Issues & Insights

Biden’s ‘Accomplishments’ So Far: A Troubling Tale In 8 Charts

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Months after President Joe Biden supposedly “rescued” the country from the COVID-19 pandemic and promised that he’d bring the country together, how is the nation doing? Well, there are several indicators on the rise. Unfortunately, they are all indicators of trouble.

The news Thursday that the GDP gained 6.5% in the second quarter (the first full quarter since Biden signed his American Rescue Plan) is good. But it is well below economists’ forecasts. The Blue Chip Consensus forecast was above 9%, and other surveys pegged Q2 growth at 8.5%. It was also just barely above the gain in Q1 — which was before any of Biden’s policies had taken effect.

Still, other things are on the rise under Biden, too, many of them well above expectations.

The misery index is up, for example, so is inflation, pessimism, and financial stress. Illegal border crossings are up and murders are way up. Oh, and cases of COVID-19 — the disease Biden said he would slay — are increasing again.

Naturally, while taking credit for the good GDP number, the Biden administration is trying to pin the blame for all these other things on President Donald Trump. But how convincing can that be, when Biden ostentatiously broke with just about every one of Trump’s policies and did so in ways that had an immediate effect?

We’ve put together eight charts that help tell this story, starting with the inflation rate.

Even liberal economists were warning that Biden’s spending spree — coming after two historically large stimulus bills under Trump and long after the COVID recession had ended — would set off an inflation spiral. And what do you know? Energy costs, food costs, and the costs of most everything else are climbing at a rapid clip, despite promises from Biden that the current spike is transitory.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

While prices are rising, Biden’s unemployment bonuses and other payments to non-workers have kept people from taking jobs. Biden himself all but admitted as much when at a recent town hall, but told employers just to raise their wages. As a result, after falling rapidly under Trump, the unemployment rate has held steady since the beginning of the year.

The combination of high unemployment and soaring prices back in the 1960s gave rise to the Misery Index, which is derived simply by adding the inflation rate to the unemployment rate. As we reported recently, the Misery Index has climbed every month since Biden took office.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Despite the fact that the recession ended more than a year ago, and the economy had already made up most of the ground it lost during the lockdown when he took office, Biden talks endlessly about how he’s “rescued” an economy that was “on the brink.” He then rattles off lots of seemingly cheery statistics, crediting his $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan” and other government largesse for them all.

We’ve already detailed how this boast is based on a series of lies. But more to the point, if handing money out willy-nilly was supposed to rescue the economy and make families whole, why are people feeling more financial stress now than they were a few months ago? The IBD/TIPP Financial Stress Index has been on the rise since April.

Source: IBD/TIPP Financial Stress Index

Not only are people worried about their current financial condition, but they are also more pessimistic about their prospects for the coming year. An ABC News/Ipsos poll found pessimism about the way things are going shot up from April to July of this year.

Source: ABC News/Ipsos poll

The increase in pessimism and stress could be the result of the fact that wages haven’t been keeping up with inflation. The chart below shows the inflation-adjusted average hourly earnings for private-sector workers so far this year. Notice that this trend is not up.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Biden can hardly blame Trump for the sharp rise in violent crime, either, although he and his fellow Democrats keep insisting that it’s all because of insufficiently strict gun control laws. The real cause, of course, has been the demonization of the police by Democrats (up to and including Biden), and the often successful attempts to cut police department funding while hamstringing officers. The result has been a huge increase in murder and assaults in the nation’s major cities.

Source: Major Cities Chiefs Association

Biden also blames Trump for the crisis at the southern border. But as we’ve written about in this space already, Biden created a crisis where none existed by promising to throw open the border and grant citizenship to millions of people here illegally. Then he put Vice President Kamala Harris in charge of “fixing it,” and started blathering on about “root causes.” The results speak for themselves: an unprecedented flood of illegal immigrants, including unaccompanied children, many of whom are being released into the country.

Source: U.S. Customs and Border Patrol

And to top it off, the one thing people apparently trusted Biden to do was tackle the COVID-19 virus. He said he had a plan. He and his fellow Democrats rushed through a massive new spending bill to carry it out. But now vaccination rates have stalled and new cases are growing again thanks to the Delta variant.

Biden and Co. have been busy trying to pin the blame for this on Republicans, but as we reported recently, it’s minority groups and other Democratic constituencies who are least likely to be vaccinated. And, because Biden has spent so much time raising the hysteria level about COVID, he can’t just admit that this virus will be with us forever and tell people to “live with it,” as Trump once (correctly) advised. Instead, he’s pointing fingers and fumbling about with new mask mandates, forced vaccinations, and other draconian measures.

Source: Our World in Data

It is true that Biden has been in office for only six months. It’s also true things could turn around. But we don’t see that happening unless Biden changes course.

We have no doubt that Biden was very much hoping one day to tell the public how he killed COVID and saved the economy (just as he once bragged that “Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive” while he and President Barack Obama where in the White House).

The way things are going right now, Biden might one day have to admit that “the economy is dead, but COVID is alive.”

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.

12 comments

  • Sirs–
    Feeble attempt to put down Biden administration when in fact GOP out to Just Say No at every turn. What had Trump done about the virus? compare now to Biden.

    • Surely you jest! When the plandemic was unleashed the first step by President Trump (usually all caps but adhering to policy) was to stop travel from China. This was condemned by Impotus joe and harris. First step by Impotus joe and harris was to fling open our borders to allow an invasion of untested and unvetted people from all over the world (except from Cuba – those got sent back)! President Trump worked with cdc to loosen the strings to allow the drug companies to develop “vaccines” in record time. Impotus joe and harris have added road blocks at every turn for any common sense approaches. Actually that is a continuation of the cdc’s and democrat controlled agencies to prevent common sense usage of Ivermectin and HCQ! There are so many good things that have been cancelled and bad things enacted that it would take days to compile. And that is only for the first six months of this illegal administrations destruction of Our Nation!

    • What had Trump done about the virus? First, he stopped people from China from coming into the country. Second, he spoke of treatments (i.e. hydroxychloriquine) not just vaccines and was ridiculed for it. No one from team biden ever speaks of how to treat the virus, it is all about the vaccine. What vaccine? Third point, the vaccine that DJT moved mountains to get to the market by 2020. Fourth, the Trump Administration held daily pressers to allow media to ask questions and get information. team joe keeps a lid on communication. no pressers, just confusing messages. Yet, it was joe biden that bragged that he would beat the virus and look where we are.
      What has biden done about the virus, other than oversee it spread? Not sure what ‘GOP just saying ‘no” has to do with this topic. joe and kamala cannot solve any problem they are faced with.

    • Trump stopped travel from China, then from Europe while Democrats and Fauci opposed it before reversing themselves on travel bans. The Trump administration facilitated getting vaccines available in record time while Dims said it would be impossible, after which Biden, naturally, took credit for it. All Biden knows how to do is enrich his family by selling access. Want to buy a $500k painting from Hunter?

    • Is this comment an attempt at sarcasm?!? I sure hope so. Were you asleep during the last administration? Most radical opposition in history. You ask what Trump did about the virus? There would be no vaccine at all if it were not for Operation Warp Speed. Come on, Fred. Please tell me you posted that comment as a joke!!

    • What had Trump done about the virus? Operation Warp Speed largely funded vaccine research and production under Trump. The USA was vaccinating just under 1 million people per day by the time Biden took office and had roughly 50 million doses available for distribution to the states.

    • Would you call trying to ban travel from a known infected area to the US an attempt to stop the virus? Would you call sending hospital ships to highly infected areas an attempt to help deal with it? What about Operation Warp speed that was so decried by the current President and his VP that folks still don’t trust the vaccine, just because of who was President and how he made it possible to get a vaccine within such a short time frame, any chance that may have been “doing something about the virus.” as you so aptly asked, get a life and get some help for your TDS friend. What has Biden done that’s actually helped with the virus that Trump hadn’t already implemented?

    • Remember “resist, insist, desist, enlist” Hillary still does not believe she lost. No the republicans control …… nada. The democrats control the white house, the house of representatives and the senate but the GOP are poo poo heads because……

  • Biden opened the border and allowed thousands to flow in unhampered, untested, and then quickly spread them throughout the United States, especially into red states. With them came a new Covid variant known as the Columbia Variant, which is now spreading throughout the country. Now you know why they are panicking and pushing the vaccine and masks again. The masks, of course, will not help, but they look as though they are doing something by demanding you wear them. The vaccine may help, and it may not. But when you hear talk about the India variant understand that you are being played! Very few now are coming down with that. It is the Columbia Variant that is fast spreading through the nation and Biden and his Administration are totally to blame for that. His open border policy is what brought it here in mass! Don’t forget that.

  • I’ve been a political independent since before my pate became shiny and my teeth lengthened, which means that I’ve suffered decades of Joe Biden’s tergiversations and obfuscations without having to issue apologias for him as my Democratic friends have done.

    Before rising to the political pinnacle, Mr. Biden was best known for decades of amiable backslapping and chit accumulation around Washington, skills which Barack Obama recognized would be helpful as he sought to become the first of his race to gain the same pinnacle. Mr. Biden weaponized his inoffensiveness to such a degree that Rep. James Clyburn could muscle Kamala Harris onto the ticket even after Ms. Harris had savaged Mr. Biden in the party primaries.

    It is fortunate indeed that the Peter Principle clings so closely to the vice president that the same distinction is deflected somewhat from the president. But independents, impervious to Democratic Party loyalty, see cognitive problems clearly and are chagrined that both president and vice president are below acceptable standards for high office.

  • Biden has been mostly wrong for 48nyear, why are we expecting any thing different?

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