Better Off Today?


During a debate with Jimmy Carter in 1980, Ronald Reagan famously asked, “Are you better off today than you were four years ago?”  Which is a sensible and basic question that has been asked in political races ever since — and next week’s midterm elections are no different.

As Americans head to the polls on Tuesday, one ought to consider if you, your family, or your business is better off today under Democrat control of one’s state and one-party rule in Washington, or not.  Unless you are very wealthy or like paying significantly higher prices for essential items like food, gas, rent, heating bills and just about everything else, I suspect the answer is no.

When Joe Biden took office in January 2021, the average national gas prices were $2.25 per gallon, according to the Energy Information Association, the American Petroleum Institute, and the American Automobile Association (AAA).  As of today, Nov. 4, the national average is $3.76 per gallon, per AAA.  That’s an increase of 67%.   And no one will forget that gas prices surged to an astronomical $5.02 per gallon last June, or even worse if you were in Nantucket, Massachusetts, where Biden will be spending Thanksgiving again this year, gas prices surged over $6.08 per gallon.  I experienced that firsthand, as I was there last summer, cringing every time I filled my tank.  And things were worse then in that bastion of progressive thought, California, topping $7.00 per gallon.

Soaring gas prices should not have come as a surprise, as Biden campaigned in 2020 promising “we are going to get rid of fossil fuels.” Voters now need to ask how the president’s kowtowing to special interest groups, campaign donors and climate fanatics — many who live in big houses, own gas-guzzling yachts and fly private jets — affect your family’s budget.

Same with sky-high inflation, which was 1.4% when Joe Biden took office in January 2021.  Today, inflation is a whopping 8.3% — a 40-year high — with elevated food prices hurting working families.  “Grocery prices are up 13.5% compared with a year earlier, the biggest 12-month jump since March 1979,” reports The Wall Street Journal.  “With no relief in sight, many consumers say they are struggling to keep up.”

And for those who want a more left-leaning perspective, CNN reported in September, “Americans browsing the supermarket aisle will notice most food items are far more expensive than they were a year ago.  Egg prices soared 39.8%, while flour got 23.3% more expensive.  Milk rose roughly 17.0%, while the price of bread jumped 16.2%.”

These are basic necessities Americans need to survive.  But sadly, under one-party Democrat rule in Washington over the past nearly two years, millions of Americans are being forced to choose between filling their gas tank to get to work, paying their rent or feeding their families — not a choice anyone should have to make living in the richest country in the world.

Nor should parents have to scramble to find baby formula in America due to the Biden administration’s embarrassing failure to resolve manufacturing and supply chain snafus that continue to threaten the health and well-being of our nation’s precious infants.

Equally, the nation is about to be negatively affected by a profound shortage of diesel fuel.  Current estimates as of November 3 indicate that our nation has about 22 days of diesel fuel available.  Think about the ramifications of a diesel fuel crisis.  Trucks deliver produce and meats to market.  Trains deliver gasoline and crude oil to refineries.  Trucks deliver medical products and equipment.  Such a shortage would cripple our economy and cause unnecessary pain to everyday Americans.  And, sadly, many Americans are not even informed of this impending shortage.  But it is very, very real and you will certainly hear about it in the days following the mid-term elections.

The one frustrating, nagging thing that tears at my heartstrings is that none of this was necessary.  And all of it can be laid at the feet of Joe Biden and his band of liberal progressive sychophants occupying Washington D.C.  It was Joe Biden who launched his war on fossil fuels on the day he took the oath of office January 20, 2021.  It was Joe Biden who canceled the keystone pipeline, imposed vast restrictions on the way oil companies extract oil from the ground and sea, curtailed fracking and made it impossible for oil companies to seek financing for their projects.  In short, he unilaterally cut the supply of oil for our country.  He did not have to do this!  It was a self- inflicted crippling wound to our nation.  There are over 6,000 products in our nation which depend on petroleum including pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, packaging, etc.  When you unilaterally cut the nation’s supply of a product, what do you think will happen to the supply of that product?  It will diminish.  If it diminishes, what are the logical consequences of that?  Prices will rise.  And since oil is an essential ingredient for over 6,000 products, the predictable result is rising prices and supply shortages….the very definition of inflation.  And that is what we have today.

Logic dictates that you do not replace a source of energy until you have something to put in its place that is affordable and that is efficient.  We are nowhere near that in America.  Yet, Joe Biden has plans to spend over $369 billion on climate change projects….money we do not have.  Keep in mind that if Biden would just have not taken the arbitrary, capricious and fiscally unsound actions he took regarding our energy independence we achieved under President Trump, Europe would not be in the shape it is in today, Putin would not have invaded Ukraine and we would have enhanced our economy by virtue of providing for the energy requirements of Europe without invading our Strategic Petroleum Reserves, which Biden has done repeatedly.  And we would not be in the position of going on bended knee to OPEC to ask them to increase their production or Venezuela under a Communist autocrat to ask them to help us out.  And in case you are wondering, America is blessed to have proven oil reserves in the Bakken Fields in North and South Dakota, Alaska, Canada, and the Gulf of Mexico capable of sustaining all our needs for the next 500 years. Knowing this, it is criminal behavior on the part of Biden and his acolytes to have caused this pain on America and its citizens.  Criminal and Unnecessary.

When it comes to public safety, we are all aware that crime is soaring nationwide.  Many living in major cities like New York, Chicago, LA, San Francisco, and Detroit are downright afraid.  Many are fearful of riding the subway, walking the street at night, or even wearing nice clothes to work without worrying about being assaulted.  New York’s Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul’s willful blindness that a crime problem in her state exists, as well as other soft-on-crime liberal officials nationwide who support cashless bail for violent criminals, make us less safe, diminishing our quality of life.

And with Democrats’ failed immigration policies and open borders controlled by dangerous drug cartels, fentanyl and other deadly drugs are pouring into our communities killing scores of Americans.  Over 107,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last spring.  The numbers will exceed that this year.  Keep in mind that China is allowing, even encouraging the flow of fentanyl into the U.S.  If you are a parent, like me, who lost a son to fentanyl, I can assure you that it is a terrible, gut-wrenching devastating feeling.  No parent should ever preside over the burial of their child.  Yet, our government stands by and does nothing.

The Mid Term Elections present us with an opportunity to send a message to Washington.  A vote for a Democrat means a vote for the status quo.  That translates to thousands more Americans dying of drug overdoses each year — the number one killer of 18- to 45-year-olds in America today.  If all that is acceptable to you, by all means vote Democrat next week.  However, if you believe that America’s not on the right track and that we are certainly not better off than we were two years ago, vote for Republican candidates across the board.

The choice for me is clear.