Opinion: CJ Opinion

The Biden angst

President Joe Biden discusses his vaccine mandate on Sept. 9, 2021. (Image from C-SPAN)
President Joe Biden discusses his vaccine mandate on Sept. 9, 2021. (Image from C-SPAN)

When a major media source tells you to lower expectations, one can easily surmise that interference is being run for President Biden. Please ignore all those political promises like reducing the cost of prescription drugs by 60% or an even more utopian pledge to “unify the country.” Clearly, campaign season is over. It’s time to settle in for some 1970s style malaise — only don’t complain so much this time.

Yet, opposition abounds and some are complaining to the pollsters. It’s not just coming from the “Let’s Go Brandon” crowd or drunk frat boys at football games. A new Rasmussen poll declares that 51% of Americans rate Biden’s handling of the economy as “poor,” and another 13% give him a “fair” ranking. On top of that, 83% of Americans are concerned about inflation.

That 83% number on inflation should be even higher — given that inflation — particularly during this era of profligate spending, is a government-caused tax resulting from a loose monetary supply.

Biden pledged that nobody who makes under $400,000 will pay a penny more in taxes. Not true, but even if it was, inflationary policies not only raise the price of goods and services, but they perpetually eat away at the savings and retirement accounts of more modest income earners.

Economist Thomas Sowell correctly noted that inflation “is a way to take people’s wealth without having to openly raise taxes. Inflation is the most universal tax of all.”

Paying able-bodied people more not to work not only exacerbates supply chain issues but increases the dollar supply in circulation. Throwing more money at fewer goods is hardly a recipe for success.

Inflation coupled with months of lockdowns, not to mention more and more of American life being politicized, has increased the angst in society. Crime has surged and whether a wise decision or not, some people are faced with losing their job or getting a vaccine they feel violates their conscience.

Washington is broken. The citizenry is further alienated from a federal government that grows increasingly ideological. Dissenters to woke curriculum foreign to America’s tradition of equality are likened to “domestic terrorists.”

Biden, never a particularly good politician, appears to be heavily managed rather than somebody who is capable of managing.

Much of this angst is fueled by a truth many Americans have or should have known all along — the government is ill-equipped to solve most problems in society.

Americans relearned this in the early 1980s when Ronald Reagan told Americans during his First Inaugural Address that “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

Government ineptitude at managing COVID-19, the southern border, the Afghanistan withdrawal, federal spending, and debt — to name just a few, should remind us of that lesson once again. Americans asking the government to do more, particularly one with a $30 trillion debt, would be wise to look elsewhere for solutions.

The truth is that whatever one feels about Biden, the person, the policies don’t work. Spending more, incentivizing people to stay home, threatening to tax the wealthy is primarily punishment that is heaped upon the working and middle classes. They’ve always shouldered the greatest consequences from central planning and social leveling schemes.

Some Americans are starting to see the dire consequences of big government ineptitude and compulsion for the first time. Not only is it causing a rise in prices and supply shortages, but history teaches us that big government policies diminish the rights of the individual — leading to authoritarian tendencies and even more angst. After that, then comes despair.

We can learn a lot of great lessons from politics. Let’s just hope that most Americans are learning and relearning the right ones this time.

Ray Nothstine is Carolina Journal opinion editor.