In Biden’s America, Citizens Live in Fear

During Joe Biden’s first year in office, America’s demeanor has changed dramatically from the optimism characteristic of the prior administration to near-total fear. Biden’s policies have led to alarm for taxpaying citizens especially.

Americans want to feel safe and secure. The prior administration always confronted adversaries with a “peace through strength” philosophy. ISIS was eliminated, leaders of other terrorist movements were brought to justice, Russia knew not to confront the United States, China and North Korea were held in check. And in the Middle East, historic peace treaties were signed whileIran was starved by U.S. sanctions. As a result they, too, had to curtail their terrorist activities. Even progress on their nuclear ambitions slowed.

The prior administration had all but sealed the southern border to stop the flow of illegal immigration, and was in the process of building a wall to permanently solve the problem.Until the COVID pandemic, Americans felt very secure and had little to fear.

In Biden’s first year, he has reversed nearly all of the prior administration’s foreign policies. He has emboldened both Russia and China to act aggressively. China is now threatening Taiwan and Russia is threatening the Ukraine. Neither China nor Russia seem to be concerned about any U.S. action.

He has projected weakness to our friends and foes alike with his chaotic and disastrous retreat from Afghanistan. He has relieved some sanctions on Iran, and has encouraged them to act aggressively and increase their support of terrorist groups in the region. Biden wants to renegotiate with Iran to curtail their nuclear program, but Iran feels they are now dealing from a much stronger position and they have consequently increased their demands.

He has reversed every policy on the southern border that the courts would allow. The number of illegal immigrants coming into the country has increased from just over 200,000 in 2020 to over 2 million in 2021.  

Yet American anxiety over the state of the economy is paramount. Prior to the pandemic the American economy was growing while producing almost no inflation and reaching an historic low of 3.5 percent unemployment. But those good times, it seems, are over.

Inflation for 2021 will show 7.5 percent as soon as the December Consumer Price Index numbers are available. Since virtually all Americans will see wage increases less than this inflation rate, there will be a decline in both purchasing power and standard of living. Americans fear they may not be able to pay for the basics, like food and energy.

Taxpaying Americans are very fearful of Biden’s spending. He has run up huge deficits as he continues to give free money to Americans that he determines are in need. Of course, all of that spending will have to be paid for through higher taxes. Since those earning more than $400,000 per year make up less than two percent of the population, average American taxpayers realize that their taxes will eventually have to increase to pay for all of this.

Even Biden’s approach to the latest COVID outbreak is increasing Americans’ anxiety. This is by design; Biden is trying to instill fear when he talks about the “very dark winter” that the country is facing. He says this despite the fact that the current Omicron variant is far less harmful than prior variants.

Biden appears to want Americans to live in fear. This is a far different approach than that employed by past presidents. “Let me assert my firm belief,” Franklin Roosevelt insisted, “that the only thing we have to fear is . . . fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance . . . In every dark hour of our national life, a leadership of frankness and of vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. And I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.” 

Joe Biden should recall and heed those words.

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About Michael Busler

Michael Busler, Ph.D., is a public policy analyst and a professor of finance at Stockton University in New Jersey, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in finance and economics.

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