Weekly Opinion Editorial
THE ROAD NOT TAKEN
by Steve Fair
In the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll 44% of Americans said they are worse off financially during President Biden’s presidency than they were before he took office. That is the worst number for any president since ABC/Washington Post started asking the question in 1986. Only 37% of Americans approve of Biden’s job performance and 56% disapprove. When it comes to immigration at the southern border, Biden’s numbers are lower. Just 23% of Americans approve of how Biden is handling immigration. 74% of Americans believe Biden,80, is too old to be president, compared to 50% for former President Trump, who is 77.
The poll found President Trump’s job performance rating while he was in office has improved since he left office. When he left office 31months ago, only 38% of Americans approved of his performance. Now that number is up to 48%. 62% of Democrats are not happy with Biden being their nominee next year. Only 33% of Ds support him for the nomination. Three observations:
First, Americans have proven they traditionally vote with their pocketbook. James Carville was former President Bill Clinton’s political consultant back in 1992. Clinton was challenging George H.W. Bush’s re-election. The U.S. was in the midst of a recession. Carville famously coined the phrase, “it’s the economy, stupid!” when describing why Clinton should be elected. The strategy worked and Bush was defeated. Bush had successfully pushed Saddam Hussin out of Kuwait and enjoyed an approval rating at over 80% just months before, but the economy went south and so did his reelection. In 1980, Ronald Reagan highlighted President Carter’s policies that had created double digit inflation and cruised to a landslide victory. Clearly, Americans vote with their wallet.
Second, Americans are not buying Biden and the mainstream media’s spin on the economy. In spite of Biden’s claim Americans are better off under Bidenonomics, the facts show otherwise. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, grocery prices are up +20%, gasoline is up +52%, utility prices up +26% since Biden took office. The stock market has lost -1.2% during his tenure in office. Most economists blame Biden’s $2 trillion American Rescue Plan for contributing to the surge in inflation.
According to Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, “the typical American household spends $768 more on monthly purchases and services compared to 2020 because of high inflation.”
Third, it’s a long way to November 2024. Most political prognosticators predict a Biden/Trump rematch next year and the odds are that will happen, but you never know. Trump has problems with multiple indictments, ballot access challenges, twelve opponents, and age. Biden, who has no viable opponent, has a son under indictment, clear communication and cognitive issues, a stalled economy, and an age problem. When the primary season starts in Iowa in January, primary voters might just seek a fresh face instead of a retread.
Biden’s attack on what he describes Trump’s, ‘failed trickledown theory,’ is not rooted in fact. Trump’s failure wasn’t the across-the-board tax cut for all Americans. It was the cut increased the national debt. It was his spending. Both Biden and Trump pushed Congress to help them spend tax payer money America did not have. Neither exercised fiscal restraint. Until America gets a leader in the White House whose primary goal is to balance the federal budget, Americans are mortgaging their great grandchildren’s future.
In 1915, Robert Frost wrote a poem as a joke for a friend who was often indecisive about which route to take when the two went walking. The Road Not Taken became one of Frost’s most popular works. America should heed Frost’s admonition and change paths.