When he wasn’t admiring his White House portrait, Barack Obama managed to say a nice thing about President Joe Biden. He must have been joking, though, because what he said defies reality.
“Joe, it is now America’s good fortune to have you as president,” Obama said. “The country is better off than when you took office. We should all be deeply grateful for that.”
Our “good fortune”? Let’s review just how much “better off” we all are thanks to Biden and his fellow Democrats.
COVID deaths: When Biden took office on the promise that he had a plan that would end COVID, the official death count was 424,318. Today it is over 1.044 million. In other words, there have been nearly 620,000 COVID deaths on Biden’s watch. And that’s despite all the interventions Biden claimed would end the pandemic. Are the families of those 620,000 people better off?
Inflation: Despite the recent decline in pump prices, gasoline costs 91% more than it did on January 2021, according to the Consumer Price Index. Food prices are up 14%. Overall prices have climbed 13% in the time Biden has been president. To put that last number in perspective, the overall increase in the CPI during President Donald Trump’s entire four years in office was just 7%.
Real earnings: How about workers, are they better off? While wages have climbed, they haven’t nearly kept pace with Bidenflation. As a result, workers have seen their real wages decline by 5%, which works out to an effective average pay cut of $2,726 a year. Does that, in Obama’s mind, make them better off?
Financial stress: Inflation and a sluggish economy have had an impact on people’s sense of financial stress. When Biden took office, the IBD/TIPP Financial Related Stress Index stood at 61.6. Anything over 50 indicates increased stress. (TIPP is also a polling partner of Issues & Insights.) That was understandable since the economy was still reeling from the COVID lockdowns the previous year. But the financial stress index was 69.3 in July 2022, or 12.5% higher. Anyone want to argue that people are better off under Biden when it comes to their financial worries?
Economic optimism: The IBD/TIPP economic optimism index stood at 50.1 when Biden took office, and then climbed during the first few months of his presidency. But once Biden’s economic policies started to take effect, confidence plunged. It is now a desperately low 38.1. The last time it was this low, Biden was vice president.
Unity: When it comes to how united the country is, well, our differences are also worse since Biden took office, despite his solemn pledge to bring the country back together after Trump’s supposedly highly divisive term. The TIPP unity index stands at 28.5, which is down from 37.8 back in April 2021 – the first month TIPP began tracking this. Even Democrats overwhelmingly think Biden has failed to unite the country, with the index plunging from 53.7 in April 2021 to 35.8 today.
Stock market: On the last trading day before Biden took office, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 30,997. Last week, it closed at 32,151. On paper, that’s a gain of 4% – which over the span of 18 months isn’t much to brag about. (Over those same months in Trump’s administration, the Dow shot up 37%.) After accounting for inflation, investors have lost money under Biden.
Crime: The number of aggravated assaults was up 4% in the first half of 2022 compared with the first half of 2021, according to the Council on Criminal Justice. Robberies are up 19%. Motor vehicle thefts are up 15%. While murder rates are down slightly from 2021, they are still higher than they were in the first half of 2020 and way above where they were before COVID.
Direction of the country: The week after Biden took office, 61% of the public said the country was on the wrong track, according to the Real Clear Politics average. Today, more than 70% say the country is on the wrong track. If there’s a better indication of just how much “better off” people believe we are under Biden, it’s hard to top that.
Finally, there’s the fact that a majority of Americans now favor impeaching Biden. A new Rasmussen survey finds that 52% of likely voters want him impeached. Even among Democrats, almost a third (32%) want him impeached.
Ask yourself, are you “deeply grateful” for how things have turned out under Biden? If not, what are you going to do about it?
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board