Biden adds insult to injury by denying inflation and supply shortage

Opinion: President Biden suggests there is no shortage and our eyes are deceiving us. Then he assures us that shortages are not a big problem. Not a winning strategy.

The grocery store was running out of cotton balls. Luckily I didn’t need cotton balls – I don’t believe I ever had any – but the empty shelf looked odd. Maybe all the other parents have made a run on Santa Claus themed craft supplies.

I needed canned cat food for our nightly feedings from the stray people in the neighborhood. Those shelves were empty too. About three neighbors are feeding the same feline, so I figured they could take over.

Every week the store runs out of something else. Last week it was our favorite soft drink, three weeks ago it was paper napkins, and before that it was pretzels – all brands were missing.

None of these shortages are serious. Even a carb addict like me can skip pretzels for a week. But the shortages are so random. It’s hard not to feel like something is wrong.

This economic uncertainty is only magnified when you see how much you are paying the cashier more at the end of the visit.

Biden often says ‘there is no problem to see here’

Faced with empty shelves and Amazon delays, the the president assured Americans not to believe our lying eyes.

“If you’ve been watching the news lately, you might think the shelves at all of our stores are empty across the country,” Biden said. “The CEOs I met this week reported that their inventories were up, the shelves were well stocked and they were ready to meet consumer demand for the holidays.”

After hinting that there was no shortage, he assured the nation that our current shortages are not a big deal.

“Some of you moms and dads may remember Cabbage Patch Kids in the 80s or Beanie Babies in the 90s, or other toys that sold out over Christmas in recent years when there was no supply chain problem, ”Biden said.

In October, Press officer Jen Psaki mocked the pre-Christmas shortages appliances, furniture and exercise equipment like “the delayed treadmill tragedy”. Chief of Staff Ron Klain dismissed them as “high class problems” Americans should stop complaining about.

Meanwhile, the first two items on my daughter’s Amazon Wish List aren’t available, and I doubt a Cabbage Patch Kid garage sale will be enough.

The White House’s communications strategy on everything from Afghanistan to the border to the economy has been “there is no problem and even if there is, it’s fine.” No one should be surprised by the collapse of Biden’s polls.

But shortages will be hard for voters to ignore

Voters might ignore Biden’s focus on Afghanistan as they don’t know anyone stranded in Kabul he has vowed to evacuate. Others may ignore the gas lighting at the border since thousands of migrants are not camping under the nearest highway bridge. But they can’t ignore random shortages, missed deliveries and soaring prices at the pumps and grocery stores.

Insulting the intelligence of average voters is no way to win the mid-terms. Pretending that massive supply chain problems do not exist will only increase the backlash. And pretend inflation is not set at 6.2% adds to the sour mood of the nation.

Biden’s shortages are hit and miss but are mainly due to the broken supply chain. Canned cat food is blamed on more households with pets, a shortage of aluminum and a shortage of workers. The pretzel-free aisles are likely due to strikes at several snack and cereal companies, as well as slower shipping.

And one “cotton press” shook the world markets, causing the price to rise by 50%. Children across the country should keep their Santa Claus clean shaven.

These are all real problems, certainly not catastrophic but real. Having the White House pretending voters imagine them won’t help them win a news cycle, let alone the 2022 and 2024 elections.

Jon Gabriel, a resident of Mesa, is editor-in-chief of and a contributor to The Republic and On Twitter: @exjon.

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