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After watching Tuesday’s State of the Union address, I have just one question: Has there ever before in American history been such a clear-cut example of a political figure being so disconnected from reality, so totally, completely, Marie Antoinette “Let them eat cake!” out of touch?
In Joe Biden’s world – at least, in the version of Joe Biden’s world that he shared with his fellow countrymen Tuesday evening – all is rosy: the economy is growing by leaps and bounds, thanks to his brilliance; the war on drugs will be won, thanks to his determination; the crisis on the southern border isn’t a crisis at all, and, in fact, has been tamed by the introduction of a new policy; and America’s international adversaries would never think of launching a provocative act against U.S. interests anywhere around the world (let alone against the American heartland!) thanks to his strength.
In the real world, the American economy – at least, as viewed by American citizens, Biden’s constituents – is still suffering through the worst inflation in 40 years. Since Biden took office two years ago, inflation has risen by 13.5 percent. That’s the equivalent of imposing a huge sales tax on every purchase made in America over the last two years – except that with the “inflation tax,” the additional money taken effectively evaporates into thin air.
Worse, the inflation tax hits everyone who uses money – including all those who make less than $400,000 per year. And because it devalues the dollar owned by a man who makes only $40,000 per year (and, therefore, has fewer dollars, relatively speaking) just the same as it hits the man who makes $40 million per year (and who, therefore, has more dollars, relatively speaking), it is a cruelly regressive tax, because it hits the less economically fortunate, proportionally, harder than it hits the more economically fortunate.
So much for Biden’s insistence that he has kept his campaign promise never to raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000 per year.
It’s no wonder his approve/disapprove numbers on the economy are so bad: According to the RealClearPolitics polling average of Biden’s performance on the economy, he’s 20 points upside-down, at 38 percent approve/58 percent disapprove.
Moreover, in the real world, the war on drugs is … not going well, to put it mildly. The highest 12-month-ending provisional count for death by drug overdose during the Trump years came in January 2021, with a total of 94,788 deaths having been recorded during the previous 12 months. Since Biden took over, the number has climbed. It peaked in March 2022, with 107,999 deaths in the preceding 12 months, a 14 percent increase over Trump’s worst year. Almost a year later, that number is still more than 100,000, and shows no sign of shrinking.
More alarmingly, we’ve lost control of our southern border, across which flows the deadly fentanyl that’s driving those drug overdose statistics. From an average of about 38,000 per month in FY 2020, the number of monthly “encounters” on the southwest border – what you or I would call “apprehensions” of illegal immigrants – has risen to about 145,000 in FY 2021 and almost 200,000 in FY 2022.
That’s a five-fold increase in just two years.
The result is a massive wave of illegal immigrants surging across our border – 1.7 million in FY 2021, and 2.4 million in FY 2022. And those are the ones we apprehend before allowing them to roam free in the interior of our country; that number doesn’t include the 600,000 known “gotaways” Customs and Border Protection believes got into the U.S. in FY 2022.
And America’s international adversaries? Please. Biden said in his speech, “But make no mistake: as we made clear last week, if China threatens our sovereignty, we will act to protect our country. And we did.”
The Chinese Communist Party leadership is laughing right now – and Russia, Iran, and North Korea are taking notes. The Chinese communists let loose a spy balloon to ride the airwaves over the continental United States. We still don’t know what its purpose was. Was it merely to probe U.S. air defenses, to see how long it would take for the balloon to be detected? Or perhaps its mission was to test the thinking of those tasked with defending American air space against intrusion by hostile foreign interests. Would they shoot down the balloon immediately, or wait for more evidence of hostile intent, or perhaps never shoot down the balloon at all?
The U.S. military waited a solid week before taking action to shoot down the spy balloon. By the time the balloon was shot down, its mission was complete.
So what the world saw was an utter failure of presidential leadership. America was made to look foolish on the world stage, as if its leaders either didn’t know its air space was vulnerable to foreign intrusion, or didn’t care.
No wonder only 37 percent of his fellow Democrats want Biden to run for a second term as president.