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EDITORIAL: Accountability thy name isn’t Biden

The buck famously stopped on President Harry S. Truman’s desk. The current White House prefers to dissemble, point fingers and run for the hills.

One of the enduring characteristics of President Joe Biden is his repeated attempts to blame imaginary gremlins for problems he himself has helped create. The latest manifestation of this unfortunate attribute is the administration’s desperate attempt to address high housing prices.

In a speech in Las Vegas in March, the president embraced a number of proposals he claims will help aspiring homebuyers. Not surprisingly, they all involve bigger government and additional wealth redistribution. There’s a $10,000 tax credit for first-time buyers or those who sell a starter home, down-payment assistance for some buyers, courtesy of the American taxpayer, and additional regulations on closing costs.

Don’t expect these proposals to get through Congress — and, if any did, to actually make a difference.

Today’s soaring housing prices result from two driving factors: high interest rates and burdensome red tape that makes it difficult in many places to increase supply. The latter is the result of precisely the type of market interventions favored for decades by Mr. Biden and his fellow progressive travelers. The former is a direct result of Mr. Biden’s economic policies. Mortgage interest rates have doubled since the Fed took action to tamp down the inflation created by this administration’s impersonation of a drunken sailor, making monthly payments unaffordable for many wage earners.

Yet Democrats and Mr. Biden blame their favorite target: evil capitalists — “institutional investors” or “greedy landlords” — for driving up costs. A mirror would reveal otherwise.

The same is true with inflation. The president and his defenders in Congress criticize “price-gouging” corporate leaders for the jump in prices that has vexed American consumers. Apparently, these crafty CEOs waited four decades to unleash inflation on an unsuspecting public and administration. Yet even sensible Democratic-leaning economists warned the White House that pouring trillions in new federal spending into an economy rebounding from COVID was the spark that could ignite rising prices. Indeed, inflation hit 9 percent in 2022, a 40-year high. Mr. Biden never saw it coming.

A recent Biden campaign ad continues the deflections. The president goes after Big Oil for high gasoline prices. Never mind that he entered office after vowing to put fossil fuel companies out of business and took executive action to discourage traditional energy production. Later, he was reduced to begging Venezuela and Saudi Arabia to pump more oil in an effort to stabilize prices. Rising energy costs are a feature, not a bug, of the Green New Deal that progressives covet.

Finally, Mr. Biden has laughably tried to pin the mess at the border on Republicans. Yet one of the president’s first moves in the Oval Office was to make it easier for migrants to claim asylum, which served as an open invitation for illegal crossings. This was an intentional effort by the White House to appease the hard-left open-borders crowd that now dominates the Democratic Party. In 2020, an estimated 400,000 people illegally entered the country. Two years into the Biden administration, that number was a record 2.2 million.

Politicians of both parties routinely fudge the facts for political advantage. But the Biden White House takes unaccountability to new heights.

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