Policies Have Consequences: Five Things You Should Know
One often hears the statement, “Elections have consequences.” That political aphorism is such a given, it reminds me of another one from my Army career: “That is a blinding flash of the obvious!” However, just as important and true is this maxim: “Policies have consequences.” Whatever the motives and the intended results of the Biden Administration as to their policies—some of the policies and actions have dire consequences for every American. The United States is facing a plethora of challenges and crises in national security, economics, and foreign policy directly related to the Executive orders and policies of President Joe Biden. Biden’s presidency is beginning to resemble Jimmy Carter’s—where matters beyond his control were exacerbated by weak reactions and poor policies.
In a mere four months, here is a short list of problems that seem to be self-inflicted by the new Administration.
Inflation is the highest since 1982. The increase in prices to the American consumer include not only optional purchases and “nice to haves,” but things like food and gasoline. Long-term economic policy and Green New Deal add-ons are driving inflation, with an increase in interest rates sure to follow. Inflation calculated last week is 4.2 percent. Additionally, President Biden is making good on his promise to raise taxes.
The U.S. relationship to Iran is a matter of multifaceted, critical concerns. The Biden Administration is on the verge of re-entering the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) even though Iran has been caught lying and violating the terms of the original agreement. Nuclear experts are concerned that Iran’s nuclear enrichment has gone from 5% to 60%. They believe the breakout time to producing a nuclear weapon has dropped to a matter of months.
Yet the Administration seems intent on entering the flawed JCPOA at any cost, ignoring Iran’s continued terror activities, human rights abuses, and the threat Iran poses not only to the Middle East, but to the world. The U.S. Administration is working on a plan to lift sanctions on the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, even though lifting sanctions will enable Iran to increase its support of terrorism and move even more quickly to a nuclear weapon. This week we learned that the U.S. will give one billion dollars to Iran for supposed humanitarian relief, even though the rogue nation in the past has routinely redirected such funds to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and to line the pockets of their radical leaders.
Meanwhile, IRGC gunboats have resumed the harassment of U.S. Navy and Coast Guard vessels in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, something that stopped over the four years of the previous Administration. These reckless acts by Iranian gunboats put the lives of U.S. sailors at risk and may lead to an escalation of conflict in the region. Iran perceives the U.S. as internally weak and are committing these offenses because they believe there will be no real consequences.
United States naval assets are there to protect international shipping on which the entire world relies. By the way, these U.S. Navy ships just stopped a ship traveling from Iran to Yemen. It was filled with weapons Iran had purchased from Russia and China, weapons bound for the Houthi rebels who have attacked civilian facilities in Saudi Arabia and are responsible for over 100,000 civilian deaths in Yemen’s civil war.
Over one million U.S. jobs have been lost due to Biden’s Executive actions, particularly those targeting the gas and oil industry. Up until now, the United States was enjoying energy independence for the first time. Biden’s restrictions and cancellations in this field not only cost people their jobs in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic that had already put millions out of work, his actions are a boon to countries like Russia, whose oil industry is delighted to have U.S. competition removed. Gas prices have risen. While some of the increase is related to the cyber-attack on the Colonial Pipeline, fuel prices were already rising due to the Administration’s energy policies. It was a crisis already in the making.
The U.S. job market is struggling because of the extension of federal unemployment benefits. The U.S. has millions of job openings, but employers are having difficulty finding workers because the government is paying people more money to stay home, creating a disincentive to work. Blind to the results of his policies, when questioned about the correlation between unemployment benefits and the job market, President Biden simply, without evidence, dismissed the obvious connection as not true.
Federal spending and its long-term impact on the economy are unbridled. National debt has surpassed annual gross domestic product for the first time since World War II, the result of 4.1 trillion dollars allotted to prop up the economy. Then President Biden added another 1.9 trillion dollars, most of it unrelated to COVID-19 and much of it going to states that already have a lot of money or who have mismanaged the money they have. Now the President is urging Congress to spend another 4 trillion dollars allegedly for infrastructure—but with a whole new (and questionable) definition of infrastructure.
The Middle East is raging again due to the Administration’s change of attitude toward the Palestinian issue and the threat Iran poses to the region through its terror proxies. Hamas and Hezbollah are energized by the Administration’s tepid support of Israel and turning a blind eye to the Palestinians’ refusal to accept any workable peace deal. There is a direct link between this and the attacks on Israel by Hamas over the last week where scores of Israelis and Palestinians are being killed and wounded. Rather than condemn Hamas’s attacks on civilians, the Administration merely calls for de-escalation. The charter of Hamas literally calls for the destruction of Israel and the killing of individual Jews.
In violation of the Taylor Force Act, the Biden Administration has decided to resume financial aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA). The Taylor Force Act mandated that the Palestinian Authority stop paying terrorists who killed innocent Jews and Americans or providing stipends to their families. Until they did that, financial aid to the PA would stop. The Palestinians refused to stop the payments to murderers, telling the U.S. to keep our money. Well, apparently that no longer matters. We will give them the money anyway.
The situation on our southern border is in freefall. In March 2021, there were 173,348 incidents with illegal immigrants being confronted at the border, compared to 34,000 last year. There were 179,000 such incidents in April, compared to just 17,000 last year. This does not take into account those who cross the border and are not caught.
President Biden ended policies that kept these numbers, while still too high, in check. The Migrant Protection Protocols (remain in Mexico while your asylum claim is processed) policy was ended, even though Mexican and U.S. authorities lauded the program. Coordination with Northern Triangle countries to police their own borders and curb illegal immigration of people intending to travel to the U.S. was ended, too. Aid to those nations in exchange for helping us were previously tied together. Not any longer. Overwhelmed by the sheer numbers, the Border and Customs Protection (BCP) has been forced to release immigrants into the U.S. without any effective way to track them or get them to return for an immigration hearing. Of course, border wall construction was stopped on Biden’s first day in office.
Even Democrat politicians are calling on the Administration to do something. For example, Democrat Mayor Bruno Loranzo of Del Rio, Texas, stated, “They keep telling us that the border is under control and I simply do not understand how with a 392% increase in this fiscal year alone . . . I simply do not understand how that is under control.”
Business for sex and human traffickers, as well as the drug cartels, has never been better in this multi-billion-dollar inhumane trade. Children are used and often abused on the trek to America, separated from their families, and frequently dropped over a border wall or simply abandoned. Is this the compassionate border response candidate Joe Biden promised?
President Joe Biden must take a candid look at how his policies are impacting the country he has sworn to protect. These problems not only will not go away, they will get worse unless changes are made. The second and third order effects of domestic and geo-political decisions must be carefully evaluated in order to keep faith with our allies, hold in check our enemies, and defend Americans and American interests at home and abroad. President Biden is very capable of doing this. Unfortunately, at this juncture, he is not willing to do so.