Even Democrats have decided President Biden can’t cut it
The Fourth of July weekend began with #ImpeachJoeBiden trending on Twitter. There appeared to be no illegal act cited as a basis for impeachment; instead, people were reacting to this tweet: “Former Senior Obama advisor David Axelrod to Jake Tapper of CNN: Things in the country are ‘out of control’ and Biden is ‘not in command.’”
Americans are furious, despondent, and fed up with President Joe Biden. They agree with David Axelrod; the country has gone off the rails and the president seems utterly incapable of fixing what’s wrong.
That’s not to say Biden isn’t making history. The president is causing a series of firsts, including some of the worst presidential approval ratings ever, some of the worst consumer sentiment, some of the worst bond market in modern times, and the worst-ever small business pessimism about the future.
And that was just in the first half of 2022. Can it get even worse?
Yes, unfortunately, it can. The economy is slumping, COVID confusion reigns, high energy prices are raising the cost of everything, air travel is a disaster, the chaos at the border is about to escalate and crime is surging. And, we remain disastrously low on baby formula.
All this at a time when even Democrats have decided President Biden can’t cut it.
Let’s start with the economy. Even as Biden idiotically continues to tout the “accomplishments” of his economic agenda, our country is sliding into recession.
Private firms like S&P Global Market Intelligence and tracking groups like the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta are forecasting that economic activity dropped in the second quarter; following a pullback in the first three months of the year, a slump would technically put us in recession.
When consumer sentiment hits the worst level ever recorded, as the University of Michigan reported occurred in June, it impacts spending which, sure enough, slowed significantly in May.
Specifically, consumer outlays, which account for 70 percent of our economy, dropped 0.4 percent in May adjusted for inflation. It’s not surprising. A recent report showed that after-tax incomes, also inflation-adjusted, fell in May as well. Consumer incomes are not keeping pace with rising prices; as they exhaust their savings, they will retrench further in the months ahead.
Consequently, the job market, which has been rock solid, is beginning to fray. The four-week average of new jobless claims rose 231,750 this past week, the highest level since December. In the tech sector, companies that had been on a multi-year hiring spree like Meta have suddenly switched gears and announced layoffs. Big retailers like Target or Bed, Bath & Beyond that reported disappointing sales and rising inventories will inevitably trim workers as they struggle to rein in higher costs.
Meanwhile, stock markets have had their worst first six months since 1970, with the S&P 500 down by nearly 21 percent. Bond markets by early May had suffered the worst losses – since 1842! Bitcoin came unglued as well, dropping 60 percent in value since the end of March.
Americans are getting poorer, and losses are likely to continue as analysts downgrade their forecasts.
It isn’t just the economy that is heading south. Over one of the busiest travel weekends of the year, airlines crushed holiday plans for many Americans by canceling thousands of flights. Delta pilots, emboldened by tight labor markets and Joe Biden’s enthusiasm for organized labor, protested for higher pay over the weekend. Word that American had just given their pilots a 17 percent pay hike suggests airfares will go up, again.
Meanwhile, Pete Buttigieg has been AWOL, as seems habitual for the transportation secretary at critical moments. (Remember how he took months of parental leave at the height of the supply chain disasters?) Even Democrats are demanding action.
Travelers whose flights were canceled could have driven to their destinations instead. Those unlucky souls would have then confronted near $5 per gallon gasoline prices which their president and his advisors have said was the cost of preserving the “world liberal order.” Frustrated Americans may be confused; they elected Biden to be their president, and not a globe-trotting ambassador of any sort of “world order”, liberal or otherwise.
Meanwhile, oil prices could soar if and when China’s economy rebounds. Beijing’s zero-COVID shutdowns have restrained growth, but that will change, driving demand for oil higher.
At home, Biden has resolutely refused to meet with oil industry executives in order to craft a mutual response to sky-high oil prices. It is a petty gesture of hostility towards one of America’s most consequential industries – one which could arguably help rescue Biden’s political standing.
Biden says he is doing everything possible to lower gasoline prices, but that is not true. Not only has he restricted short-term U.S. oil and gas production, he is moving to reduce output in the years to come as well. His Interior Secretary dragged her feet on publishing a new schedule for offshore oil and gas leasing and purposefully not included some of our country’s most promising future prospects.
More worrisome, the administration is considering imposing new ozone rules that could cut production in the Permian Basin, which accounts for 43 percent of our country’s oil production and 40 percent of current drilling. That is what political suicide looks like.
Meanwhile, young people in the Unites States just starting out to build their families and careers are finding that buying a house is more expensive that it has been since 2006. Rising mortgage rates combined with high house prices have led more Americans to rent, pushing rents 17 percent higher across the country. Inflation is not transitory; it is persistent.
Also, COVID cases are inching up, along with hospitalizations, and the FDA is behind the curve, debating whether to adjust vaccines to the current (prevalent) Omicron variants. What are they waiting for? People everywhere are getting the virus, and the current shots appear ineffectual.
According to a recent poll, 85 percent of Americans think our country is headed in the wrong direction. And that’s with a robust job market. Yes, things could get worse.