Joe Biden and the Powerless Presidency

There’s no doubt inflation is the nation’s most pressing concern. All the polls show it. All the data shows it. And everyone just personally knows it.

President Joe Biden will not admit that his policies, and his party’s policies, have made inflation worse — and that, if Biden and congressional Democrats had their way, they would make it worse still. He just can’t say that. Instead, the president’s reaction has been a mixture of denial, finger pointing, ineffective gestures and, perhaps most of all, the argument that he, as president, is virtually powerless to address the nation’s most pressing concern.

“Look, inflation is the bane of our existence,” Biden said when he appeared recently in a sympathetic forum, comedian Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night show. Kimmel was so sympathetic that he didn’t even ask Biden about inflation; Biden brought it up himself. But he had little to say. Remember that when Biden published his plan to fight inflation in The Wall Street Journal on May 30, his first measure was not to do anything himself but to let the Federal Reserve do the job. His role as president, Biden said, was not to say anything mean about the Fed.

As for all the

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