Austin Bay

In 2024, is the U.S. as physically and economically secure as it was when Joe Biden became president in January 2021?

That ought to be the decisive question in every serious presidential debate.

For mature and prudent voters — they exist — security issues are always the determinative issues. Gut-truth pollsters interested in finding the mature and prudent should frame their questions like so: Are you, your family and your town as physically safe now as they were three and 1/2 years ago? Internationally, is America as secure as it was in January 2021? Example: Is Communist China stronger and more aggressive in 2024? Had you even heard of Hamas and the Houthis in 2021? Money question: How do your current personal and community economic conditions and prospects compare to 2021?

Alas. After three and 1/2 years of economic, military, diplomatic and social policy mayhem, the facts speak: Joe Biden, his handlers and their feckless media apparatchiks have severely damaged America’s physical security, both international and domestic. It will take years to fix the harm of Bidenomics — and the economic wreckage makes addressing the international (e.g., military) and domestic (e.g., police) security issues more difficult.

So start with the economy. On June 24, economist Mark Perry (now of the American Enterprise Institute) posted a succinct but damning tweet on X (formerly Twitter): “Federal spending on interest payments for the $34T(trillion) national debt now exceeds $1T for the first time and has doubled from $535B when Joe Biden took office and interest payments now exceed spending on national defense by more than any time in history.”

Got that? Big Debt undermines our ability to maintain a credible national defense. In January 2024, I pegged Big Debt as one of America’s most grave strategic challenges. Quote: “… inflation is embedded in all U.S. economic action. Big Debt has become unsustainable.” Mark Perry is giving us the comparative numbers — interest in 2024 is $1 trillion, in 2021 $535 billion.


International security — Biden’s 2021 Afghanistan debacle damaged U.S. credibility and encouraged adventurism and aggression by terrorists (Taliban, now Iranian proxies Hamas, Hezbollah and the Houthis) and authoritarian states (Vladimir Putin’s Russia, ayatollah Iran, Communist China).

Biden blames Donald Trump for Afghanistan. What a lie — on Jan. 20, 2021, Biden took charge. On April 14, 2021, Biden announced his withdrawal. Political optics guided the decision, not military prudence. Biden wanted to leave Afghanistan by 9/11’s 20th anniversary.

But Slow Joe failed to prod the State Department to act to meet his withdrawal deadline. And he ignored warnings from the Joint Chiefs of Staff that military considerations should shape the withdrawal.

We now know Biden knew early on his bungled withdrawal had become a catastrophe. On Aug. 31, 2021, Reuters published the transcript of a July 23 telephone exchange between Biden and Afghanistan’s then-President Ashraf Ghani. Biden told Ghani that “… the perception around the world and in parts of Afghanistan, I believe, is that things aren’t going well in terms of the fight against the Taliban. And there’s a need, whether it is true or not, there is a need to project a different picture.

The Reuters report is decisive evidence. Biden knew his incompetent and haphazard withdrawal was failing. However, instead of assisting the Afghan government in order to safely and successfully evacuate U.S. citizens, Biden wanted Ghani to use word and image perception gimmicks to conceal Biden’s real-world leadership, policy and battlefield failure.

Which brings us to the porous U.S. border — which turns our backyards into battlefields.


In January 2021, Biden reversed dozens of Trump-era executive decisions — and the tsunami began. Biden’s policy reversals have allowed over 9 million illegal aliens to enter the U.S.

For three years, the Biden administration employed emotionally loaded rhetoric. All illegal migrants were lumped with “asylum seekers” and “refugees.” This hid the fact Biden was allowing criminals, human traffickers and terrorists to enter the U.S. unvetted. A compliant media “projected a different picture” and let Joe get away with it.

In the last three months, hideous rapes and murders committed by illegal aliens and the arrest of several individuals with ties to terrorist groups has begun to change perceptions, even in Washington.

Austin Bay is a syndicated columnist and author.

Join the Conversation

Please sign into your Sun Journal account to participate in conversations below. If you do not have an account, you can register or subscribe. Questions? Please see our FAQs.