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Home/The State of the Union/One Year In Joe Biden’s America

One Year In Joe Biden’s America

Covid, inflation, and a migrant crisis, oh my!

Welcome to President Joe Biden’s America: record-high inflation, an ongoing crisis on the southern border, and the rapid expansion of the national debt, all while giving up on his main campaign promise to shut down Covid-19.

The numbers, whether metrics from the U.S. economy or public polling, don’t bode well for Biden, the soon-to-be octogenarian heading into just the second year of his presidency. I don’t want to get out over my skis, given President Donald Trump seemed to have a clear path to reelection this time just two years ago, but Republicans seem poised to make big gains in this year’s midterms. If a red wave crashes this November, Democrats will try to blame the DINOs, namely Sens. Manchin or Sinema, but the blame falls squarely on Biden’s shoulders for his abysmal record.

Preliminary data shows that the cost of consumer goods rose about 7 percent in 2021. The 7 percent increase in prices set a new record for the U.S. in the 21st century, which prior to last year had not eclipsed 4 percent . In fact, one has to go back all the way to 1981 to find an inflation rate higher than the one Americans experienced last year. At the time, the U.S. was in the midst of a recession caused, in part, by then-Chair of the Federal Reserve Paul Volcker’s decision to increase short-term interest rates for an extended period of time to bring the stagflation of the Carter years to heel, which it eventually did.

Biden’s first year also added about $2 trillion to the national debt, which already sat at a staggering $27.8 trillion when he took office. This increase was thanks primarily to Biden’s misdirected Covid relief and an infrastructure package filled with progressive priorities, rather than the infrastructure improvements the American working class actually needs.

Furthermore, 1.78 million migrants were apprehended at the southern border, and 1 million migrants have been expelled from the U.S. under Title 42, the health regulations put in place by the Trump administration to turn away migrants in March 2020 because of Covid-19, in FY 2021. At first glance, this might seem like a silver lining, but the increased number of expulsions and apprehensions have been caused by the Biden administration’s rhetoric and policies that encouraged a record-breaking number of migrants to seek entrance to the United States. The 1.78 million migrant apprehensions is nearly quadruple that of the 458,000 apprehensions in 2020, and nearly double that of the 977,508 apprehensions in 2019, which saw a migrant crisis of its own.

The migrant surge has contributed to a record-number of pending cases in immigration courts, which now stands at 1.6 million. When Trump left office, the immigration case backlog was 1.3 million cases.

Arguably, Biden’s foremost campaign promise was that he would “shut down” Covid-19, which killed just over 385,000 Americans in 2020. However, less than a year into his presidency, Biden openly admitted his administration would not be able to deliver on that key promise. “There is no federal solution,” to Covid-19, Biden told a group of governors during a late-December phone call. Last year, more than 450,000 Americans died of Covid-19, despite the proliferation of vaccines. It’s astonishing how quickly Biden admitted defeat in the face of Covid-19. For comparison, President George H.W. Bush took nearly two years to renege on his promise of “no new taxes.” That didn’t end well for the 41st president.

Even Biden’s defenders in the corporate media have been forced to admit the first year of Biden’s presidency, which was supposed to deliver the nation from the darkness of the Trump years, has been an unmitigated disaster. “Joe Biden enters the second year of his presidency looking for a reset after a tumultuous first 12 months,” one CNNheadline read. A NBC News headline proclaimed, “Biden ends first year as president with ‘bleak, discouraging’ marks from the public,” announcing the findings of a new NBC News poll. Another headline, surely intended to be the most damning of Biden’s first year, from Politico, read, “Biden’s first-year report card: Just like Trump’s.”

Of course, once the 2022 election cycle is in full-swing, Biden’s defenders are sure to fall in line. But Biden’s first year seriously calls into question his viability as candidate for Democrats come 2024. This isn’t a cheap shot at Biden’s mental faculties or age (he’d be 82 at the start of his second term), though those considerations merit serious discussion. No, this is purely based on the president’s performance. Rumors are already circulating that Harris, Buttigieg, or Warren might replace Biden as the Democrats’ frontman (or woman). If Republicans retake the House, and possibly the Senate, could Biden benefit from the low expectations that a divided government brings? It’s possible. But for now, I’m thinking: One year down, three to go.

about the author

Bradley Devlin is a Staff Reporter for The American Conservative. Previously, he was an Analysis Reporter for the Daily Caller, and has been published in the Daily Wire and the Daily Signal, among other publications that don't include the word "Daily." He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in Political Economy. You can follow Bradley on Twitter @bradleydevlin.

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