Last week we heard from no less a personage than Vice President of the United States Kamala Harris, who assured us that Joe Biden’s administration had “reduced heating and electricity bills so folks have more money in their pocket.” Now one does not have to be a dyed-in-the-wool conservative to realize that Kamala Harris is an economic illiterate, but let us take a moment to review the true situation.
January’s consumer price index (the usual measure of inflation) rose by 6.4% compared with last year. Now this 6.4% inflation rate actually is down a bit from the worst months of 2022, when the public received horrifying reports of 8-9% increases. Even so, a 6.4% inflation rate is still over three times higher than our inflation rate has been for most of the last forty years!
And if Kamala Harris can plausibly plead total ignorance of all things economic, Joe Biden has no such defense- he has been roaming the halls of government for far longer than most Americans have been on this Earth. When his 2021 assurances that inflation would be “transitory” turned out to be untrue, he falsely blamed the sky-high inflation rate on Donald Trump and then flatly denied to the American people that his multi-trillion dollar woke spending spree had anything to do it. He well knew better, but his progressive political base was more important to him than the economic well-being of his country.
A hard dose of the facts is in order: In just the last year, fuel oil is up 27.7%; natural gas is up 26.7%; electricity is up 11.9%; food is up 11.8%. So how can Biden point to any successes in dealing with inflation? It’s simple, if you don’t mind lying to the American public. Just take credit for reducing inflation in every month that the rate of inflation goes down. For example, when the inflation rate goes from 6.5% in December 2022 to 6.4% in January 2023, tell everyone how great you are at reducing inflation. Just forget to mention the simple fact that (1) you are responsible for most of the inflation in the first place, and (2) the inflation rate is still over three times higher than it should be. Unscrupulous politicians occasionally use this fallacious type of argument, but Biden seems wholly incapable of communicating without resort to it.
Moreover, the real truth is even worse than the simple inflation numbers: Because average hourly earnings are rising more slowly than inflation, real average earnings have fallen by 1.8% since just last year. To put this disaster in proper perspective, real wages have now fallen for twenty-two months in a row, which is just about when Joe Biden passed that first $1.9 trillion stimulus package. As it now stands, 77% of Americans now say that inflation is causing them financial hardship.
And inflation is not going away any time soon. Obama’s former economic adviser Jason Furman tweeted last week that the economy was now overheated because Biden had made little progress in reducing inflation. He went on to tweet that there was little reason to expect a slowdown in inflation going forward. Any first year economics student knows that you can’t pump multi-trillions of dollars into an economy, even one as large as ours, without causing serious inflation.
So while our wages and savings further decline as inflation eats away at the value of our dollars, our own government is forced to continue to raise interest rates to slow down our overheated economy, thus putting that new house, car, washing machine, or vacation out of reach for the average American. We are entering a Joe Biden-caused recession, and we can only pray that it will not be a particularly deep or long-lasting one.
Welcome back to Jimmy Carter’s stagflation of the 1970’s, courtesy of a corrupt and doddering president with a lifetime penchant for lying to the American public! Great job, Joe!