After 18 Months of Biden, Have We Hit Bottom Yet?


Next week will mark one and a half years since Joe Biden became president on Jan. 20, 2021. On July 20, every American should look within and ask: “Am I better off than I was 18 months ago?”

To Biden’s credit, the unemployment rate has fallen from 6.4% when he took office to 3.6% in June. Today’s figure is a notch higher than the 3.5% joblessness that Americans enjoyed in February 2020, thanks to President Donald Trump’s Republican tax cuts, deregulation, energy dominance, and other pro-growth initiatives.

Tragically, just a month later, COVID-19 padlocked earth’s economy and capsized so much of the progress that Trump had achieved.

But beyond the employment situation, virtually everything else has plunged due south under Biden. Indeed, it is stunning just how deeply and swiftly Biden has sunk the USA through his meandering leadership and incompetently delivered, far-left public policies.

The latest data confirm the destruction that he and his fellow Democrats have wrought:

  • Inflation stood at 1.4%, year over year, in January 2021. By June 2022, that figure was 9.1%, the worst such increase in the Consumer Price Index since November 1981.
  • Gross domestic product grew 6.4% in 2021’s first quarter. In the first quarter of 2022, GDP shrank 1.6%.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 31,188 on Jan. 20, 2021. The Dow closed Wednesday at 30,722. Pension savings, 401(k) plans, and other investment portfolios have shriveled under Biden.
  • The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index measures short-term expectations for income, business, and labor markets. That metric has slid from 92.5 in January 2021 to 66.4 last month—its lowest level since March 2013.
  • The National Federation of Independent Business’ Small Business Optimism Index has retreated on Biden’s watch from 95.0 to 89.5—its weakest showing since January 2013 under the Obama-Biden administration. The federation observed: “Small-business owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months decreased seven points to a net negative 61%, the lowest level recorded in the 48-year survey. Expectations for better conditions have worsened every month this year.”
  • The National Association of Realtors’ Housing Affordability Index has waned from a sanguine 187.2 in January 2021 to a worrisome 102.5 this past May, as home prices and mortgage costs rose in tandem.
  • West Texas Intermediate crude oil traded for $53.24 per barrel as Biden took over. It sold Wednesday for $96.87—up 82%. A gallon of regular gasoline cost $2.39 as Biden arrived. It hit $5.01 before easing to $4.63 on Wednesday—up 93.7% since Trump jetted off to Mar-a-Lago.
  • Border Patrol agents apprehended 754,538 illegal aliens during Trump’s final 16 months in office (Oct. 1, 2019, through Jan. 31, 2021—including Biden’s first 11 days). In Biden’s first full 16 months in power (Feb. 1, 2021, through May 31), Border Patrol confronted a stunning 2,975,135 illegal aliens—up a staggering 394%.

According to the Monmouth University poll, 42% of Americans thought the nation was on the right track in January 2021, while 51% thought it was on the wrong track. This month, Monmouth reported, “Just 10% of Americans say the country is headed in the right direction, while 88% say it is on the wrong track. This marks an all-time low for this question going back to 2013.”

All of this helps explain why the RealClearPolitics survey average registers Biden’s job approval at 38.5%, barely ahead of Trump’s 38.0% as he left office. Siena College’s pollsters this week found Biden’s job approval at 33% overall and at just 62% with blacks, 32% among Hispanics, and a cataclysmic 25% for independents.

Biden has accomplished something extraordinary: For him to have dragged America this low, this quickly, is a real achievement, of a sort.

The Daily Signal publishes a variety of perspectives. Nothing written here is to be construed as representing the views of The Heritage Foundation.

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