The Americans who elected Joe Biden thought that if they threw out Donald Trump, then new and more responsible policies would tame the Covid-19 epidemic, the economy would thrive, and life would go back to — oh, how you miss it when it’s gone! — normal. One of the reasons they believed that is because Biden and his media allies told them so. But now Biden is president, the epidemic persists, the most important variables in its course are not changes in federal policy, and the invasive, non-spending policies the Biden administration favors, such as vaccination mandates, are unpopular and unworkable, and would require legislative and political buy-in that Biden isn’t going to get. So the federal government’s main contribution to fighting Covid-19 from here on out apparently is going to be annoying the hell out of airline passengers. And, worse, the Democrats have managed to resurrect serious inflation, an economic virus to which Americans had thought themselves immune, a ghastly relic from the bad old days of Walter Mondale and other icons of failure Democrats would rather not be thinking about.
Biden has a million things he’d be happy to spend some money on and see if he can buy himself some love, or at least a midterm result that is something other than a fiasco. Unfortunately, the problems at the top of our national to-do list just now require something more than shoveling great quantities of money out the door. Democrats may be shocked and scandalized to learn that this is not enough. In fact, they don’t quite seem to believe it, yet. Perhaps the American people, currently getting poorer at an annualized rate of 6.8 percent, will persuade them next fall.