Speaking in Chicago last week, President Joe Biden made one of the early speeches of his 2024 reelection campaign. Mindful that the state of the economy is a primary concern of American voters in every presidential election, Mr. Biden trumpeted the alleged successes of his policies. In his words, “Bidenomics, we’re turning this around. We’re supporting targeted investments. We’re strengthening America’s economic security, our national security, energy security, and our climate security.”
Let’s take a closer work at Mr. Biden’s four security measures:
Americans can be forgiven for feeling that they aren’t as economically secure as Mr. Biden claims. During the 29 months of the Biden presidency, real earnings for the average worker have fallen by 3.16 percent. An eroding standard of living doesn’t make people feel secure.
Certainly, Bidenomics has made a mess of the automotive industry. Tens of thousands of autoworkers are being laid off and companies are sustaining losses as a consequence of their ill-advised government-subsidized shift into electric vehicles. Just as his former superior, Barack Obama, wasted billions of taxpayer dollars on green fiascoes and boondoggles, Mr. Biden is doubling down on the same failed strategy.
In addition to the economic squeeze already felt, the prospects going forward are far grimmer. In 2021, the White House’s own economic analysis projected growth averaging 2 percent or lower for the next eight years. The most recent update from the Congressional Budget Office (pdf) confirms the earlier tepid forecast. The CBO projects that real inflation-adjusted economic growth will be far from robust going forward: this year, 0.3 percent; next year, 1.8; 2025, 2.7; then a steady decline for the following eight years.
Against that backdrop of prolonged sluggish growth, Mr. Biden has indulged in an explosion of government spending. His April plans called for $17 trillion of additional federal debt over the next 10 years. That represents an annual growth rate in the national debt of 4.2 percent—double the projected rate of increase for underlying economic growth. That is an unsustainable fiscal path. As federal debt continues to balloon, annual interest payments on the federal debt will continue to swell, too. Combined with the higher rates that the Federal Reserve will use to try to contain inflation, interest on the national debt is on a trajectory to surpass Social Security as Uncle Sam’s largest annual expense. Ouch.
With nuclear saber-rattling emanating from Russia, China’s ominously increasing confrontational attitude, and Iran getting ever closer to having its own nuclear weapons (and let’s not forget about North Korea), Americans are understandably concerned about national security. The greater concern, however, is closer to home. In his obsessive desire to undo all things Trump, Mr. Biden has jettisoned any pretense of security at our southern border with Mexico.
While Americans are going to have to make our peace with fairly voluminous immigration if we are to have enough workers to provide the tax revenues necessary to fund domestic entitlements, Mr. Biden’s “anything goes” (more precisely, “anything comes in”) immigration policy erodes national security on a daily basis.
We have long had to put up with inadequate border enforcement to keep out undesirables (e.g., criminals, those infected with contagious diseases, etc.). We have endured a flow of improperly vetted foreign nationals being shipped by American authorities at taxpayer expense to communities not equipped to handle the influx. We have seen deadly fentanyl pour across the border and kill tens of thousands of Americans. As if all that wasn’t troublesome enough, now there are reports of Chinese nationals with ties to the Chinese Communist Party and the disgustingly named People’s Liberation Army infiltrating our country.
If, by “energy security,” Mr. Biden means higher prices for energy, then his policies have been hugely successful. But the average American will strongly disagree with him about that being desirable. But the predominant feature on the energy security landscape isn’t so much higher prices, but the increasing fragility of the electrical grid.
In the rush to implement the “green new deal,” the more the Biden administration strong-arms utilities into relying on intermittent sources of energy such as solar and wind, the more variable the supply of electricity becomes, and the more difficult it becomes for the grid to cope with those fluctuations. Blackouts and brownouts used to be rarities in the United States. They were hallmarks of poor, backward countries. If the provision of stable, reliable electrical power is a defining characteristic of an economically developed country, then the United States can be said to be “de-developing” today. Combine uncertainties about the reliability of electricity with Mr. Biden’s push to force millions of Americans to switch to more expensive electric vehicles, and “energy security” is becoming a mirage.
I have repeatedly pointed out the great benefits that the human race has enjoyed from the modest increase in temperatures since emerging from the Little Ice Age in the 1800s and from the carbon dioxide enrichment of Earth’s atmosphere. Perhaps most significant has been the spectacular decrease in deaths from weather-related events—a 99 percent reduction over the course of the last century. Human beings have never before been more secure in being able to withstand Mother Nature’s periodic onslaughts.
So, yes, while economic security, national security, and energy security have all become more precarious as a result of Mr. Biden’s policies, climate security continues to improve. It must be emphasized, though, that this is in spite of Mr. Biden’s policies, not because of them. In fact, it’s possible that the number of unnecessary casualties attributable to weather-related phenomena will be greater than they would be if Mr. Biden were not president. Think of the power blackouts and brownouts mentioned above. With climate alarm activists repeatedly telling us how deadly temperature extremes are, we have to wonder why they push policies that jeopardize the supply of heat in winter or air conditioning during heat waves.
Joe Biden, the politician, knows what the people want to hear. The question is whether Americans will know enough about what’s really going on to see through the president’s smokescreen of distortions, misrepresentations, and plain old hooey.