In just two years of the Biden administration, a typical American family has lost over $7,000 in purchasing power, homeownership affordability is near an all-time low, government spending and the national debt have exploded and there are concerns the dollar is at risk of losing its reserve currency status.
Given that track record, some on the right have dismissed President Biden as a dodderer, mistakenly stumbling the nation into one disaster after another. However, that analysis has proven to be a gross underestimation of his administration’s capacity to radically change the country.
While Biden has been upfront about certain aspects of his agenda, like destroying the American energy industry, he has covertly accomplished many other goals. Here are five examples of how Biden has quietly remade the country for the worse.
The first, and probably best example, is the hidden tax of inflation. Biden campaigned on, and maintains to this day, a pledge not to raise taxes on those making under $400,000 a year—but he quietly broke that promise.
His multi-trillion-dollar spending spree unleashed the hidden tax of inflation, which transfers wealth from the people to the government—the very definition of a tax. Unlike an explicit tax that Congress votes on and the president signs, inflation does the dirty work of raising revenue for politicians without the electorate knowing they’re being robbed blind.
Under Biden, the federal government has quietly robbed every American of 15 percent of their dollar’s value. This massive and radical transfer of wealth from American families to the government occurred without the people’s consent. And because the burden of inflation falls disproportionately on low-income people, those making under $400,000 have borne the brunt of Biden’s inflation tax.
Shockingly, when pressed on inflation, Biden blames his predecessor and claims “it was already there when I [took office],” despite annual inflation being just 1.4 percent in January 2021. In a year and a half, he ran inflation up to 40-year highs, with prices rising in a single month about as fast as they did in the whole year before he became president.
Second, the hidden tax of inflation has helped fund Biden’s massive expansion in government spending, but even this extra tax on all Americans has not kept pace with the profligacy of Washington. In the name of saving the planet, rebuilding infrastructure, or rescuing the American economy, Biden has radically grown both the federal budget and the national debt.
But Biden has been careful to ignore these facts when selling his agenda to the American people. Couching trillions in extra spending behind the façade of appealing names, like the American Rescue Plan, Biden has managed to balloon the debt by $3.7 trillion in just two years. Yet Biden erroneously claims he shrunk the deficit—more deceptive marketing.
Piling on more national debt is like a family maxing out their credit cards, refusing to change their spending habits, and just getting more credit to go further into debt. That’s the path to insolvency.
Third, where Congress would not go along with Biden’s quiet radicalizing of America, Biden has acted on his own, repeatedly committing unconstitutional overreaches via executive orders. His never-ending extensions of the student loan repayment moratorium are a perfect example.
Originally part of the emergency COVID measures from early 2020, Biden perpetually extended the program, which has acted as a form of student loan pseudo-forgiveness. Biden has decreed not only that payments are paused, but that no interest is accruing either on federal student loans. That lost interest alone is costing taxpayers $5 billion every month.
Additionally, the last three years of zero-dollar payments actually count towards those student loan repayment plans that offer forgiveness after a certain number of payments. This has reduced the amount borrowers need to pay to qualify for forgiveness under those plans by about a third and will cost the taxpayer $200 billion.
Fourth, Biden’s federal agencies have tried to quietly overreach not just Congress’s authority, but the states’ as well. The Federal Highway Administration has diverted over $1 trillion dollars that were allegedly for infrastructure, like roads and bridges, towards public transit and “green” alternatives, most of which the states don’t want and Congress didn’t approve.
Without so much as a press release, Biden is raising the cost of transportation and, therefore, everything else.
Fifth, Biden’s radical unilateral actions have extended overseas as well, quietly undermining America’s superpower status. That power projection is based in no small part on the dollar’s status as the reserve currency of the world. By seizing dollar reserves owned by the Russian central bank and the Russian people, Biden tarnished the apolitical nature of the dollar.
Even during the Cold War, America never did this to the Soviets. Biden crossed a terrible threshold and created doubts about the dollar’s dependability with this reckless move. Since then, several countries, including China, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Brazil, have been shifting away from using the dollar as either a reserve or for settling international trade. This undermines the strength of the dollar and America.
This, like many of Biden’s radical maneuvers, has come quietly, almost unnoticed. But the effects cannot be ignored: American families, and America as a whole, are worse off compared to just two years ago. We would do well to connect the dots between this sorry situation and its true causes, no matter how inconspicuous they might be.
This piece originally appeared in The Hill on 5/4/2023