Saturday, December 04, 2021

OCPA column: A modern day Marie Antoinette

A modern day Marie Antoinette
By Jonathan Small

According to legend, Marie Antoinette, the last queen of France, responded to reports of people lacking bread by saying, “Let them eat cake.” If Antoinette were with us today, she would not only avoid the guillotine but might very well be a top member of the Biden administration. With her attitude and understanding, she would fit right in. No presidential administration in recent memory has proven so inept and out-of-touch.

For example, the grandiosely titled American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), a blowout-spending bill advanced under the supposed auspices of COVID relief, has done little besides fuel inflation that reduces families’ buying power and quality of life.

The Biden administration’s response to inflation has been less-than-impressive. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg suggested Americans should purchase electric cars so they “never have to worry about gas prices again.”

You read that right. He suggested you buy an electric vehicle (reported average Kelly Blue Book price of $55,676) rather than a new compact car ($25,240) or a new sports car ($44,981) … to “save” money.

The administration’s other idea is to spend trillions more by passing its “Build Back Better” plan. At a time runaway spending is fueling the highest inflation in decades, the Biden administration’s solution is to spend even more and expect different results.

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia is one of only a handful of Democrats to criticize that bill and suggest he may oppose it. A recent state poll found 74% of West Virginia voters agree Manchin should vote no, a good sign of which politician has his finger on the voters’ pulse and which one doesn’t.

Where the Biden administration isn’t inept, its agenda is often illegal, as evidenced by a string of court losses.

On immigration, a court has ruled the Biden administration illegally suspended the “Remain in Mexico” policy put in place by the Trump administration.

Courts have similarly blocked the Biden administration’s effort to make COVID-19 vaccination a condition of employment for health care workers, general contractors, and most private-sector employees, although litigation continues.

A similar fate met one provision of ARPA that barred state governments from cutting taxes if they receive any of federal funds from the bill. A court has ruled that was a “a federal invasion of State sovereignty.”

(Notably, Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor has taken on the Biden administration in many of these legal fights.)

Basically, the Biden agenda falls into one of two categories. The president’s top priorities are either illegal or deeply unpopular, and in all instances the Biden agenda is out-of-touch with the needs of average citizens.

Still, give credit where it is due. In less than a year, Joe Biden has generated more legal and policies failures than most presidents do in a full term. This presidency is truly historic, just not in the way Biden administration officials envisioned at his inauguration.

Jonathan Small serves as president of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs.


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