President Joe Biden used his recent trip to Asia as a platform from which he attempted something of a shift in messaging when it comes to the current state of the economy, and in the estimation of Daniel Henninger of the Wall Street Journal, the situation at hand is nothing short of a “train wreck.”
In an op-ed published on Wednesday, Henninger began by cataloging some of the more depressing elements of Memorial Day weekend, 2022, namely the fact that everyday Americans are finding it increasingly more difficult to afford their holiday picnic or to fill up their gas tanks, not to mention looming concerns of recession.
Those are all concerns, Henninger writes, Biden has recently started chalking up not so much to the “Putin Price Hike” explanation people like former White House press secretary Jen Psaki and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm previously tried to foist upon the citizenry, but something rather more vast.
Speaking in Tokyo, Biden instead declared, “When it comes to the gas prices, we’re going through an incredible transition that is taking place that, God willing, when it’s over, we’ll be stronger and the world will be stronger and less reliant on fossil fuels.”
In Henninger’s estimation, Biden’s statement was not so much an exercise in verbal gymnastics designed to obscure the truth, but rather a definition of “how Mr. Biden and the Democratic Party want American workers to live in to the far future.”
What Biden intends when he speaks to his desire for an economy with more “stable and resilient” growth, the piece explains, is actually to describe the dual goals of using “taxes and government-guided capital investments to compensate for the widening spread between the incomes of knowledge-economy workers and everyone else” and also to establish a “non-fossil-fuel economy.”
Luckily, says Henninger, the “grand progressive experiment” embodied by Biden’s failed Build Back Better agenda was blocked – barely – by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), and given current trends, Republicans will sweep the midterm contests, but that is not to say that the GOP has any room for complacency.
After Biden’s “transition” talk, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) blasted the president’s characterization, noting, “He’s in Tokyo celebrating, saying, ‘it’s an incredible transition.’ Incredible for you! You fly a damn 747 where the taxpayers pay for your jet fuel. What Joe Biden is saying is, if you at home, if you drive a pick up truck, ‘to hell with you; you can’t drive your pickup truck. If you have a Suburban, you’ve got to get rid of that. We’re all getting Toyota Priuses.’”
In Henninger’s words, Biden’s plummeting approval and Americans’ deepening economic woes are evidence that his “post-pandemic economy is a train wreck” and that [t]he political gods, in their unfathomable wisdom, have handed Republicans a once-in-a-generation chance to help voters understand how to build a future from this ruin,” but whether they can effectively seize that opportunity, only time will tell.