The around-the-clock Olympic coverage may be taking some of the heat off the White House, but the relief is only temporary. While Americans are distracted by medal counts, compelling stories, and governments who are worse than ours, the other February news is a rude reminder of how much the Biden administration has set us back. Most people already realize our economy is going downhill faster than the U.S. ski team -- what they don't know, thanks to Joe Biden, is when it will stop.
When inflation topped seven percent for the first time in 40 years, the president tried nonchalance. It's temporary, Biden said. Now, a handful of months later -- and inflation another half-percent higher -- NBC's Lester Holt didn't pull any punches. "I think a lot of Americans are wondering what your definition of temporary is," he asked in a sit-down interview with the president. Biden called him a wise guy, but the point had been made. Democrats can't keep downplaying our problems or their role in creating them.
In some cities, rent is up 30 percent from last year. Prices for used cars have climbed 40 percent, and families are paying almost $900 more for groceries. We've printed too much money, spent too much money, and what is the president's solution? Rinse and repeat. Fortunately, at least one Democrat, Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is capable of looking at the situation sanely and agrees with Republicans that the worst thing we could do is blow through $5 trillion more dollars with Biden's Build Back Better plan.
"This is not a time to be throwing more fuel on the fire," Manchin argued. "We have inflation, and we have basically an economy that's on fire. You don't throw more fuel on a fire that's already on fire. So we have to get our house in order." Of course, that's not what any Leftist -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) included -- wants to hear. To ABC's George Stephanopoulos, she balked. "With all the respect in the world to my friend Joe Manchin, it's not right to say that what we're doing is contributing to inflation because it is exactly the opposite."
Good luck persuading the American people of that. Huge majorities think Joe Biden is not only responsible for our economic problems -- he's making them worse. Another six in 10 say there's "literally nothing Biden has done since taking office that they approve of." Democrats argue that Build Back Better will somehow put more money in people's pockets. But most voters aren't willing to gamble on another bad Biden bet. "It doesn't matter how good everything else is going," one Democratic strategist admitted to the Washington Post, "people really do feel inflation. Most people don't feel nine million jobs created. They feel when it's $10 more to fill your tank up or bread is up. They feel it even if they're getting paid more."
Dr. Dave Brat, dean of Liberty University's School of Business, has been a student of economics his whole life and agrees that spending more is never the way to dig out of an inflation hole. "The way you fix it is you slam your brake on. You quit printing money. The Fed hasn't raised rates at all yet, and they're still doing a little bit of monetary easing. They're still creating minimal inflation. They're adding fuel to the fire instead of putting their foot on the brake. Because if you put your foot on the brake, they know they may get a recession."
No one wants that, he agreed, but if we don't cure inflation, we'll be in worse shape in the months to follow. And so will the Democratic Party, strategists warn. They can take their medicine now or schedule their moving vans later. Either way, someone needs to tackle the problem. And if this majority won't, then it will be up to the voters to put people in power who will.