Issues & Insights
Image by

As Shortages Persist Under Biden, It’s Time To Ask: Is This On Purpose?

Did the United States suddenly become a socialist basket case? It’s hard not to come to that conclusion after reading about the endless shortages plaguing the nation. Each of which President Joe Biden either seems clueless to resolve or determined to make worse.

Let’s start with the biggest one: the shortage of diesel fuel. While Biden was busy draining the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to tamp down gas prices before the midterm elections, the real worry was that supplies of diesel fuel have been running short.

Two years after the short-lived COVID lockdowns ended, diesel inventories continued to trend downward to their lowest levels since 2008. The cost for a gallon of diesel fuel is 46% higher than it was a year ago, according to AAA, and now costs more than $5 a gallon.

That affects every corner of the economy because, while passenger cars mostly use regular gasoline, diesel powers just about everything else that makes the economy move, and many homes, especially in the northeast, rely on heating oil – a related product – to keep their families from freezing to death.

The American Farm Bureau Federation tried to alert Biden to the scale of this problem weeks ago. “Our nation’s food supply is driven by diesel. High diesel prices are severely impacting our farmers and ranchers, causing increased costs to consumers, and adding to food insecurity.”

One big factor for all this: declining refinery capacity. After trending upward for years, it has fallen off each year since. A big reason: Biden’s war on fossil fuels.

“If you are a refiner forecasting billions in losses — and you require massive investments in order to keep your refinery operating safely and in compliance with the laws — you may very well simply make the decision to close down,” writes Robert Rapier in Forbes.

So, what does Biden propose to rectify this situation? Is he recommending easing restrictions on refineries to encourage more supply, reverse course on his environmental radicalism?

Nope. He wants to require fuel suppliers to maintain a minimum amount of diesel in their inventories this winter. In other words, pull more diesel off the market, which will probably result in panic buying, increase shortages, and cause prices to spike even more.


Look around and you see shortages everywhere you turn.

The Food and Drug Administration reports a shortage of liquid amoxicillin, an antibiotic often prescribed to children to treat upper respiratory infections as they surge.  

And one reason for the increased infections? The lockdowns imposed by Biden’s Democratic colleagues that kept children isolated for nearly two years and compromised their immune systems.

“What we’re seeing now is the impact of having decreased immunity over the last couple of years,” Dr. Rishi Lulla of Rhode Island’s Hasbro Children’s Hospital told The Hill.

We’ve also come to find out that pharmacies are critically low on Adderall and its generic equivalents, which are used to treat hyperactivity and impulse control.

Leo Beletsky, a professor of law and health sciences at Northeastern University, says that “the scarcity is going to last for many more months because of supply chain problems as well as federal restrictions on manufacturers and imports.” (Emphasis added.)

“The FDA has powerful tools at its disposal to ease the Adderall shortage,” Beletsky says. “This includes attracting and fast-tracking approval for international manufacturers and helping rapidly develop domestic production.”

How many of those tools do you suppose Biden is pushing the FDA to use?

Meanwhile, a shortage of Tamiflu – an antiviral used to treat the flu – might be on its way. WXIA-TV in Atlanta reports that “demand is outpacing supply of Tamiflu in Georgia and you might encounter a pharmacy that is low or even temporarily out of the medicine you need to avoid serious illness.”

And, despite promises from Biden that he was on top of this, there are still shortages of baby formula around the country.

As Politico reported earlier this month, “Biden administration officials are still grappling with baby formula supply challenges across the country, eight months after a key formula plant shuttered and sparked widespread shortages.”

Did you know there’s been an alarming scarcity of concrete, too? Some 43 states are reported to be experiencing a concrete shortage due to a limited supply of materials used to make it, which has delayed road work and other construction projects around the country while adding to their costs.

The Rochester, Minnesota, Post-Bulletin reports that “EPA restrictions on coal plants and the shortage of rail cars hauling cement,” a component of concrete, “are two factors that caused the shortage.” (Emphasis added.)

The Biden administration has known about this shortage for months. Back in June, the Associated General Contractors of America called on Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez to “intervene in the increasingly dire supply for cement in the U.S. before major economic disruptions occur.”

There’s even concern about a butter shortage as the number of dairy cows dwindles and milk production falls. The cost of butter has skyrocketed by nearly 27% since last year.

Even if you like federal regulations, now would be the time to loosen any rules that are standing in the way of production to get supplies of goods and services increasing.

But the only thing that isn’t in short supply these days are dumb ideas that keep spilling forth from the White House. The question is, are these dumb ideas the result of bad advice from economic ignoramuses surrounding Biden? Or are these endless disruptions intentional, part of some plan by the left to increase government control over the economy?

We’re not conspiracy mongers here. But given the way things have been going in Biden’s America these days, we’re not sure we can entirely rule out the latter possibility.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

We Could Use Your Help

Issues & Insights was founded by seasoned journalists of the IBD Editorials page. Our mission is to provide timely, fact-based reporting and deeply informed analysis on the news of the day -- without fear or favor.

We’re doing this on a voluntary basis because we believe in a free press, and because we aren't afraid to tell the truth, even if it means being targeted by the left. Revenue from ads on the site help, but your support will truly make a difference in keeping our mission going. If you like what you see, feel free to visit our Donations Page by clicking here. And be sure to tell your friends!

You can also subscribe to I&I: It's free!

Just enter your email address below to get started.


I & I Editorial Board

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


  • The crap will hit the proverbial fan in the not to distance future here in America and Joe and the rest of the schmucks will be exposed for their not only inept abilities but their deceit.
    So be it.

      • Voters. But, there’s a problem, and its with elections. Can you guess what the problem is? Florida under the leadership of their governor has worked to correct this, and should serve as a model.

  • Ignorance, idiocy, incompetence or intentional? A tough question to answer, but likely intentional with nuances. The consistency of the downward trajectories in the economy and USA life in general (health, crime, drug dependence, etc) cannot be random chance. The common denominator is personnel and hiring decisions. Biden picked his VP based on gender and race. Of course, a leftist, anti-capitalist, Marxist, communist or socialist bent was also a hiring prerequisite. Take a look at some of the rejected nominees, steeped in Marxism and communist dogmas. Look at the Federal Reserve Bank, which could not recognize price inflation (by their own admission), but brags endlessly about their racial and gender diversity. Affirmative action promotions, perhaps, not merit or real world (non-academic) experience. The central bank has not so misinterpreted Keynes and Modern Monetary Theory since 1929-1933, when the Fed misread the data and shrank the money supply during an economic downturn and helped turn a recession into a depression.

    Getting gender and race right is more important to today’s Democrats than the right monetary policy at the right time. Simple as that. Biden and the Democrats are results-oriented, but the results that matter most for them revolve around race, gender, equity and social dogmas. If the economy crashes, inflation rages, and crime and drug-dependence run rampant across Open Borders, that is just transition collateral damage on the way to a race and gender Utopia with all union labor (no independent contractors) and no fossil fuels. Democrats having absolute power and dictating life choices from the top-down is the primary goal, all that really matters. Democrats want to dictate the American way of life, just like Stalin dictated the Soviet way of life. This is intentional, even if achieved by hiring idiots and incompetents or the least qualified with the right gender and skin color.

  • Since 3/15/2020. Magically. Suddenly nothing worked right.
    Irony is watching Merika’s taxpayers fund the destruction.
    If u lined up for the cure, then you euthanized yourself.
    270 million of ya. Thank you.
    Can I have your stuff

  • Joe Biden has a 50-year track record of being an intellectual lightweight. Along with being corrupt to the core, Biden is also a proven liar, braggart, serial plagiarist, grifter and fraud. Want to explain our current state as a nation? 1. Joe is an incompetent moron and 2. Follow the money. Someone’s getting rich here and Joe likely has his finger in it.

  • Is the shortage on purpose? Oh, kind sir, it is more than a shortage. We are witnessing the purposeful & malignant implosion of America. And, it did not begin under the Fraudulent Biden….

    • Evan Sayet covers the slow, corrupting influence the, well, the l ef tists have had now over a couple generations … he has given several good talks on this subject of the years …a search on his name should show those up on YT.

  • These are endless disruptions that are intentional, part of some plan by the left to increase government control over the economy?

  • “are these endless disruptions intentional, part of some plan by the left to increase government control over the economy?”

  • Of course it is. Search the map for fires in food processing plants, compare with the rest of the world, and see the pattern. Have a food reserve always at home, and if you can afford it, a 6 mo. long term food supply. Plenty of ammo too, and a solar generator. Hard times are coming.

    • Now, some of that is due to delayed or put-off, and in some cases outright forgotten maintenance on equipment. We’re talking gas-fired boilers and cookers and ovens that need periodic inspection and maintenance, and we were all locked down for the last couple of years … don’t forget that.

  • As I am sure many others have said either here or elsewhere, just ask yourself this question: If Biden et. al. actually said they were deliberately trying to get these results, what would they be doing differently than they are doing now?

    The damage and harm the American Left will do will be inestimable, but the Left does not care. They are convinced that whatever follows cannot possibly be worse than what has been. They literally believe that for America to cease in every historically meaningful sense cannot possibly turn out worse than what it is now. They are intentionally trying to destroy America’s central institutions, the Supreme Court being only the latest example. They deeply believe that ANY outcome will be an improvement over the country’s present and past. They simply hate this country and all that it is and has ever been.

    However, remember that Leftism, no matter in what venue it manifests itself, is NEVER about the welfare and benefit about the proles. It is *always* about the privileges, profits, and riches that the Revolutionary Vanguard can carve out for themselves. In every chest of Leftist ideologues beats a heart filled with greed for themselves and contempt for everyone else – including other ideologues, whom they view first of all as competitors, not allies.

    There is no example anywhere in the world in history where Leftists, whether mere socialists or anywhere along the continuum to full communism, have selflessly worked for the common good. Not. One. Time. The only goal of any Leftist ascension to power has been to entrench the positions, status, privileges, and personal wealth of the Revolutionary Vanguard, by whatever name it may call itself.

  • if this was all just run of the mill mistakes and they were all about what is best for america; wouldn’t you think that at SOME point, SOMEONE would say “huh. that’s not what we wanted. we need to stop that and do something else.”

About Issues & Insights

Issues & Insights is run by the seasoned journalists behind the legendary IBD Editorials page. Our goal is to bring our decades of combined journalism experience to help readers understand the top issues of the day. We’re doing this on a voluntary basis, because we believe the nation needs the kind of cogent, rational, data-driven, fact-based commentary that we can provide. 

We Could Use Your Help

Help us fight for honesty in journalism and against the tyranny of the left. Issues & Insights is published by the editors of what once was Investor's Business Daily's award-winning opinion pages. If you like what you see, leave a donation by clicking on donate button above. You can also set up regular donations if you like. Ad revenue helps, but your support will truly make a difference. (Please note that we are not set up as a charitable organization, so donations aren't tax deductible.) Thank you!
%d bloggers like this: