The buck isn’t stopping with President Biden.
As his domestic and international problems multiply, he has found boogeymen to blame everywhere — except the White House.
There’s Afghanistan, where a botched withdrawal left Americans stranded, a terrorist attack at Kabul airport killed 13 Americans, and fleeing Afghans fell to their deaths from the wheel wells of planes in flight. Biden blamed Trump for the chaos.
Inflation? Take it up with Vladimir Putin. Rising gas prices are the work of greedy oil companieswhile surging meat prices are caused by greedy meatpacking companies.
“President Biden can try to pass the buck, but the American people aren’t buying it,” said Staten Island GOP Rep. Nicolle McClliotakis.
On Aug. 14, Biden addressed the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan. The Taliban were at the gates of Kabul and within hours the pro-US president Ashraf Ghani would flee the country.
The withdrawal brought a formal end to nearly two decades of US military involvement in the country, but also left hundreds of Americans stranded behind. The Taliban, ousted from power in the 2001 US invasion, emptied jails and seized US weapons before returning in triumph.
Biden said former President Trump was at fault for leaving the Taliban “in the strongest position militarily since 2001,” and said his hands were tied because of a pre-existing deal Trump had struck with the militants.
“There was not a good way to do it, but there would have been a much better way,” Jim Hanson, a former Army Special Forces vet and now President of the Security Studies Group told The Post. Hanson was particularly critical of Biden’s decision to close Bagram airbase and surrender operational control of the US pullout to the Taliban.
“[Biden] had almost no negotiating power because they knew he wasn’t going to stay,” Hanson said.
In January 2021 — the month President Biden took office — the US inflation rate was 1.4%, according to the Consumer Price Index. It had been slowly bubbling up from a low of 0.1% in May 2020, but rocketed in the months following Biden’s inauguration.
Inflation hit a 40-year high of 8.5% in March 2022, before cooling slightly in April.
President Biden has conceded that inflation is “unacceptably high,” but in a statement last month pointed the finger not at out-of-control government spending but at the “pandemic and Putin’s price hike.”
“They have a grain of truth in it, but that’s it,” said Eli Noam, a professor of finance and economics at the Columbia Business School. “To blame Putin for that is shifting responsibility from the US federal government and the administration.”
One of Biden’s central campaign pledges was to undo his predecessor’s allegedly “horrifying” and “racist” immigration polices. Since he’s taken office, the flood of illegal immigrants entering the United States has hit a 20-year high. Migrant encampments have sprouted in Texas.
Biden officials have refused to call the matter a crisis and the Pentagon has said it won’t commit troops to the border. In April, migrant encounters at the US border surged to 234,088, the highest in the history of the Department of Homeland Security. A total of 97,000 people were expelled under Title 42, a Trump-era regulation which allows migrants to be turned away directly at the southern border and prevented from seeking asylum in the United States. Biden had promised to lift Title 42 on May 23, but it was ordered to remain in place last week by US District Judge Robert Summerhays of the Western District of Louisiana.
“They ended Remain in Mexico, they returned to catch and release, and they stopped building the wall. Now they want to lift Title 42 which would make the crisis on the border catastrophically worse and further solidify their lawless open borders agenda,” Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz told The Post.
GAS / MEAT PRICES
The Biden administration has also been beset by sharp price hikes among basic staples, including gas and meat. The average price of gas in the United States hit $4.82 per gallon on Saturday, according to AAA. California drivers are now paying well over $6 per gallon, with experts saying those numbers could be nationwide by summer.
“Oil and gas companies shouldn’t pad their profits at the expense of hardworking Americans,” Biden said in March. He has also blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine for disrupting global energy supplies.
Experts said Biden’s domestic polices are largely responsible.
“President Biden came into office vowing to transition the economy away from fossil fuels,” said Samir Tabar, a former head of capital strategy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “The administration has been less friendly to oil production than its predecessor and at a time when markets are undersupplied and that had had a big effect.”
Biden has tried much the same approach with meat prices, blaming large producers for rising costs. US meat giant Tyson’s average beef prices rose 23.8% year-over-year, while chicken and pork prices increased 14.4% and 10.8% respectively, Fox Business reported.
Meat producers disagreed. “The Biden Administration continues to ignore the number one challenge to meat and poultry production: labor shortages,” the North American Meat Institute said in a statement.
In February, the Food and Drug Administration shut down Abbott Nutrition’s baby formula plant in Sturgis, Mich. The move coincided with a recall of the company’s Similac baby formula after an infant died from a Cronobacter sakazakii infection after consuming the formula.
The closure of the plant, compounded by ongoing supply chain problems, led to a nationwide shortage of the formula, forcing the president to invoke the Defense Production Act and airlift the precious formula from abroad.
Last month Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, told CBS News’ “Face The Nation” that the issue was “very personal” for him — and directed the blame squarely on Abbott.
“Fundamentally, we are here because a company was not able to guarantee that its plant was safe. And that plant has shut down,” Buttigieg said. President Biden has said only “mind readers” could have foreseen the shortage.
Abbott has pushed back, noting that “the CDC concluded its investigation with no findings of a link between Abbott formulas and infant illnesses. There is no conclusive evidence to link Abbott’s powder formulas to any reported infant illnesses.”
Peter J. Pitts, a former FDA associate commissioner said that “a key question is: What did the White House know and when did it know it?”
“An attentive White House should have recognized shortages that were coming and aggressively communicated the situation to American parents while empowering the FDA to work with major retailers to avoid product panic buying by parents and hoarding by Internet price gougers,” Pitts said.