Republicans have come up with a new tactic for everything they see as a problem in our country: “Blame Biden!” They claim that if President Biden and the Democrats aren’t stopped, things are just going to get worse. On July 30, Republican Rep. Tim Walberg (MI-07) posted to his Facebook page: “It’s no surprise Americans’ optimism is plummeting when you consider President Biden’s dismal first 6 months in office. Spike in inflation. Higher gas prices. Crisis on the border. Surge in crime.” Does Walberg believe that Biden, or any president, can control these complex situations?
Let’s look at inflation. One of the biggest drivers of inflation is supply and demand. If the demand for a good or service is greater than its availability, the price goes up. During the pandemic, the economy slowed down. Suppliers reduced their inventories. Things shut down. Now that the economy is rapidly opening again, there is an increased demand for many products and services: a demand that did not exist during the pandemic. But it takes time for industry to get up to speed and increase supplies to pre-pandemic levels. There are also bottlenecks in the supply chain. Once these situations are resolved, prices will start to decrease as the supply increases — just as we saw happen in the lumber industry. As was the case for lumber, this inflation is temporary and not Biden’s fault.
Other markets have also seen dramatic price increases. Homebuyers are paying thousands to tens of thousands of dollars above the asking price for homes, contributing to inflation. Prices rose 17.2% between June 2020 and June 2021, the largest one-year increase since 1979. Biden’s fault? Also, after more than a year of the pandemic, the supply of many consumer goods and services is low but the pent-up demand is high. For example, during the pandemic when no one was traveling, the rental car industry sold off many of their cars just to stay afloat. Now that vaccinated people are anxious to travel there is a greater demand for rentals, but the companies no longer have a sufficient supply of cars to meet that demand, which results in higher prices. According to a July 13 CNBC report, the price of rental cars and trucks has gone up 87.7% since the same time last year. Biden’s fault?
Biden is also being blamed for higher gasoline prices. But the president has no control over the factors that contribute to these inflated prices such as the price of crude oil, which is the major cause of gasoline price fluctuation. Last year people stopped traveling due to the pandemic. The price of oil plummeted. Oil suppliers like the United States, Russia, and Saudi Arabia (and other OPEC countries) cut their production. Now that oil demand is higher, Russia and OPEC are extending their output cuts leading to low supply and high prices. Biden’s fault?
The so-called crisis at the border is an ongoing problem, but the surge we are now experiencing, as in the past, is short-term. Biden did change some border policies for humanitarian reasons which contributed to more immigrants wanting to get into the country. But heat waves, natural disasters, and the fear of gang violence forced more people to seek safety and helped smugglers convince migrants to try their luck: things beyond Biden’s control.
Finally, blaming Biden for the “surge in crime” is pure political baloney as public safety and crime is mostly a state and local issue, not a federal one. Also, according to criminal justice expert and law professor Ronald Wright, although homicides are up, other violent crimes are close to steady, and nonviolent crimes are down. As to non-homicide crimes, Wright states that “we’re still way down at the lower levels that we had been moving toward over the last couple of decades.” Regarding homicide, he agrees that “The availability of a gun increases the chance that someone in that household at some point is going to use it.” So, Biden is not to blame for a “crime surge.” In fact, in order to reduce homicides, he is trying to make it harder to get weapons.
The Republicans are desperate. They continue to blatantly lie to try to scare citizens and imply that the Biden administration is ineffective. Why? Because they know that they are in trouble in the next rounds of elections. Don’t fall for their lies.
DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.