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6 Big Failures Of Biden’s Presidency

Credit: White House Flickr Stream

By Jarrett Stepman, The Daily Signal | March 6, 2024

The state of the union is feeble.

That’s what many Americans believe as President Joe Biden is set to make his fourth, and perhaps final, State of the Union address Thursday evening.

Regardless of what he says in the speech, the reality of Biden’s tenure is that the American people are not only uneasy but deeply pessimistic about the country’s future.

Why are Americans so down about the state of the union?

They’re down not only because of a crumbling confidence in the country’s most powerful institutions, but because of the failures of the man sitting in the Oval Office.

Here’s my roundup of what I think are the six most prominent failures of the Biden presidency so far.

The Worst Border Crisis in US History

This is the most obvious failure of the Biden administration, a failure that gets to the heart of what this administration and the modern Left are all about.

At the federal, state, and local levels, the Left works to ensure that the concept of citizenship becomes meaningless—outside of paying taxes. 

But it’s at the federal level where the most damage can be done. And the Biden administration has done all it can to ensure the flow of illegal aliens continues, knowing that once they’re allowed into the country most are likely here to stay.

The first thing Biden did when he became president was strip away the border security measures of the previous administration. His administration continued to tear away at every measure that would allow for effective enforcement.

From disbanding the successful “Remain in Mexico” policy that ensured that asylum-seekers would have to wait in Mexico for their asylum claims to be processed to ending the public health measure called Title 42, Biden has proved his unwillingness to enforce U.S. immigration laws.

Biden didn’t just immediately throw open the door for a wave of illegal immigration, his administration subtly ensured that illegal immigration would directly benefit his party.

For instance, the president issued an executive order directing the Census Bureau to count noncitizens in the reapportionment numbers, a nice bonus for Democrat-led sanctuary states to make up for citizens who fled their policies.

The result of all this has been predictable, but still astounding in its scope.

According to a Fox News report late last month, about 7.2 million illegal border crossings have occurred since Biden became president. This is a higher number than the population of 36 different states.

In every year of the Biden presidency, a new annual record for illegal border crossings has been set. Judging by the early numbers, 2024 will keep up the pattern.

It’s become such a disaster that even a few Democrat mayors and governors have begun to grouse. City budgets are being strained and radically shifted to cater to the newcomers.

All thanks to Biden.

The DEI Bureaucratic Cultural Revolution

The Biden administration has made it clear that its bureaucratic priority—no matter what Cabinet department—is always advancing “equity.”

Administration officials aren’t doing this by ensuring that Americans will be treated equally under the law. Instead the goal is the opposite: to wholly racialize the American republic and to turn us into warring “oppressed” groups clawing for scraps from the federal government.

From advancing critical race theory, to promoting gender transition for minors, to obliterating American history on public land, the Biden administration has empowered the bureaucracy to turn “diversity, equity, and inclusion”—or DEI—into a kind of ideological state religion.

An executive order Biden signed last year, called “Further Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government,” highlights how his administration aims to make this transformation complete.

Writer and filmmaker Christopher Rufo spoke about this order at the time and summarized the president’s policy. It’s worth quoting at length:

First, he’s creating internal cadres of DEI officers. This is really important for shaping the culture, the personnel, and the budgeting process in the federal government, which controls trillions of dollars of public resources. Second, he’s using this initiative to justify funding third-party political activists under the guise of so-called underserved communities or faith and community organizations. And third, he’s doubling down on the weaponization of civil rights law, this time with some very interesting and very modern twists. He’s pushing left-wing ideology, even regulating things like the use of artificial intelligence, and this entire package is justified through this really intricate but unfortunately widespread statistical and linguistic manipulation.

Biden is doing his best to ensure America in the future will be permanently ruled by people who act and think like those who run Harvard University.

Weaponized Agencies

Not only is the federal bureaucracy working relentlessly to promote DEI and the cultural revolution, but it’s also been outright weaponized to attack political opponents of the regime.

In 2022, I warned about the massive expansion of the Internal Revenue Service. It wasn’t hard to see how this would quickly be abused.

Sure enough, the IRS stepped up its policy of unannounced home visits, a tactic later abandoned because of pressure from Congress. Even more disturbingly, before the policy was ended, the IRS made an unannounced visit to journalist Matt Taibbi’s house the same day he testified to Congress about the cozy connection between the Biden administration and Big Tech companies.

It isn’t just the IRS that’s the problem.

The Department of Justice and the FBI have also been weaponized against Americans who disagree with the Biden administration’s preferred political narratives.

The DOJ put out a memo in 2021 essentially saying that parents protesting at local school board meetings were potential domestic terrorists. A House committee later found no justification at all for this conclusion.

This looked more like a smear campaign to silence opposition.

More recently, the FBI moved to investigate traditional Catholic pro-life groups as potential domestic terrorists.

“I’ve made it very clear that, in my view, the evidence shows that, the FBI, for example, in the last couple of years has been weaponized,” House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., said in a November interview with The Daily Signal.

“We have the evidence to show it,” Johnson said. “They have, in some cases, targeted people of faith. They’ve targeted conservative Catholics and concerned parents at school board meetings and all the rest. The evidence is very clear that that’s happened.”

This is happening as the Justice Department has remained mostly silent while hundreds of pro-life pregnancy centers have been targeted for arson and vandalism by pro-abortion extremists.

Debt, Inflation, and the Cost of Living

The constant message from the Biden administration has been that the U.S. economy is the best ever and that it’s been creating jobs like never before. Never mind the fact that widespread COVID-19 lockdowns that the administration promoted were the reason so many jobs were lost to begin with.

But the administration hasn’t been able to hide from inflation and attendant cost-of-living increases, which are eating away at the savings and finances of countless Americans.

Biden’s message has been to blame private companies for the price surge and to focus on “shrinkflation,” in which products are reduced in size and quantity to mask price increases.

Administration officials even enlisted “Sesame Street” characters to promote this idea, another good reason to be more skeptical of public funding for PBS.

But breakfast cereal companies and grocery stores didn’t just decide to raise prices to be mean to customers. In fact, if anything, “shrinkflation” helps to disguise the deeper issue.

“According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices paid by business and consumers alike have increased 18% on average since Biden took office in January 2021,” Heritage Foundation economics expert EJ Antoni wrote in February.

The reason for this is that Congress and the Biden administration not only spent trillions of dollars on COVID-19 emergency aid but kept the spigot going afterward.

By the way, much of that COVID-19 emergency went down the drain, as billions of dollars were reportedly wasted or stolen.

“An Associated Press analysis found that fraudsters potentially stole more than $280 billion in COVID-19 relief funding; another $123 billion was wasted or misspent,” The Associated Press reported in June. “Combined, the loss represents 10% of the $4.2 trillion the U.S. government has so far disbursed in COVID relief aid.”

The spending issue isn’t just Biden’s, though he’s certainly done nothing to stem it. 

Long-term bipartisan failure has crippled the finances of the United States. This isn’t just causing prices to go up now. Federal spending threatens the future prosperity of Americans for generations to come.

Global Instability as Military Recruitment Collapses

The Biden administration faces multiple foreign policy crises across the globe. 

The shambolic and embarrassing departure from Afghanistan led to absolutely no accountability for those who conducted it. This is the administration’s MO.

Worse, we’ve now hit year two of the war between Russia and Ukraine, at which the U.S. and other allies have thrown tens of billions of dollars with no resolution. 

The Middle East—incredibly stable during the Trump administration—looks to be closer to all-out war as Iran and its proxies attack Israel. And China has been disturbingly aggressive in its actions toward the United States.

With all of this happening, the Biden administration seems to have no grand strategic plan other than to insist, loudly, that “we are the United States of America.” This maximalist, but soft approach seems to be particularly dubious when combined with a military both dwindling and demoralized.

The military hasn’t been immune to the “woke-ification” of the federal bureaucracy. Far from it. The DEI virus is hollowing out American military strength, just as it poisons the rest of our society.

The Biden administration has prioritized diversity, equity, and inclusion and related LBGTQ initiatives for the State Department and the military.

The Biden administration insists that DEI efforts are necessary to increase military recruitment and the effectiveness of the military, but the truth seems to be the opposite. The military now spends an increasing amount of time on DEI training and less on honing its warfighting capabilities.

In addition, the military services have seen a historic collapse in recruitment rates for the all-volunteer forces, especially among whites.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reported last month: “In fiscal year 2018, 44,042 new recruits to the Army—or 56.4% of the total—were white, according to data obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation. That number collapsed to a low of 25,070—or 44% of the total—in fiscal year 2023.” 

A significant increase in other groups hasn’t occurred to even come close to making up for the drastic recruitment shortfalls.

Yet, the Biden administration seems to have no other idea of how to fix this than to continue saying “diversity is our strength” until morale improves.

Still No Return to ‘Normalcy’

This one is the hardest to define, but in some ways is the most damning failure of the Biden presidency. Biden campaigned in 2020 on the message that he would restore normalcy and confidence in the presidency and the country.

Instead, Biden has used his time in office to portray his opponents as extremists (while acting like an extremist himself), has called his likely 2024 rival an “insurrectionist” as political allies attempt to arrest the former president, and has left many Americans feeling pessimistic and downright hopeless about the future.

It seems we’ve sunk deeper into a malaise than during the administration of President Jimmy Carter in the 1970s.

It doesn’t help that serious questions haven’t been answered about the president’s health and competency. The few times Biden has been asked to address this issue, his response is to caustically lash out at reporters who suggest he may be slipping mentally. 

And questions also have arisen about whether Biden is really the man running the show at all.

Biden has been the highly partisan face of an irresponsible regime that is dedicated more to the cultural revolution than effective national leadership in troubled times.

That’s not the resume of a “uniter in chief.”

Jarrett Stepman is a columnist for The Daily Signal. He is also the author of the book "The War on History: The Conspiracy to Rewrite America's Past."

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