‘Bidenomics’ is a disaster for American agriculture

At home and abroad, President Biden’s “America Last” policies have brought security crises right to our borders. Here in the U.S., the president’s misguided economic policies erode a pillar of our domestic security: the nation’s agricultural industries.

Every nation needs secure and reliable food sources for its people. Without them, economies grind to a halt, and communities collapse. America is blessed with abundant fertile land, which, with the help of cutting-edge technology, has made our nation one of the world’s largest food producers. The strength of the agricultural industry has also spread prosperity across America’s breadbasket, bringing jobs and opportunity to rural communities in Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and other states.

Unfortunately, this historical strength has lulled the Biden administration into a false sense of security. What progressives in the White House fail to admit is that their poorly designed economic policies are taking a toll on agricultural industries and the communities that keep food on our tables.

Out-of-control spending by the federal government has supercharged inflation, and Mr. Biden’s war on domestic energy has made even the most basic agricultural inputs more expensive. For example, poor policy from the Biden administration, coupled with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, sharply doubled the cost of many fertilizers between January 2021 and April 2022. Fertilizer prices remain significantly higher than when Mr. Biden took office.

When American fertilizers are uncompetitive, China and Russia seize a greater share of the market for these critical building blocks. The prices of farm machinery, pesticide and animal feed are up 28%, or $87 billion, from January 2021. And that is before 23-year-high borrowing costs that further make running a farm prohibitively expensive.

Soaring energy prices have also taken their toll on our nation’s vital agricultural industry. Since taking office, Mr. Biden has declared an all-out regulatory war on U.s. energy production. Drilling for oil and natural gas has been throttled; pipeline development has been all but killed, and bureaucratic red tape has added years to the average permitting time for some new projects.

It’s no surprise that gasoline prices have risen 38% under the Biden administration. Diesel prices remain high at $4 a gallon, 33% higher than their average during the Trump administration. Because fuel is used in 75% of American farm equipment, high energy prices drive up expenses for farmers and ultimately consumers.

Driving up costs across the agricultural heartland whittles away at the profitability and prosperity of rural communities. But it also punishes Americans across the country. Since Mr. Biden took office, Americans have had to spend the most disposable income on food since 1991. This price increase hurts low-income Americans the most because they already spend a larger share of their income on food.

Under “Bidenomics,” however, there is no escaping the sticker shock. Higher prices across the economy have made eating in restaurants more expensive, but the cost of buying food to make at home is still up 20% since January 2021.

Instead of addressing what is causing these higher prices, Mr. Biden has tried to pin the blame on grocery stores. Scapegoating American businesses is becoming a tired routine of the Biden administration. In September 2022, he similarly tried to blame filling stations for the high gasoline prices that his policies caused. Eventually, the buck must stop at the president’s desk.

It’s time for the Biden administration to recognize that food and energy security are fundamental to our national security. The high food prices caused by unrestrained spending, overregulation, and the war on domestic energy should be a clear sign that these policies have taken America in the wrong direction. Selling the farm for progressive policies will only continue to trade prosperity and hope for poverty and despair.