There is wide-spread relief in having Donald Trump out of office, so President Joe Biden’s honeymoon period may last longer than usual. But there are several ways in which Mr. Biden could lose popularity quickly.
Last week I discussed the pitfalls of overstimulating a strong underlying economy, see here and here. This risks setting off inflation which, in turn, would lead to higher interest rates and speed up a new fiscal crisis over debt.
Today I discuss several social issues that can flare up into major national controversies much more quickly. Consider:
- The year 2020 was one of the most violent in U.S. history. Murder was up 37% in 57 large cities. 2000 more Americans, most of them African-American, were killed in 2020 than in 2019. Police Officers are already facing a poisonous environment after last summer’s race riots. And the Biden Justice Department will treat disparate stop or arrest rates as evidence of police bias and seek to place police departments under consent decrees. The many law-abiding residents of troubled areas beg for vigorous law enforcement and probably will not now get it.
- President Biden has proposed an eight-year pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented aliens living in the U.S. But, there is no provision in his plan for increased border control to cut down on illegal border crossings. Voters want lawmakers to fix the border, not pretend that we don’t need one. Amnesty for 11 million illegal immigrants without strict border control is a recipe for political upheaval.
- Fracking and the price of gasoline. Thanks to fracking, the U.S. is now the largest oil producer in the world and has become energy independent. The Biden Administration has already put a 60-day suspension on any new leases on federal land. If this suspension becomes permanent, it will greatly restrict oil and natural gas production in several western states such as New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. Furthermore, career officials are now temporarily prohibited from signing off on environmental reviews, etc. for new fossil-fuel investment on private lands. Such restrictions bode ill for the future of fracking in the U.S. An oil shortage will lead to a rapid increase in the price of gasoline at the pump, which, in turn, means massive consumer discontent.
Conclusion. These three issues: a dramatic increase in crime caused by interference with effective policing, giving amnesty to all undocumented aliens without establishing secure border control, and letting the cost of gasoline rise dramatically by putting major restrictions on fracking, have the potential to cause enormous social unrest which could easily destroy the Biden Presidency.