Op-EdAppeared in Real Clear Politics on January 20, 2022By Alfredo Ortiz

Biden’s Disastrous First Year Drives Voters Into GOP Arms

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 07: Democratic presidential candidate VP. Joe Biden delivers remarks on the Trump administration's recent actions in Iraq at Chelsea Piers on January 07, 2020 in New York City.

“Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to [foul] things up,” cautioned Barack Obama during the 2020 Democratic presidential primary campaign. It’s a warning the nation should have heeded. Even Obama must be surprised by President Biden’s disastrous first year in office, which has been characterized by a war on small businesses, promises made and promises broken, and lies about COVID, the economy, and voting.

“We’re going to beat this virus,” claimed Biden on the eve of the 2020 presidential election. “We’re going to get it under control, I promise you.” Yet the virus still dominates daily life, and nearly 2,000 Americans are dying daily from it. Obviously, no president has the power to control a pandemic. But that only makes Biden’s promise even more ridiculous. While he’s not to blame for aggressive new COVID variants, he deserves to be held responsible for his single-track vaccinations response at the expense of testing and treatments that could have saved countless lives.

Last week, the Supreme Court stopped Biden’s illegal employer vaccine mandate in response to a challenge brought by the Job Creators Network and its small business co-petitioners as well as other groups. The court confirmed what JCN has long argued: The Biden administration does not have the authority to implement this sweeping regulation that will burden American businesses, including many small businesses, with new costs and exacerbate the historic labor shortage. Yet rather than following the court’s decision and pursuing alternative COVID countermeasures, Biden is stubbornly refusing to withdraw the illegal mandate.

Biden promised his policies would make the economy come “roaring back.” He claims he’s presided over “the strongest first-year economic track record of any president in the last 50 years.” Yet in reality, his reckless spending, new regulations, and proposed tax hikes have put the economy on the cusp of stagflation.

Last week, the Labor Department announced that inflation, as measured by the consumer price index, increased by 7% in 2021, the highest rate in 40 years. I predicted Biden’s policies would cause historic inflation at the beginning of his term. Yet, the president claimed as late as last July that “no serious economist” believed inflation would persist. He repeatedly promised inflation would be short-lived.

When you conduct an apples-to-apples comparison of how inflation is measured now versus 40 years ago, today’s inflation may actually match or even exceed President Carter’s record levels. Anyone who’s gone to the grocery store lately and seen bare shelves and consumer staples selling for a dollar or two more than normal or has paid $4 a gallon for gas knows that inflation is far worse than official pronouncements

As a result of this high inflation, ordinary workers are experiencing a significant fall in real wages — a Biden pay cut — and declining living standards. The situation is even worse for small businesses. The Labor Department also reported last week that the producer price index, which measures wholesale costs, increased by a record of nearly 10% in 2021. These rising costs are squeezing employers’ already thin margins.

Biden brags that he has created 6 million jobs since he took office. But these are not new jobs. They are merely ones already created under President Trump that temporarily disappeared during the pandemic. In reality, the labor market remains far below its pre-pandemic peak. There are still 3.6 million fewer people working today compared to February 2020. The labor force participation rate, including among 25-to-54-year-olds, has gained back only about half of its pandemic-related decline.

To distract from this pathetic record, Biden has spent an enormous amount of time lying about voting. Last spring, he called Georgia’s voting law that makes it easy to vote but hard to cheat “Jim Crow in the 21st century.” His lies convinced Major League Baseball to move the All-Star Game from Atlanta to Denver, vindictively punishing local small businesses, many minority-owned.

Last week, Biden returned to Georgia and made an incendiary speech, which was panned by members of his own party, in an effort to destroy the legislative filibuster to pass a law that would nationalize elections and make ballot harvesting and election fraud easier. Biden, an institutionalist who was elected to bring the country together, defamed Republicans as autocrats opposed to democracy and in favor of “anti-voting laws — new laws designed to suppress your vote, to subvert our elections.”

Malarky. These common-sense reforms merely revert election practices to pre-pandemic norms. In many cases, the voting changes are less strict than in Biden’s home state of Delaware or Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s home state of New York.

Biden’s lies and disastrous first year have generated a record boost in support for Republicans. According to a new Gallup poll, Americans’ voting preferences in 2021 shifted from a nine-point Democrat advantage to a five-point GOP lead. Biden’s poll numbers have also plummeted in historic fashion. This unprecedented swing in support demonstrates that the president and his media cheerleaders haven’t succeeded in distracting Americans from his bad record.

To paraphrase George W. Bush, voters fooled once won’t get fooled again.