Recent Op-Eds

The President Promises More of the Same

By Sen. John Thune

March 8, 2024

After three years of an inflation crisis, a border crisis, and national security challenges around the world, President Biden’s State of the Union address was hardly the course correction our country needs. In fact, the president promised more of the same policies that led to these problems in the first place. Like many Americans, I’m ready to turn the page on the failed policies that have made life more expensive, our country less secure, and our world increasingly unstable.

The inflation crisis the president helped create may be the Biden administration’s defining legacy. Today it costs a typical family $1,000 more per month to maintain the standard of living it enjoyed when President Biden took office. Americans are feeling the pain of higher prices, particularly at the grocery store where prices are up 21 percent in the last three years. The cost of food now takes up a larger share of disposable incomes than it has in more than 30 years. As inflation strains budgets, many Americans are struggling to get ahead, saving less, and taking on more debt. This is the unfortunate reality of life in the Biden economy.

Three years ago, the president also began dismantling the Trump administration’s border security policies. On his first day in office, President Biden stopped construction of the border wall, rescinded the declaration of a national emergency at the border, and paused most deportations. What followed is three years of surging illegal immigration, with no sign of stopping. More than 9 million illegal immigrants have crossed the border under this president, and there is no question this surge is smoothing the way for dangerous individuals to enter the country. It’s a national security, humanitarian, and logistical crisis of the president’s own making.

In the last few years, the world has become increasingly unstable, and the president’s policies have proved ill-suited to this reality. His disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan weakened our standing among our allies. The president’s policy toward Iran, beginning with his attempt to revive the Iran nuclear deal, failed to deter Iran’s malign activity in the Middle East. The Biden administration’s hostility to conventional energy production at home has also undermined our energy security. The president’s Green New Deal vision is jeopardizing the affordable and reliable energy supply we need now and in the future.

I doubt anyone outside the White House looks at this administration’s record in the last three years and sees anything worth repeating. But, in the State of the Union, the president didn’t present a new way forward. Instead, we heard much of the same message we’ve come to expect from the Biden administration.

Reckless tax-and-spending policies, open borders, and weakness on the world stage have come to define the Biden presidency. Many Americans are understandably feeling pessimistic about the state of the country and worried about the future. Unfortunately, the president only made clear in his address that if the American people are looking for relief, they’re not going to find it from him.