Opinion The 10 worst things Joe Biden did in 2022

President Biden during a bilateral meeting with Ecuador's president, Guillermo Lasso, in the Oval Office of the White House on Dec. 19. (Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post)
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The worst presidency in my lifetime got worse in 2022. In my last column, I offered my list of the 10 best things President Biden did this year. Here are the 10 worst:

10. He presided over a plethora of disasters

On Biden’s watch this year, our country experienced the worst inflation in 40 years, the largest decline in real wages in four decades, the highest gas prices ever recorded in the United States, the biggest annual rise in food prices since 1979, crisis-level labor shortages and the worst crime wave in many cities since the 1990s. Not since Jimmy Carter has a president unleashed so many calamities at once.

9. He called Georgia’s election law “Jim Crow 2.0”

Despite Biden’s ugly and false claim, early voting shattered Georgia’s record for midterm elections, with Black voters accounting for 29 percent of early voters. Biden owes Georgia an apology.

8. He and his party urged Republicans to reject extremists while promoting them in GOP primaries

Democrats spent tens of millions of dollars supporting MAGA candidates in GOP primaries, hoping they would be easier to defeat — one of the most cynical, immoral political strategies in memory.

7. His administration discharged thousands of troops for refusing coronavirus vaccination

The Army fell short of its recruitment goals by 25 percent, or 15,000 soldiers this year, and Pentagon officials warned of the worst military recruitment crisis since the inception of the volunteer service. Yet more than 3,000 experienced, battle-hardened troops were needlessly forced out.

6. He begged foreign despots to produce more oil while weakening domestic production

Biden lifted sanctions and allowed Chevron to produce and export Venezuelan oil again, and he begged OPEC to produce more, all while leasing fewer acres of federal land for oil and gas drilling than any president since the end of World War II.

5. In an unconstitutional power grab, he canceled up to $1 trillion in student loans

His order — hung up in the courts — would force blue-collar workers to subsidize the higher education of white-collar professionals by using a 9/11-era law intended to help service members called up to active duty avoid default.

4. He has failed to avenge the Kabul airport bombing that killed 183 people, including 13 Americans

Biden warned those who carried out the 2021 attack: “We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay.” But since the U.S. withdrawal more than a year ago, there have been no “over the horizon” strikes against the ISIS-K terrorists responsible.

3. He signed into law an Inflation Reduction Act that will not reduce inflation or climate change

This massive climate spending bill’s impact on inflation will be statistically indistinguishable from zero, and it will reduce the rise in global temperature by 0.0009 degrees — next to nothing.

2. He made the worst border crisis in U.S. history even worse.

In fiscal 2022, there were almost 2.4 million encounters at the southern border, plus more than 600,000 known “gotaways” and 98 people on the terrorist watch list were stopped near the border. More than 800 migrants died crossing the border illegally. Yet when asked why he had not visited the border, Biden said he had “more important things going on.”

1. He slow-rolled military aid to Ukraine out of fear of provoking Vladimir Putin

He refused Ukraine’s requests for Stinger and Javelin missiles for months before Russia invaded. After Moscow attacked, he offered to help President Volodymyr Zelensky escape — to which the Ukrainian leader reportedly replied, “I need ammunition, not a ride.” Then Biden forced Ukraine to defend itself for months primarily with antiquated Soviet-era weaponry — and blocked Poland from transferring Soviet-designed MiG-29 jets to Kyiv, terrified that stronger U.S. support could cause “World War III.” (This prompted Zelensky to ask, “What is NATO doing? Is it being run by Russia?”) Biden waited more than nine months to give Ukraine just one Patriot air-defense system, allowing Putin to destroy schools, homes, hospitals and critical infrastructure. When he finally did deliver the game-changing High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), they had been secretly modified so they couldn’t fire long-range rockets. And Biden still refuses to give Ukraine longer-range Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) missiles because they could (theoretically) reach Russia or M1 Abrams tanks. As a Ukrainian reporter asked Biden at his news conference with Zelensky: “Can we make long story short and give Ukraine all capabilities it needs and liberate all territories rather sooner than later?” Zelensky added: “I agree.” Biden’s refusal to do so is dragging out the conflict, leading to thousands of civilian deaths and delaying Putin’s defeat.

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Limiting this list to 10 was extremely difficult, so here are a few dishonorable mentions: Biden engaged in weak public hand-wringing at a Democratic fundraiser about his fears Putin might start a nuclear war. He fecklessly depleted the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lower gas prices before the midterm elections. He did not deliver on his promised support for Afghan women or for women rising up in Iran. And after promising to put his “whole soul” into uniting the country, he compared Republicans to racists, segregationists and traitors.

Biden’s second year was even more divisive and incompetent than his first. I shudder to think what Year 3 will bring.