A sign displays gas prices at a gas station on May 10, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois.

POLITICS: Biden isn’t fooling anyone ⁠— inflation is his fault and he has no solution to fix it

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If you like your inflation, you can keep your inflation. 

Okay, Joe Biden didn’t say that. But he would have if he were being honest.

The president set himself an easy task Tuesday — to show a dispirited public he cares about their painful straits. As he put it, “I want every American to know that I’m taking inflation very seriously and it’s my top domestic priority.” 

Just not seriously enough to bring a single new idea to the table. Instead he fell back on tired tropes about how none of the historic increase in prices is his fault. 

With Biden, the buck always stops somewhere else.

The two straw men he trotted out were familiar — the pandemic and the Putin Price Hike. The latter coined phrase is as ridiculous as President Gerald Ford’s WIN gambit, for Whip Inflation Now, and will no doubt be just as effective economically and politically. 

Asked by a reporter after his address whether he accepted any responsibility for the crisis, Biden said no, adding: “I think our policies help, not hurt.”

Saying so doesn’t make it true. 

Nor was it credible for him to claim, again, that there is rampant price gouging by oil and lumber companies and beef distributors. 

As usual, his performance was marred by a halting, stumbling delivery as if he were reading his speech for the first time. An even bigger problem is that his argument is no match for the reality Americans see and feel. 

Consider these numbers: CNN reports 81% of the public thinks the government is not doing enough to combat inflation. 

Fox reports that just 36% approve of Biden’s handling of the economy. 

And all that was before the latest record hike in gasoline prices. The national average price of regular unleaded is now $4.37 a gallon, up from $4.20 last week and $2.97 a year ago. 

A sign displays gas prices at a gas station on May 10, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois.
President Joe Biden’s war on the oil industry has caused pain at the pump.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

He’s to blame

Against that backdrop, the White House had to know there was no chance the president’s “I care” appearance would make much of a difference, raising the question of why he bothered. One theory is that the inflation data that comes out Wednesday will be more bad news and Biden’s team saw an advantage in getting ahead of it by having him tell voters he really, really feels their pain. 

That’s not much of a reason, but the decision to go ahead shows how the administration has hit a wall of its own making. Even with the tanking stock market and growing belief the Federal Reserve’s planned interest rate hikes will throw the economy into a recession, Biden seems unable to change course and adopt policies that could help tame inflation and earn him and his party a second look from voters. 

For example, despite the fact that many economists believe the massive government spending during the height of the COVID war, including $2 trillion spent last year, was a major cause of the surge in consumer demand and prices, Biden continues to push for more spending that would add to inflation pressures. 

Then there’s the issue of energy supplies and the resulting price of oil being stuck around $100 a barrel. If the president were to flip-flop and make a serious push to increase production, he would face a revolt within his own party. 

Many Democrats actually wouldn’t mind if gas prices hit $10 a gallon because, they believe, that would hasten the move away from fossil fuels. Such is their devotion to the devil in their Green New Deal that the problems people face here and now don’t matter to them. 

Demonized GOP

The president did have one other objective Tuesday, and it came off this way: if you think things are bad now, they’ll get worse if you vote to give Republicans control of Congress. To make his point, he flat out lied about GOP plans, saying they would put Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security up for regular “survival votes.”

Shameful, but any port in a storm. 

To get any sense of what Biden really believes, it was necessary to watch him answer a handful of questions afterwards. Most revealing was his use of the word “confused” to describe voters. He also called them “frustrated” and “not focused.”

Demonstrators protest outside of the U.S. Supreme Court Thursday, May 5, 2022 in Washington.
Team Biden and the Democrats are exploiting votes from the Supreme Court’s incoming decision on Roe v. Wade.
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

“It’s confusing,” he said at one point. “They’re scratching their heads and asking, what the heck is Russia doing.”

He then seemed to realize he had insulted the people he was trying to appeal to, and interjected, “I’m not suggesting the American people can’t understand.”

Of course he was, and in fact, he’s the one trying to confuse them by spinning the nonsense about the causes of inflation.

Biden’s dire economic predicament explains why Dems are latching on to the imminent Supreme Court ruling that will likely overrule Roe v. Wade. The White House and Senate Democrats are trying to gin up the anger machine and are supporting the crowds gathering outside some of the justices’ houses.

They’re playing with fire, and their willingness to risk violence shows how desperate party leaders are to motivate voters. My guess is that they will fail to reshape the political climate because, for most families, even the heated topic of abortion is less important than the double gut punch of inflation and a recession.

Underdog is ‘right’

Democrat Tom Suozzi is generally given little chance of defeating Gov. Hochul in the primary race for governor, but the Long Island congressman is making a big bet on an issue where Hochul is weak — fighting crime.

Suozzi’s op-ed in Tuesday’s Post accused her of doing next to nothing to help the city combat the bloody surge while pointing out that other urban areas across the state, including Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse, also have soaring crime and murder rates. He promised a 15-point plan that would give judges more discretion and vowed to remove DAs who won’t prosecute serious cases. 

 Governor Kathy Hochul
Gov. Kathy Hochul refuses to fix New York’s disastrous bail laws.
Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of Governor Kathy Hochul

Hochul has largely ignored Suozzi, believing a greater threat comes from another primary opponent, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, who is challenging her from the left. 

Recent elections suggest Hochul is correct that the state party has shifted far left, but crime could complicate that analysis. If nothing else, Suozzi’s run will tell us whether there are any moderate Dems left in New York.

No way Joe runs show

Count reader Bob Heier among those who believe Biden is just a figurehead president, writing: “Who in the world can actually believe that this sorry old man can even conceive of such destructive policies, let alone order them to be activated? Who can continue to believe that a man who shrinks in fear from the Easter Bunny can actually be in charge?” 

He adds: “Who can believe that it is anyone else but Barack Obama who is actually running our country?”



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