Tuesday, November 7, 2023

The GOP's case against Biden's domestic policies is all based on lies

When Republican politicians aren't talking about foreign policy or culture wars, they basically have a four-point critique of President Biden's domestic policies.

  1. Inflation is out of control due to government spending
  2. Violent crime is on the rise because Democrats are soft on crime
  3. Climate change policies are stifling U.S. oil production
  4. Biden's open border policies are creating a surge of illegal immigrants

 Every one of those is based on a lie. So let's take just a moment to unpack them.

Inflation

The Federal Reserve has traditionally targeted an inflation rate of 2% as optimal. We are currently approaching that goal.

The idea that government spending is driving inflation is the excuse Republicans use in their attempt to gut the social safety net. What they don't want to talk about is the fact that the major contributor to deficits are tax cuts - especially for the wealthy. History shows us that it is Republicans who drive up deficits and Democrats bring them down.

Here's what Biden has done on the deficit...so far.


When it comes to the economy overall, perhaps there's no better summary of Bidenomics than this: Violent Crime

The FBI recently released statistics on crime for 2022 (emphasis mine).
Homicides and violent crime overall decreased in the United States in 2022, according to FBI data released Monday...After killings climbed in both 2020 and 2021, murder and manslaughter both fell by 6.1 percent in 2022, and the violent crime rate nationwide declined 1.7 percent.
For some context, here's what that data looks like over time:


Domestic Oil Production

The latest report in October indicates that we're at an all-time high.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration reported that American oil production in the first week of October hit 13.2 million barrels per day, passing the previous record set in 2020 by 100,000 barrels. Weekly domestic oil production has doubled from the first week in October 2012 to now.


Open Border

Republicans constantly refer to "Biden's open border" policies. But I dare you to find even one of them who's willing to state what they mean by that. Here's why (emphasis mine):
By using the term "open border," conservatives...are suggesting that anyone can get into the U.S. without much hassle. But the reality is that the southern border is more fortified than it's ever been.

Since 1992, the U.S. has quadrupled the number of Border Patrol agents — from less than 5,000 to nearly 20,000 today.

Barriers, walls, and fences have been erected along portions of the 1,951-mile U.S.-Mexico border, in addition to new Border Patrol outposts and high-tech surveillance systems.

The Border Patrol regularly breaks border arrest records, highlighting the difficulty of entering the country illegally.

What no one seems to want to talk about is that there has been a significant change in the migrants crossing our southern border over the last few years. It's true that the number who are "apprehended" is at an all-time high. But look a bit deeper and here's what you find:

The number of migrants from countries other than Mexico has soared
In November 2022, a majority of the migrants encountered at the border (63%) were from countries other than Mexico and the Northern Triangle region.

Some of the biggest increases in encounters have involved people from Colombia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Peru and Venezuela.

Up above I put the word "apprehended" in quotation marks. That's because it is a bit of a misnomer. The majority of these migrants are not crossing the border illegally. They are seeking asylum, so they present themselves to border security voluntarily. That is NOT illegal.

The right to seek asylum was incorporated into international law following the atrocities of World War II. Congress adopted key provisions of the Geneva Refugee Convention (including the international definition of a refugee) into U.S. immigration law when it passed the Refugee Act of 1980...

To be granted asylum, one must meet the definition of a refugee. However, international law recognizes that the refugee status determination process can be lengthy and complex. Therefore, asylum seekers should receive certain protections before a state has officially recognized them as refugees.
Those who want to live in the reality-based world (rather than the lies we're hearing from the GOP) should be asking two questions:
  1. What is driving this influx of refugees?
  2. Is our system for dealing with asylum seekers adequate? It's clear that the answer to that question is "no." So what needs to change?

There you have it. Every GOP critique of Biden's domestic policies is based on lies. We can count on the fact that they will repeat those lies and mainstream media will let them get away with it. Our only recourse is to speak the truth to as many people as possible. 

2 comments:

  1. This is a real time case of the old adage "Politics is perception." Is President Biden doing a wonderful job on the economy? Yes, the numbers prove that in every conceivable way; inflation is down, GDP is up, etc. etc. However, do people actually see that improvement in their daily lives? When people are priced out of the housing market, are paying more for everything, or see the "crisis" at the border they need someone to blame and that someone is, unfortunately, President Biden. Add the Republican spin machine to the equation and what you get is a president who should have a 55-60% approval rating and is instead 15-20 points below that. The Democrats need to start acting like the Republicans when it comes to messaging because perception is, after all, everything!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Nancy:

    You may not remember me from Washington Monthly. I was the numbers guy there. By default, I have my own blog called Angry Bear. The owner Dan Crawford who I was friends with for over a decade died.

    He tasked me with keeping it a going place for similar numbers guys like me (Economists, etc.) to write. I will try my damnest for him. Do you mind if I repost your words from time to time? I know how to attribute you and you never know, you may acquire new commenters (including me). Had to remember your name to find your blog. Hope all is well.

    Bill (run75441@hotmail.com)

    ReplyDelete

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