by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
America, something is wrong.
At a moment when people should be feeling upbeat, liberated and hopeful, optimism has cratered. How could that happen?
Maybe it’s because the country has awakened to this: Donald Trump is no longer in the White House creating offensive tweets, but instead we have Joe Biden there creating offensive policies. That’s the trade-off American voters chose on Nov. 3.
The just-released University of Michigan monthly survey showed consumer sentiment slumping to 82.3 in May from 88.3 in April, the lowest reading since February and below analysts’ forecasts. Consumers’ expectations about the future also plummeted, to 77.6 from 82.7 in April.
Democrats as well as Republicans were gloomier. Independents, in a warning sign for Biden, were more negative about the future than they were last October, before we had even one vaccine approved. Imagine.
That’s not the only sign that Americans are feeling downbeat. April’s retail spending number was flat, softer than expected, and the jobs report for last month was downright dismal.
Just when everything should be going right, too much is going wrong. The border is under siege, with a record 750,000 people crossing into our country illegally so far this year, and the Biden administration steadfastly refusing to acknowledge or deal with the problem.
The Middle East is again in flames, with Iran-backed Hamas attacking Israel, emboldened by a White House more eager to commit to the mullahs in Tehran than to our allies in Jerusalem.
And our biggest cities are suffering a surge of violent crime – especially in minority neighborhoods – even as Democrats rant about “equity” and defunding the police.
And now, to top it off, Americans are sitting at their kitchen tables confronting a new menace: inflation. April’s consumer price index showed the cost of living jumped more than expected, up over 4% from last year, the biggest increase in 13 years.
And they are wondering what the Biden White House is going to do about it.