During a debate with Jimmy Carter in 1980, Ronald Reagan famously asked, “Are you better off today than you were four years ago?” Which is a sensible and basic question that’s been asked in political races ever since — and next week’s midterm elections are no different.

As Americans head to the polls on Tuesday, one ought to consider if you, your family or your business is better off today under Democrat control of one’s state and one-party rule in Washington, or not. Unless you like paying significantly higher prices for essential items like food, gas, rent, heating bills and just about everything else, I suspect the answer is no.

When Joe Biden took office in January 2021, the average national gas prices were $2.33 per gallon, according to the Energy Information Association. As of today, Nov. 2, the national average is $3.765, per AAA. And no one will forget that gas prices surged to an astronomical $5.02 per gallon last June, or even worse if you were in Nantucket, Massachusetts, where Biden will be spending Thanksgiving again this year, gas prices surged over $6.08 per gallon. I experienced that firsthand, as I was there last summer, cringing every time I filled my tank.

Soaring gas prices shouldn’t have come as a surprise, as Biden campaigned in 2020 promising “we are going to get rid of fossil fuels.” Voters now need to ask how the president’s kowtowing to special interest groups, campaign donors and climate fanatics — many who live in big houses, own gas-guzzling yachts and fly private jets — affect your family’s budget.

Same with sky-high inflation, which was 1.4% when Sleepy Joe took office in January 2021. Today, inflation is a whopping 8.2% — a 40-year high — with elevated food prices hurting working families. “Grocery prices are up 13.5% compared with a year earlier, the biggest 12-month jump since March 1979,” reports The Wall Street Journal. “With no relief in sight, many consumers say they are struggling to keep up.”

And for those who want a more left-leaning perspective, CNN reported in September, “Americans browsing the supermarket aisle will notice most food items are far more expensive than they were a year ago. Egg prices soared 39.8%, while flour got 23.3% more expensive. Milk rose 17% and the price of bread jumped 16.2%.”

These are basic necessities Americans need to survive. But sadly, under one-party Democrat rule in Washington over the past nearly two years, millions of Americans are being forced to choose between filling their gas tank to get to work, paying their rent or feeding their families — not a choice anyone should have to make living in the richest country in the world.

Nor should parents have to scramble to find baby formula in America due to the Biden administration’s embarrassing failure to resolve manufacturing and supply chain snafus that continue to threaten the health and well-being of our nation’s precious infants.

When it comes to public safety, crime is soaring nationwide. Many living in major cities like New York are rightfully afraid the ride the subway, walk the street at night or even wear nice clothes to work without worrying about being assaulted. New York’s Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul’s willful blindness that there’s a palpable crime problem in her state, as well as other soft-on-crime liberal officials nationwide who support cashless bail for violent criminals, make us less safe, diminishing our quality of life.

And with Democrats’ failed immigration policies and open borders controlled by dangerous drug cartels, fentanyl and other deadly drugs are pouring into our communities killing scores of Americans. Over 107,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last spring.

At that rate, a vote for a Democrat means a vote for the status quo. That translates to thousands more Americans dying of drug overdoses each year — the number one killer of 18- to 45-year-olds in America today. If all that’s acceptable to you, vote Democrat next week. However, if you believe that America’s not on the right track and that we’re certainly not better off than we were two years ago, vote for Republican candidates across the board.

The choice is clear.

Adriana Cohen is a nationally syndicated columnist with Creators Syndicate. To find out more about Adriana Cohen and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

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