactly the same things they bought the year before. For a lot of families, $3,500 is a huge amount of money." If we put that in perspective, he explained, our current inflation rate is so high that it's reversing three years of paycheck gains for most families. "It's lowered the standard of living for a lot of families. Worse, there's no end in sight."
Why? Because the problem isn't COVID. The problem is bad policy. When President Biden first got into office, he ignored everyone's concerns about the economy and decided to spend more. Inflation isn't a problem, he argued. It doesn't exist -- and even if it did, Biden shrugged, it won't last. Well, it turns out, "this trend isn't 'transitory,'" House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy argued. "And it's all happening under Democrats' one-party control." If you don't believe him, look at the situation in other countries. "America leads the world in the highest inflation," Brady pointed out. "Can you imagine if Democrats in Congress fuel that inflation with another $5 trillion dollars of spending [through Biden's] Build Back Better plan? Can you imagine how bad that will get?"
The American people can. They already blame Biden for inflation and agree (by a 25-point margin!) that passing his socialist boondoggle would only make matters worse. And pockets of the mainstream media are starting to agree "None of [Democrats] tax-and-spend proposals will solve the root causes of price increases and shortages," Jennifer Stefano warned in the Hill. "If Congress wants to continue devaluing the dollar and making Americans poorer, lawmakers should simply stay the course and do what the White House and Sen.¿Bernie Sanders¿(I-Vt.) are calling for -- spend trillions of dollars in an already overheated economy."
If the president weren't a part of the equation, Brady says, America would be in a much better place. "We've seen an independent study that shows our economy would be growing faster and inflation would be lower if we had a Biden-free economy. So if Democrats [hadn't] shove[d] through that $2 trillion dollar COVID bill and continued to push policies to drive up inflation then actually we'd see it lowering. And so, I think there's a reason why the first year of the Biden presidency has been so bitterly disappointing for so many Americans is that he hasn't made their life better. He's made it worse."
But if this is, as Biden said last week, "the economy I promised and hoped for, for the American people," then he's done voters a favor. The choice between the two parties has never been clearer -- or easier.