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Clackamas County Elections Clerk Sherry Hall speaks at the office on Thursday, May 19, 2022, Oregon City, Ore. Ballots with blurry barcodes that can't be read by vote-counting machines will delay election results by weeks in a key U.S. House race in Oregon's primary. Hall said the problem first came to light May 3, when elections workers put the first ballots returned in the vote-by-mail state through the vote-counting machine. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus)

GUEST COMMENTARY President Biden likes to blame inflation on the COVID pandemic and the war in Ukraine -- or, as he says, "Putin's price hike." But the fact is, Biden's own actions, and those of his party, have also contributed significantly to the rise in the cost of living that is making it harder and harder for many Americans to make ends meet. And that rise, in turn, is feeding a terrible pessimism among Americans about the state of the country.