I am a non-ideological (registered independent) fiscal conservative and social moderate. I believe that our biggest domestic problem (by far) is out-of-control national debt. Our biggest international problem is the rise of China, now our greatest autocratic rival.
Here is how I evaluate the Biden Presidency after a year in office:
- His plunging poll ratings reflect his inability to deal effectively with either the coronavirus pandemic or rapidly rising inflation. There’s not much he can do about Covid-19. The red states are handling it better than the blue states that have relied too heavily on lockdowns and mask mandates. However, it is Congressional blow-out spending, strongly encouraged by Biden, which has tripped off inflation.
- The Federal Reserve is prepared to address inflation by both raising interest rates and reducing its eight trillion dollars in bond holdings (see chart). This will necessarily slow down economic growth and perhaps even cause a recession. So Biden is faced with a combination of rising inflation and likely economic slowdown. His favorability ratings could get even worse in the coming months if stagflation (inflation plus recession) takes hold of the economy.
- For this reason, it is likely that a red wave will sweep the country in November 2022. The Republicans will almost surely take the House of Representatives. If they also take the Senate, then Congress will be able to exercise badly needed fiscal responsibility and significantly shrink federal deficit spending for the following two years.
- GOP Congressional control starting in 2023 still leaves President Biden in charge of the Executive Branch of government until after the presidential election in 2024. It is very important that he do a good job with foreign policy until then. His main goals should be clear: dissuade China from trying to capture Taiwan, protect Ukraine from Russian domination, and prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. The success of democracy worldwide requires American leadership against our autocratic rivals. This requires a strongly bipartisan foreign policy, implemented intelligently by a capable chief executive. We should all hope for President Biden to succeed in this way.
Conclusion. President Biden is floundering in domestic policy because of too many errors and is unlikely to recover sufficiently in the next few months to avoid a political red wave next November. But he is still President until 2025 and therefore in charge of foreign policy. So far his policies towards our biggest competitors: China, Russia, and Iran, are on the right track. Hopefully, bipartisan support will continue to prevail on these issues.