Talk about meeting the moment, eh? At the precise time that the strategic value of increased American production and export of oil has been made clear in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Joe Biden will demand an acceleration its abandonment. Bloomberg reported overnight that Biden’s State of the Union address will feature a push for the climate-change portions of Build Back Better, and most hilariously will feature it as a policy to whip inflation now:
President Joe Biden will call on Congress to revive stalled climate legislation in Tuesday’s State of the Union address, pitching a package of tax credits and climate spending as a way to battle inflation and save the average American family $500 per year.
The renewed push comes as Biden’s approval ratings have dropped precipitously, with voters increasingly frustrated by soaring inflation, driven in part by higher energy prices.
Biden is not expected to explicitly lay out an alternative legislative vision, according a senior administration official who requested anonymity to discuss the preparations. Instead, he’ll describe fighting climate change as integral to boosting middle class finances.
Let’s walk through that logic, shall we? The climate-change package will cost trillions of dollars in off-budget spending, requiring more expansion of the monetary supply to cover both the principal and the interest that will stretch into perpetuity. It will also mean that Biden will keep his restrictions on oil leases and opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline, which will continue to force prices upward in the US and abroad. Not only does that help Vladimir Putin and Ali Khameini fund their military/terror aggressions, it means inflation will continue to tick up in the US too.
Consumers know that Biden could choose to incentivize more oil production in the US and make better use of Canada’s surplus. He’s choosing instead to double down on the progressive agenda, even when that enriches our geopolitical foes and impoverishes working-class Americans. To the extent anyone pays attention to the speech tonight, Biden’s choice will come through loud and clear.
That does, however, give us an insight into Biden’s strategy for tonight’s SOTU, to the extent that he has one. Rather than seek a reset to the center to score some wins for Democrats ahead of the election, Biden will instead double down on failure, including with this climate-change proposal that will go nowhere in the weeks to come. Punchbowl offers a gloomy curtain-raiser for Biden’s address:
Democrats don’t appear to be driving toward any big legislative victory that could dramatically alter the political environment, which looks bleak for the party based on history and polls. Biden will talk about the remnants of the Build Back Better Act tonight, but it’s unclear if anything from the centerpiece of Biden’s domestic agenda will ever pass.The prospects seem grim, especially if Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) continues to fear inflation more than he fears the wrath of progressives.
The Senate is moving toward passage of a U.S. Postal Service reform bill this week, which is an important piece of legislation. Congress will then turn to the FY 2022 omnibus. That legislation will include billions of dollars in badly needed military and humanitarian assistance for Ukraine.
Yet neither one of those is a game changer for Democrats. Neither is a major technology bill to help the United States compete with China on advanced research and manufacturing, especially on semiconductor chips, another priority for party leaders. Again, it’s a very important bill that could bring big benefits to the U.S. economy in the long run. But it’s not a political game changer.
The Covid pandemic appears to be receding – finally – and this could be the biggest boost for Biden and Democrats. Yet will it happen fast enough to make much of a difference? And will Democrats be able to overcome anger toward the federal government’s response to the pandemic, especially over masks, vaccine mandates and school closures? We don’t see any sign of that.
If Biden’s centerpiece remains his climate-change bill in the midst of rampant inflation, supply-chain crises, and a big spike in violent crime, Democrats shouldn’t expect any sign of a rebound, either.
Join the conversation as a VIP Member