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Observers: Food Bank Shortages Indicate Biden's Economic Failure, Midterms to be Moment of Truth

© AP Photo / Rick BowmerPeople arrive for a food bank distribution by the Utah Food Bank
People arrive for a food bank distribution by the Utah Food Bank  - Sputnik International, 1920, 16.07.2022
US food banks are seeing long lines and increased demand as inflation rose more than expected to 9.1% in June and prices kept soaring. Food bank networks are complaining that the abrupt surge in demand caught them off guard.
"Food prices have risen by more than 10% in the last twelve months and a Feeding America food bank survey earlier this year showed that 80% of food banks were reporting either an increase or steady demand for emergency food services," explained Quardricos Driskell, adjunct professor in legislative affairs at the Graduate School of Political Management of George Washington University.
"Getting the financial sector in line with what this country needs it to do is the first to address this issue. Additionally, we need policymakers to do their part on the supply side; frankly, that just isn’t happening," the policy influencer and federal lobbyist went on to say.
When US people returned to work after the end of COVID-19 lockdowns last year, US food banks saw some temporary relief. However, banks are struggling to meet the latest upsurge in demand as federal programs provide less food to distribute, grocery store donations fade and cash gifts diminish, according to the Associated Press. Furthermore, as many as 10% of people now seeking food are first-timers, the media outlet pointed out, adding that a growing number are showing up on foot to save gasoline.
Feeding America, a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks, is calling on the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Congress to reinstate hundred million dollar programs after the ending of several temporary initiatives launched during the pandemic.
According to the USDA, up to $400 million from the Build Back Better initiative is currently being used to buy food from local, regional and underserved producers that can be given to food banks, schools and other feeding programs.
Soaring inflation and the accompanying slump in living standards have been named as the root causes of the growing food bank demand.
Volunteers fill up grocery carts with food for distribution into drive through vehicles at the St. Mary's Food Bank Wednesday, June 29, 2022, in Phoenix - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.07.2022
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Who is to Blame for the Emerging Crisis?

"The Biden administration will wear the legacy of inflation regardless of what policies they pursued, or failed to pursue, in the matter," said Professor David Woodard, a Clemson University political scientist and former political consultant for Republican congressmen. "Given everyday problems for everyday Americans, I think the plight of food banks doesn't interest anyone in the White House or elsewhere except those who run charities."
The political scientist highlighted that while the White House is blaming the US inflation either on COVID or Russia's special operation, the whole situation "came from the Biden administration's neglect of private markets while they favored public government spending."
"Washington has so many problems that they can't list them, and most of the issues revolve around a neglect of economic issues that could have been avoided," said the academic. "They favored 'green' incentives for crops instead of protecting domestic markets, they opposed expansion by the oil and gas industry, they opposed the Keystone pipeline, etc. The list is endless."
However, the Biden administration is not the sole "culprit" behind the unfolding crisis, argued Dr. Nicholas Waddy, a political analyst and associate professor of history at SUNY Alfred.
According to him, "to some degree, unforeseen circumstances like the COVID pandemic really are partly responsible for the problem." And even though the Dems are responsible for the latest "orgy" of government spending, both parties participated in unrestrained money-waste since COVID hit, added the political analyst.
"Did President Biden cause our current problem with inflation? No, but his actions have in no way helped to solve the problem, and have in many ways made the situation worse," Waddy said.
In this March 21, 2021 file photo, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent looks on near a gate on the U.S.-Mexico border wall as agents take migrants into custody, in Abram-Perezville, Texas. - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.06.2022
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Influx of Illegal Migrants Adds to Problem

While covering the issue of growing lines at US food banks, the media has shied away from admitting that quite a few of the desperate people standing in queues are "undocumented" immigrants, several million of whom have been allowed to cross the southern border and stay in the US since Biden took office, the political analyst pointed out.
Following Biden's decision to reverse his predecessor's border policies, the number of illegal entries started to rise dramatically. On March 10, 2021, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported that it had encountered 100,441 persons attempting entry along the southwest border in February 2021, representing a 28% increase from January 2021, when Biden assumed office.
In July 2022, the CBP noted that the number of immigrants encountered nationwide in June was 153,379, while in total there were 207,416 encounters along the southwest land border last month. Although the latest figures constitute a 14 percent decrease compared to May, the number of illegal entries has remained steadily high since January 2021.
According to the Center of Immigration Studies (CIS), a non-profit independent think tank, the foreign-born population (both legal and illegal) hit record a 47 million in the US in April 2022. The figure represents a two million uptick in the first 16 months of the Biden administration, twice as fast as the US-born population grew previously, according to the CIS. The think tank’s preliminary estimates indicate that illegal immigrants accounted for two-thirds of the growth in the foreign-born population since January 2021, i.e. 1.35 million.
"Biden's philosophy has always been 'no problem, we'll just spend more,' and certainly we see no sign of any form of fiscal discipline being imposed, or any significant policy U-turns," Waddy said. "The worst part is: inflation, once it takes hold, can be very difficult to get rid of. Americans may be living with it for years to come. And real hourly wages, lest we forget, have already declined 3.6%. How much lower will they go?"
President Donald Trump reacts during the final presidential debate at Belmont University, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn., with Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden  - Sputnik International, 1920, 05.07.2022
Prof: Dems Know They're Facing Apocalypse in Midterms, So They're Playing the 'Trump is Bad' Tune

Days of Dems' Congress Control Numbered

Meanwhile, President Biden has committed to fully implement the terms of the $38 billion memorandum with Israel and announced aid to Palestinians during his Middle Eastern trip. In addition, the US has sent funding to Ukraine for over $7 billion since the beginning of the Russian special operation on February 24, 2022.
"[T]here is no question that billions of dollars are being spent propping up friendly regimes overseas at a time when circumstances are worsening at home, and many Americans will resent this," Waddy said. "The billions of dollars sent to Ukraine are particularly irksome, because the horrific war there is largely a product of the Biden administration's terrible policy choices."
Moreover, US voters want to see proactive and not reactive leadership, echoed Driskell. "They want to know what policymakers are doing to help them better afford their next trip to the grocery store or afford their trip home from work."
Growing dissatisfaction with the White House's domestic and foreign policies is likely to manifest itself at polling stations in November, the observers believe.
Some prognoses say that the Democrats are due to lose 30 House seats because of redistricting and changes in the way states draw congressional district lines, according to David Woodard. Still, judging from US political history, it may be much more than that, maybe 50 or more, he believes. In the Senate, Dems could lose four or six seats, Woodard projects. Given the Democratic Party's slim majority in both chambers, potential losses could deprive it of control over the US Congress.
"All available polling evidence shows that Republicans are heavily favored to win the House of Representatives in November, and they have a better than 50/50 chance of taking the Senate as well," Waddy explained. "The number one reason is inflation and economic anxiety. Americans invariably blame the party in power when things go wrong, and right now that means that Democrats are in the crosshairs."
Meanwhile, the Dems are "desperately trying to make the midterms about abortion rights, or gun control, or 'saving democracy' from the ogre Donald Trump," Waddy noted. Nonetheless, "the polls haven't budged, and Republicans remain in the driver's seat," he observed.
"In fact, evidence is accumulating that we may be in the early stages of a recession," the political analyst said. "If that's true, then the extreme pessimism that Americans already feel could get even worse. Any sensible Democrat is very worried about their party's future right now. Indeed, it doesn't look good!"
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