Wednesday, January 20, 2021

It's All Downhill From Here

Joe Biden reaches a lifetime goal today.

He has dreamed of being President of the United States since he first entered the U.S. Senate when he was 30 years old. That was 48 years ago.

This is a quote from an article in The Washingtonian magazine in 1974 a year after Biden became a U.S. Senator titled "Death and the All-American Boy" which focused on the young Senator who had lost his wife, Neilia, and his infant daughter in an auto accident shortly before he took office.

Biden says he no longer allows himself the luxury of long-range planning, but he enjoys the prestige of being a Senator and seems committed to finishing his six-year term. In fact, he says he might consider running for President. “My wife always wanted me to be on the Supreme Court,” he says. “But while I know I can be a good Senator, and I know I can be a good President, I do know that I could never be another Oliver Wendell Holmes. I know I could have easily made the White House with Neilia. And my family still expects me to be there one of these days. With them behind me anything can happen.”

I highly recommend that you read this Kitty Kelley profile of Biden in its entirety. It has a number of insights into the man even though it was written 47 years ago. 

Unfortunately, Biden's inauguration today will probably be the one shining moment for him.

It will most likely be all downhill for him from here.

Why do I say that?

First, Biden has to overcome the fact that a good portion of the country believes that he is taking office illegitimately. He starts with a pretty large handicap out of the gate. For many the mantra is going to be "NOT MY PRESIDENT". It is the same thing many Democrats said about Trump. Biden says he wants to "unify" the country. It is a nice sound bite but color me skeptical. Perhaps "Good Old Joe's" heart is in the right place but his head is going to tell him that he can't cross the majority of Democrats who don't want any unity.

Biden also clearly has diminished mental capacities compared to what he once had. It is undoubtedly going to get worse. His staff and the media protected Biden during the campaign and in the post-election period. It will get harder to do that after tomorrow. There are a lot of expectations about Presidential performance. It is going to be harder to hide Biden and any gaffes will be more noticeable to the public at large. 

It is also likely that the Hunter Biden investigation will rear its head at some point. Biden has to hope that the deep state and the media will cover it over but there is already enough evidence to suggest that Hunter is very, very dirty. Perhaps he did not do anything criminal but Hunter is a very troubled soul. At some point it is going to be hard for Joe to continue saying that his son "is the smartest man he knows".

Biden also faces the challenge in trying to appear to be a responsible American in a party that has made a hard left turn. How does Biden mollify the radical leftists in his party without looking like he has totally sold out to their agenda? 

I think a lot of people voted for Biden thinking that it would result in less protests, mayhem and violence in our country. I predicted during the campaign that the reverse might be true. Many of these groups think Biden and the Democrats "owe them". If they don't get their way they are not going to be happy.

Look at a few examples we have already seen in the last week or so.

A day of resistance?  I thought their guy won? Are they worried they might actually have to return to the classroom and teach?

We also have the manner in which many of those Biden voters celebrated Martin Luther King day in New York City.

Bottle-flinging marchers incited by anti-cop rhetoric instigated a Martin Luther King Day clash between cops and protesters near City Hall, with 11 officers injured at the event honoring the famously non-violent civil rights leader, NYPD officials charged Tuesday.

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea, in back to back interviews on NY1 and WINS-AM 1010, said some in the crowd marching across the Brooklyn Bridge were hellbent on hurting cops — with five of the injured cops taken to area hospitals and a sixth declining medical help after taking a bottle to the head.

“Whatever this was it certainly didn’t represent a peaceful protest,” Shea said on NY1. “This is the protest that we see on a day honoring Martin Luther King. It consisted of violence, threats, bottles being thrown and people calling for the death of police officers.

“(This) wasn’t created by the police, it was created by people who want to destroy our city.”

If anyone can find where Joe Biden or Kamala Harris condemned these actions please let me know as I can't find it.

At some point Biden is also going to have his record on many other issues compared to Donald J. Trump.

Does anyone remember what ISIS was doing when Trump took office and what they were doing when he left office?

What about North Korea?

How many terrorist attacks against the United States while Trump was President?

What about the peace deals in the Middle East that all of the former Presidential administrations failed to achieve but Trump got done?

Trump was also the first President in recent memory that did not get us into one foreign war conflict.

Trump entered office with masses of immigrants trying to pour into the country. He left with hundreds of miles of new wall and a deal where Mexico's military was protecting us by patrolling the border on their side. How long has it been since you heard about immigrant caravans? You hadn't for a couple of years until recently when a new caravan started based on the belief that Joe Biden is going to let them into our country.

What about the new trade deals with Canada and Mexico? Those are other deals which were said to be impossible to do.

What about the increased funding by our NATO partners?

What about the China trade deals and the import duties on China imports?

What about energy independence that many said was impossible for the United States to ever have again?

Let's document a few economic measures here with the most current data (as of January 19, 2021) so that there can be an easy comparison of the Biden record to what Trump achieved at some point down the road.

Dow Jones Industrial Average   30,931  (+56% since 1/20/17)

S&P 500     3,799  (+67% since 1/20/17)

NASDAQ   13,197  (+138% since 1/20/17)

10-year Treasury yield  1.094%

30 year mortgage rate (average)  2.87%

Gallon of gas (AAA national average for regular)  $2.39

Natural gas per cf   $2.48   (increasingly importantly as proxy for residential energy costs) ($3.39 when Trump took office)

Lowest unemployment rate during Trump term  (before China virus)     3.5%

Current unemployment rate (as of 12/20)  6.7%

Inflation rate for last full year of Trump term (2020)    1.2%

Real median household income per Federal Reserve estimate  $65,712 

Poverty rate at end of 2019 ( 2020 rate not published yet)   10.5%  ( lowest in history)

Poverty rate for African Americans at end of 2019     18.8%   (lowest in history)

Poverty rate for Hispanic Americans at end of 2019   15.7%   (lowest in history)

I wish Joe Biden all the luck in the world to better these measures.

More power to him if he can.

However, most likely it is all downhill from here simply due to the fact that it is hard to imagine anyone bettering these marks. How much better can it get on some of these? We have to be near the top of the hill right now. Trump would almost certainly not have been able to come close to matching them himself if he had remained in office. 

We may see the stock market go higher due to the Fed continuing to print money. Perhaps there is a post-Covid economic explosion to push things ahead for awhile. However, the bubble would seem to have to burst at some point. Can they keep it going for another four years? That seems doubtful right now.

Covid will end at some point but will Biden have anything to do with it? We are already past the 8 month period when most viruses die a natural death. Lockdowns have actually probably extended the life cycle of this virus. The vaccines are also in play now but what did Biden have to do with them?

All of this suggests to me that Biden will struggle in office on a downhill trajectory for a combination of the factors outlined above.

This also suggests to me that Donald Trump might begin to look better and better over time to the voters who rejected him in 2020 for not having the style or comportment they wanted in their President.

In summary, Biden appears to have nowhere to go but down. At the same time, Trump seems to have nowhere to go but up when people start comparing records down the road a little bit.

It remains to be seen whether Trump will be a viable candidate in 2024. The Democrats are clearly concerned about that prospect or they would not have been so intent on impeaching him to foreclose that possibility. That action alone tells me that they are not real confident in Joe Biden's (and their) prospects over the next couple of years.

However, irrespective of how the impeachment trial goes, age is not on Trump's side. Ironically, Trump's future prospects may actually be dependent on Biden's performance in office. Voters may decide that putting another 78 year old in the White House is simply not a good idea.

The media narrative today shows Biden on top of the world while they portray Trump as a beaten man who has been kicked to the curb.

 I am interested to see how history looks at all of this in several years.

My advice to Joe Biden is to enjoy it while you can. I am betting it is all downhill from here.

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