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Biden’s Converging Crises

August 2, 2021
Weekly Columns

Since President Biden assumed office, the United States has been confronted with several crises, including an economic disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, an open southern border and an increase in dangerous crimes nationwide. After a year of battling a dangerous virus, Americans are trying to get back on their feet and return to normal. However, the crises our country is facing as well as the spike in COVID-19 cases caused by other contagious variants is certainly making such an endeavor difficult.

For every month since President Biden assumed office, Americans across the country have experienced rising prices at the gas pumps, in the grocery stores and in essential home items. A report published by the Consumer Price Index reports that inflation has increased to a steep 5.4 percent, the highest it has been in 13 years since the Great Recession. Everything costs more in President Joe Biden's America. What Americans used to pay for from pennies on the dollar is now costing substantial portions of their paychecks. Indeed, such inflation is taxation on the American people, and this inflation is a direct result of President Biden and Democrats’ unprecedented government spending bills and tax hikes.

The success of America’s middle class and small businesses are certainly at stake since they cannot afford the inflation tax that comes with the Democrats' failed economic policies. And now they are forced to raise their own prices as they struggle to pay for gasoline and food. They are also facing labor shortages as Americans are opting to take unemployment benefits instead of returning to work as a direct result of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act signed into law by President Biden earlier this year that included $300 billion in weekly unemployment benefits, which many Americans are still receiving.

While extra unemployment benefits were critical in the early days and months of the pandemic in helping Americans who found themselves jobless by no fault of their own, economies are open and businesses are trying to fill positions. These benefits are now disincentivizing Americans to return to work and creating enormous labor and goods shortages. For this reason, I am extremely appreciative of Governor Stitt’s decision earlier this year to utilize existing federal funds to incentivize Oklahomans to get back to work. In his plan, the first 20,000 Oklahomans to return to work who were receiving unemployment benefits would receive a $1,200 incentive using funds from the American Rescue Plan. Getting Oklahomans and Americans back in the workforce is critical to helping our economy get back on track, and this was certainly a responsible use of federal dollars.

Now, President Biden and Democrats continue to propose trillions more in spending. It is time we get the government back on track and work to reduce prices for American consumers and let them keep their hard-earned dollars in their pockets.

Second, Americans continue to watch in disbelief and fear as our border continues to grow more and more overwhelmed by the day. In June, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced 188,829 encounters with illegal immigrants at our southern border and over 1.1 million within the last year. With this flood of illegal immigrants also comes the flow of crime, human trafficking and deadly drugs into our country. With an open border, every city in America is a border town.

In addition, the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to cause spikes in transmissions, hospitalizations and deaths across the country. But now we must worry about the other highly contagious Lambda variant being reported out of South and Central America. As many migrants travel from countries with some of the world’s highest infection rates of COVID-19, including India, Brazil and Paraguay, or traveling through high-risk countries on their way to the border, we cannot allow hundreds of thousands of unvaccinated and untested illegal immigrants into our country. Even this goes against the Biden Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s own coronavirus guidelines.

President Biden has also considered eliminating Title 42, which will further jeopardize our pandemic recovery by eliminating the ability of U.S. border officials to quickly turn back migrants due to danger posed by transmissible diseases. With extremely low vaccination rates among these countries, Title 42 is vital to keeping our country healthy and ensuring we preserve America’s pandemic recovery.

Finally, this summer has unfortunately been marked by muggings, robberies and shootings in many big cities nationwide. This comes after local communities have cut the budgets of their own police departments. Now, just like small businesses, police departments have continued to report staffing and policing shortages while retirement rates of deflated officers increase by the day. With such retention problems, it is even more difficult to keep communities patrolled and low on crime.

It is clear that the “Defund the Police” movement was an epic failure by Democrats as it has only led to the fear, injury and deaths of our own citizens. Now more than ever, we should back our men and women in blue, who choose to wear the badge every day to keep their own communities safe and show them the sincere appreciation and support they deserve.

While President Biden promised hope for Americans, the first several months of his tenure have been marked by converging crises that worsen by the day. For the good of the American people, President Biden and Democrats must first reverse course and stop the unprecedented spending that has led to the economic, border and crime crises.