President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022.

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Harold “Trey” Stewart represents District 2 in the Maine Senate. He previously served as the Assistant House Republican Leader.

One year ago this week, Joe Biden was inaugurated as the forty-sixth President of the United States.

 I just have one question for you: Are you better off today than you were one year ago?

Joe Biden built his presidential campaign on the claim that he would “shut down the virus.” As new cases reach record highs, hospitalizations spike, and tests are in shor t supply around the nation, the American people are seeing the truth — Joe Biden is a failed president, and he has failed to deliver on his central campaign promise. Now Biden says that “there is no federal solution” to COVID-19, after months of promising to shut down the virus.

Give me a break. His flip-flop is likely only because he’s the one in charge now (and if there’s one thing he’s consistent on, it’s that he does not take nearly enough responsibility for his failures).

 Biden refused to order enough tests ahead of the holidays and dragged his feet on ordering enough treatments. It’s gotten so bad that here in Maine, hospitals are starting to allow COVID-positive employees to go back to work because of the worker shortage created in part by Gov. Janet Mills’ vaccine mandate, which is in lockstep with Biden’s failed policies.

\President Donald Trump, through his Operation Warp Speed, helped develop three safe and effective vaccines in record time. Trump handed Biden a robust distribution plan, innovative treatments, medical equipment, and an ever-growing testing capacity. With all these tools at his disposal, Biden still managed to fail. More Americans lost their lives from COVID-19 in 2021 than in 2020, and cases have continued to rise.

 Biden hasn’t just failed on COVID either. Our American economic recovery is struggling under his watch.

 The December jobs report was a massive disappointment. Our economy gained just 199,000 jobs, less than half of what economists were expecting. Unfortunately, this is par for the course for Biden; in four of the last five months, we’ve gained less jobs than expected.

 Biden and Democrats in D.C. have driven a worker shortage and rising prices. There are more than 10.5 million job openings in this country and 6.3 million Americans looking for work. In December, 3.1 million Americans were unable to find work because their employer had closed or lost business thanks to Biden’s failures.

Did your Christmas shopping seem more expensive this year? That’s because it was. Unfortunately, high prices are likely here to stay. Producer prices of everything you need to survive — groceries, gas, and clothing — have collectively gone up by 9.7 percent since a year ago and unfortunately economists are saying that this inflation crisis will last well into 2022. What does this mean? The number might be the same, but the money in your paycheck is worth significantly less than under the Trump administration.

Not surprisingly now, because Biden and his allies have failed so severely, Democrats are trying to change the rules in what looks like a desperate attempt to hold on to power — and they’re starting right here in the northeast.

In New York City, Democrats adopted a resolution to allow around 900,000 noncitizens to vote in the city’s local elections. This is a radical scheme to allow noncitizens to dictate winners and losers in American elections. Here in New England, radical liberals in Vermont have done the same thing. Don’t be surprised if Portland Democrats try to push this agenda next.

 I believe Democrats nationally are trying to stack the deck, devalue citizenship, and open up our elections to foreign interference – all in pursuit of power.

Surging COVID cases. Flailing jobs numbers, supply chain issues, and skyrocketing inflation. Democrats desperately trying to cling to power. At this rate, who knows what crisis will unfold next.

 So again I ask, are you better off than you were one year ago?