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VICTOR JOECKS: Biden turns U.S. into ‘That ’70s Show’

“That ’70s Show” isn’t just an old comedy series. It’s an apt description of America under President Joe Biden’s leadership. Unlike the show, this is no laughing matter.

What’s happening today seemed unimaginable four months ago. Biden came into office as the luckiest guy in politics. He won the presidency by hiding in his basement. The end of the pandemic was in sight thanks to the vaccines developed and distributed under former President Donald Trump. An economic boom looked inevitable with coronavirus restrictions easing.

The Middle East was calm, too. The Trump administration facilitated groundbreaking peace deals between Israel and Arab countries, including United Arab Emirates and Sudan.

To be successful, all Biden had to do was stay in seclusion and do nothing.

Instead, he canceled the Keystone Pipeline. In March, he signed a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill despite the rapid distribution of vaccines. It included $1,400 stimulus checks and an extension of more generous unemployment benefits.

He restarted funding to the Palestinians, totaling $235 million. He’s actively trying to make a deal with Iran.

The early results have been disastrous. Last week, experts expected the U.S. economy to add 1 million jobs. It added just 266,000. The unemployment rate increased slightly to 6.1 percent. There are plenty of jobs available. In March, there were more than 8.1 million job openings, a record high.

Inflation increased by 4.2 percent compared with last April. The month-to-month increase was 0.8 percent. Analysts had expected a 3.6 percent and 0.2 percent increase respectively. The annual increase was the largest since 2008.

Some items are up even more. The cost of lumber has more than doubled. Used vehicles are up more than 20 percent. Copper is up more than 35 percent.

Gas prices are rising, too — even before a cyberattack led to gas lines and fights in some Eastern states.

Inflation is often described as “too many dollars chasing too few goods.” Biden’s policies did both. He gave people “free” money and then paid them not to work. Employment, though, is necessary to produce the things people want to buy. Expect inflation to get worse before it gets better.

Those aren’t the only parts of Biden’s presidency causing flashbacks to the 1970s. There’s a new conflict in the Middle East. Hamas, a terrorist group, has launched more than 1,500 rockets at Israel. Many of the rockets came from Iran, the same country Biden wants to make nice with. In response, Israel has killed several Hamas leaders and was preparing to launch a possible ground invasion.

Despite the reporting by some national outlets, there is no moral equivalence here. Hamas launched rockets to kill civilians in Israel. Its military hides among civilians. Israel targets Hamas military leaders and buildings used for military purposes. Israel has even warned civilians before hitting buildings used by Hamas’ military. If Israel’s targeted efforts kill civilians, that’s on Hamas for using its own people as human shields. Israel doesn’t forfeit its right to self-defense because its enemy is morally reprehensible.

But Biden, through his spokeswoman, condemned “extremism that has inflicted violence on both communities.” What a farce.

Mr. President, the 1970s called. It wants its domestic and foreign policies back.

Contact Victor Joecks at vjoecks@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4698. Follow @victorjoecks on Twitter.

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