The Brief: Biden Is To Blame For Inflation And Driving America Off An Economic Cliff


Gregg is joined by Michael O’Neill, assistant general counsel at Landmark Legal Foundation

A true leader has the courage and humility to admit their own mistakes. A coward blames others.

Since the first day of his presidency, Joe Biden has waged all-out war on our domestic energy industry, crippling our nation’s ability to provide the needed resources to sustain our own economy. It was a grievous mistake that has caused prices to soar and left consumers struggling financially.

Americans are smart. They know that Biden is responsible. 70 percent disapprove of his handling of inflation and gas prices, according to a new ABC News/Ipsos poll. It is a damning indictment of Biden’s policies, if not his incompetence.

Instead of having the fortitude to admit that his misguided green agenda badly damaged the U.S. economy, Biden blames Putin. And our nation’s oil companies. And OPEC. And bankers on Wall Street. And transportation companies. And COVID. And the kid who kicked the cat.

Never once has Biden looked in the mirror for a moment of self-reflection. He is incapable of recognizing that he was wrong in his decision to reverse our nation’s energy independence.

Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images
Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

With stubborn arrogance, Biden ignored all the warnings by economists and energy experts who rang the alarm over his debilitating energy policies.

They correctly predicted that America would be left vulnerable to an unstable global marketplace…resulting in an inflationary spiral that would push us to the precipice of recession.

But Joe refused to listen. Now, he blames everyone but himself. In refusing to accept responsibility as a true leader would, Biden is a profile in cowardice.

When Biden took office a little more than a year ago, the U.S. was energy independent and a net exporter of oil. With the stroke of a pen just hours after his inauguration, our new president put an end to it.

Biden signed the following Executive Order: “The Secretary of the Interior shall pause new oil and natural gas leases on public lands or in offshore waters.” Drilling and production on hundreds of thousands of rich oil and gas fields came to a screeching halt.

Biden also shut down the Keystone XL pipeline that would bring over 800,000 barrels of oil to market every single day. He ordered other pipelines capped.

He then targeted oil and gas companies with punitive regulations that made it difficult, if not impossible, to maintain a consistent flow of energy to support our bustling economy. Making matters worse, Biden directed the EPA to raise the costs on power plants which began to reduce their output as a direct result.

Biden has tried to regulate oil and gas companies out of business. All on his own, he engineered an energy deficit in America. The U.S. was forced to turn elsewhere for its needs —Saudi Arabia, Russia, Canada, and Mexico. Of course, importing petroleum added its own exorbitant expense that was passed on to the consumer.

Fast forward one year and America is in the death grip of an energy and inflation crisis. Gasoline prices at the pumps are at record highs. That has driven up the price for other goods such as food, clothing and other manufactured products that are influenced by increased fuel costs. Overall inflation has skyrocketed…depressing economic growth.

Suffice it to say that Biden’s approach to energy has been an economic disaster for Americans. He has suffocated economic productivity in America and steered us into a financial abyss that will be exceedingly difficult to survive.

But Biden insists he’s not to blame. Look…It’s simply not true that my administration or my policies are holding back energy production,” he vented.

Biden isn’t the only one who’s blatantly lying about what he did.

Joe is in a chronic state of denial.  He keeps claiming that Putin is the boogeyman to blame.

His White House flacks say that the current inflationary crisis proves that Joe’s green agenda is working. That’s right. Press Secretary Jen Psaki actually said that. Not to be outdone, the president’s chief of staff, Ron Klain, dismissed it as “a high-class problem.”

Forget that low-income and middle-class Americans are the hardest hit. They can now scarcely afford the gasoline that gets them to work so they can put food on the family table and keep a roof over their heads. The Biden administration is about as tone-deaf as they come.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Vice President Kamala Harris professed they had the answer for what ails America. They held a splashy news conference to announce an expensive plan to develop electric public buses. But in the meantime, they urged everyone to give up their cars and trucks in favor of expensive EVs. Harris asked her audience to “imagine a future” with only electric vehicles. “That’s why we are here today —because we have the ability to see what can be, unburdened by what has been, and then to make the possible actually happen,” she waxed in her dreamy state.

Well, Kamala…imagine this: more than 60 percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. They can barely cobble together the cash to fill up their gas tanks. They can’t possibly afford to buy a pricey electric vehicle.

The average transaction price for an EV is roughly $60,000, according to the most recent Kelly Blue Book data. Yes, there are a few cheaper ones…but they’re small, hard to come by, and cannot accommodate a large family. But even those cars are well out of the price range for most Americans who just don’t have the money to fork over.

Harris and Buttigieg don’t know any of that because they live a life of privilege courtesy of taxpayers.  Their transportation is free.  They travel in style and luxury.  So does Joe Biden.  They have no clue what it’s like to hold down a real job and make ends meet when the monthly bills come due.

This invites another important question: when you plug in your EV (assuming you can afford one), where do you think that electricity comes from? It comes from the nation’s power grid, much of which is derived from the very fossil fuels that the Biden administration is waging war against.

Biden, Harris and so many other climate activists seem to think that they can wave a magic wand or flip a switch and poof! —we can suddenly transition to an environmentally sustainable economy with nothing but renewable green energy.

Here’s a reality check. It doesn’t exist. We don’t have the capacity, infrastructure, and technology to accomplish it. We don’t have the ability to produce, capture, and transport enough green energy to supply even a quarter of the country. I wish we did, but we don’t. And we won’t have it for at least another generation, if not longer.

We have made steady progress in scientific achievements that have advanced wind, solar and other renewable energy sources. But they still amount to only 20 percent of our nation’s electricity. And that’s the maximum output that our systems can process. In the meantime, demands for energy continue to grow as our society continues to develop.

None of this is a remedy for the economic catastrophe that the U.S. is facing right now. Biden created it with his ill-conceived assault on domestic energy.

His policies hiked the cost of oil and gas to intentionally make fossil fuels unaffordable without a viable replacement for them. His regulations drove up the expense of production while reducing the supply just as consumption went up. Inevitably, prices skyrocketed. Hardworking Americans are now suffering because of it.

But Joe is in a chronic state of denial.  He keeps claiming that Putin is the boogeyman to blame.

Forget that gasoline prices and inflation across America reached near record levels long before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. They’ve been on the rise during the past six months. Inflation is close to 8 percent —a new 40 year high for the third month in a row. This obviously predates Putin’s war.

Just days ago, at a conference of Democrats, both Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tried to convince members of their own party that they’re not to blame.

Biden: “I’m sick of this stuff…because the American people think the reason there’s inflation is because the government is spending more money. Simply not true.”

Pelosi: “It’s Putin’s gas hike, that’s his gas hike, there’s so much of this increase in this gas tax…uh… gas price… started…uh, weeks leading up to what happened there.”

Biden: “Make no mistake, inflation is largely the fault of Putin. I love, you know, Republicans saying it’s Biden’s gas pipeline…Biden said he’s going to stop the Keystone Pipeline…and I did!”

It’s not just Biden’s deranged energy policy that is wreaking havoc. His profligate spending compounded the crisis. Like drunken sailors on payday, he and Pelosi pumped trillions of dollars into the U.S. economy. It’s impossible to saturate the marketplace with that much currency without causing prices to go up. It is basic Economics 101.

Yet, Pelosi stood before microphones and turned the fundamentals of economics on its head by stating, “Government spending is doing the exact reverse —reducing the government debt. It is not inflationary.”

Pelosi’s tortured logic was an embarrassing face-plant. Our national debt, which stands at $30 trillion is going up, not down. And even Biden conceded in a previous speech in November that his $2 trillion American Rescue Plan caused prices to go up. It was an uncommon moment of clarity. But now he’s changed his tune…because politicians are nothing if not duplicitous.

Voters understand economics far better than Biden and Pelosi. The polling data shows that Americans are deeply unhappy that the president and his party have driven energy prices and inflation off the proverbial cliff. They know that this is Biden’s inflation. Yet he refuses to own it.

Nor are they buying his vacuous excuses. You remember them. First, he claimed that inflation was “transitory.” Then it was merely a supply chain snafu. Then the White House said it was “actually a good sign.” When that didn’t sell, it was all Putin’s fault.

All the while, Biden keeps pretending that economy is in great shape, and we should double-down on his green energy agenda to eliminate all fossil fuels now. If that sounds like a sane strategy, you should get your head examined.

What happens when cars run out of gas and the lights go out? What happens when people can no longer heat their homes? Will Joe keep scapegoating and gaslighting? You can bet on it.

When he was sworn into office, Joe vowed that he would exhibit the courage and humility that true leadership demands. He declared, “I promise you, I’m going to take responsibility. When I make a mistake, I’ll admit it.” He hasn’t done it, and he won’t do it.

Instead, Biden has embraced the tactics of a coward…who blames others for his own mistakes.

Continue reading “The Brief: Biden Is To Blame For Inflation And Driving America Off An Economic Cliff”

Fear Of Donald Trump Kept Putin From Invading Ukraine. Here’s How Trump Pulled It Off

Fear Of Donald Trump Kept Putin From Invading Ukraine. Here’s How Trump Pulled It Off

BY: JOHN RATCLIFFE AND CLIFF SIMS

MARCH 03, 2022

John Ratcliffe served as the 6th U.S. Director of National Intelligence. Cliff Sims served as U.S. Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Strategy and Communications.

Trump and generals in situtation room
IMAGE CREDIT WHITE HOUSE PHOTO BY SHEALAH CRAIGHEAD

IMAGE CREDIT WHITE HOUSE PHOTO BY SHEALAH CRAIGHEAD

Trump not only successfully deterred Russia from acting against Ukraine, he effectively deterred a lot of bad behavior across the planet.

Author John Ratcliffe and Cliff Sims profile

JOHN RATCLIFFE AND CLIFF SIMS

A recent Harvard-Harris poll found that 62 percent of Americans believe that Russia would not have invaded Ukraine if Donald Trump were still in the Oval Office. As former senior intelligence officials under President Trump, we agree with that view.

Russia invaded Georgia in 2008 when George W. Bush was president. Russia took Crimea in 2014 when Barack Obama was president. Russia has now invaded Ukraine with Joe Biden as president. However, when Donald Trump was president, Russia did not seize territory from any of its neighbors.

During his four years in office, Trump not only successfully deterred Russia from acting against Ukraine, he effectively deterred a lot of bad behavior across the planet. He focused on ending America’s foreign wars rather than launching new ones. At the same time, he brokered the Abraham Accords to expand peace in the Middle East.

The exercise of American power to deter adversaries is a complicated business. It involves a mix of military, economic, political, and diplomatic strategies and actions that together communicate the costs of threatening U.S. national interests.

Ultimately, the art of statecraft boils down to whether a president projects American strength that deters adversaries, or projects American weakness that emboldens our adversaries. 

So how did Trump succeed in containing Putin while the Russian autocrat has run wild with others in the White House? Why was he so successful at spreading peace elsewhere? We believe the long answer begins with these ten ways that Donald Trump projected American strength and kept the bad guys in check:

  1. Rebuilt the American Military
  2. Crusaded for American Energy Dominance
  3. Set the Tone by Launching Surgical Missile Strikes in Syria in Early 2017
  4. Developed Strong Relationships with Middle Eastern Nations Based on Mutual Interests
  5. Was Ruthless with the Taliban While Winding Down the Afghanistan War
  6. Crushed the ISIS Caliphate
  7. Demonstrated a Consistent Willingness to Take out the Bad Guys
  8. Stood Up to China
  9. Strategically Used Unpredictability as an Asset in Foreign Affairs
  10. Advanced Tough Russia Policies and Provided Lethal Aid to Ukraine while Maintaining an Open Dialogue

Each of these points are worthy of unpacking in-depth, but there are several that illustrate the dramatic difference in approach between Trump and Biden, starting with Afghanistan.

When President Trump initiated the process of ending America’s longest war, senior officials huddled in the Situation Room to discuss tactical challenges on the ground. The president reminded the group of America’s humiliating withdrawal from Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War, and said we must do whatever it takes to leave in a safe, orderly, and dignified way. When military leaders bemoaned the costs and logistical challenges of bringing home our equipment, the president said that he did not care if it was a helicopter or a styrofoam cooler. If it had an American flag on it, it was either coming home or getting destroyed to keep it from falling into the hands of our enemies. He vowed that we would leave on our terms, or we would not leave at all. 

Tragically, President Biden’s approach – which included the decision to abandon the strategically important Bagram Air Base prior to the evacuation – cost the lives of 13 American servicemembers and led to the Taliban parading victoriously through Kabul with billions of dollars of American combat equipment. The administration’s stunning incompetence – detailed in an official U.S. Army report – made the United States look weak and vulnerable on the world stage, and Putin was watching.

The world took notice when Trump ordered the killing of Iranian terrorist general Qassem Soleimani, who had operated with impunity throughout the Middle East until the U.S. military sent two Hellfire missiles through his vehicle. As a candidate for president, Biden released a statement condemning the righteous attack as a “hugely escalatory move” that brought us to “the brink of a major conflict across the Middle East.” This, of course, proved to not be the case, but it illustrated Biden’s unwillingness to do what it takes to establish credible deterrence. 

This principle of deterrence applies across the globe, which explains why the Chinese military has sent a record number of airplanes into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone since Biden took office.

To the specific case at hand, Trump was much tougher on Russia than the media have led people to believe, while Biden has been far softer. 

Trump deployed such aggressive sanctions against Russia that President Obama’s Secretary of Defense Robert Gates called them the toughest in history, and he withdrew from one-sided treaties that hamstrung the U.S. while Russia violated the terms.

Biden has taken the opposite approach, appeasing Putin by handing him his top two geopolitical priorities on a silver platter. He unconditionally extended the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, allowing Russia to continue building tactical nuclear weapons while constraining our ability to modernize. And while Trump imposed sanctions to stop Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline in its tracks, construction was allowed to resume when Biden took office.

President Trump understood the power of building American energy dominance. By slashing onerous regulations, Trump sparked an American energy boom that ensured we would never be reliant on any other nation to meet our energy needs. Geopolitically, America’s increased export capacity reduced Putin’s leverage over our European allies, who depend on Russia for 40 percent of their gas and more than a quarter of their oil.

Trump approved the Keystone XL oil pipeline at home and shut down Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in Eastern Europe. Biden reversed both decisions, meaning he has been harder on America’s energy producers than he has been on Russia’s. To add insult to injury, as the Russian army pushed into Ukraine, Biden’s climate envoy John Kerry hoped aloud that “President Putin will help us to stay on track with respect to what we need to do for the climate.”

Vladimir Putin’s appetite for expansion did not wane during the four years Trump was in office, and the world was not just miraculously a safer place. Bad actors like Putin simply knew that they had to restrain themselves or deal with the consequences. In nearly every way possible, President Biden has weakened the United States and our allies and empowered Putin. As a result, Russia is on the march, even as the Ukrainian people have inspired the world with their courage and resilience. And in the wings, America’s greatest threat – Xi Jinping’s China – waits, and watches.

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