[Editor’s note: Make sure to read Joseph Klein’s masterpiece contributions in Jamie Glazov’s new book: Barack Obama’s True Legacy: How He Transformed America.]
President Biden has been bragging about what he claims are his administration’s historic economic achievements. “Bidenomics is working,” the president declared in remarks he delivered in Chicago on June 28, 2023. He claimed that “the pay for low-wage workers has grown at the fastest pace in two decades. And, folks, it’s no accident. It’s Bidenomics in action.”
The president is right that we have seen Bidenomics in action for the last two and a half years. The problem is that more Bidenomics in action has meant more economic misery for the American people.
President Biden added that he believed Bidenomics is “going to help lessen the division in this country by bringing us back together.” To the contrary, the country is more divided than ever.
President Biden and his cheerleaders live in a sheltered echo chamber. The American people do not share their Pollyanna view of the economy. Bidenomics is not working for average Americans, who are struggling to make ends meet. The poverty rate has increased on President Biden’s watch while the middle class is getting squeezed.
The president is trying to sell the American people a bill of goods in promoting his dismal economic record. He is not the fantastic job creator that he claims to be, for example. President Biden shamelessly takes credit for creating many millions of jobs that he had nothing to do with. These jobs were simply restored when businesses reopened after the nation’s lengthy shutdown ended, and the workforce returned to its pre-pandemic level.
President Biden’s misleading claim that he has reduced the budget deficit by a record amount of $1.7 trillion due to his policies earned him a Bottomless Pinocchio from the Washington Post. In fact, Biden and the Democrat-controlled Congress in 2021 and 2022 added trillions of dollars more to the national debt with their runaway deficit spending. No wonder Fitch downgraded the United States’ credit rating on August 1st.
In a recently released CNN poll, just 37% of Americans surveyed approved of President Biden’s handling of the economy. Even less – 30% – approve of the way that the Bidenomics-in-chief is handling inflation. A recent CBS News poll shows comparable results. But President Biden prattles on with self-congratulations.
“Inflation is less than half of what it was a year ago,” President Biden declared in his Chicago speech this past June, presumably referring to the year-to-year increase in the Consumer Price Index. True enough, but the year-to-year increase in the rate of inflation from June 2021 to June 2022 was a four-decade high of 9.1%!
“Annual inflation has fallen by around two thirds since last summer,” the president boasted following the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index report for July 2023. He neglected to mention that the year-to-year increase in the rate of inflation from July 2021 to July 2022 was a whopping 8.5%.
President Biden’s attempt to make the current year-to-year price increase numbers look good is pathetic, considering that they are measured from price levels in 2022 that were already extraordinarily elevated from the comparable months in 2021. It is like celebrating that a person’s fever went up one degree today from 104 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit as compared to yesterday’s rise of three full degrees from 101 the day before yesterday to 104 degrees. The fever is still going up and the poor individual is still very sick.
Due in large part to the reckless spending bills passed by the Democrat-controlled Congress and signed into law by President Biden during his first two years in office, prices are nearly 16% higher than when he became president. The latest Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index report for July 2023 shows that prices are still rising month-to-month.
The national average retail price of a gallon of gasoline in the U.S. has come down from its historic high of over $5 in June 2022, but it is nevertheless more than 60% higher than the day that President Biden took office. And after some transitory dips, the average retail price of gasoline in the U.S. is on the rise again.
This year the average retail price of a gallon of gasoline has risen from a low of $3.331 on January 2, 2023 to $3.828 as of August 10, 2023 – a 14.9% increase year to date.
Since President Biden took office, food prices have risen more than 18%. Just in the last year alone as of July 2023, food prices have risen about 5%.
Since President Biden took office, the cost of rent of primary residence has risen about 16%. Just in the last year alone as of July 2023, the cost of rent of primary residence increased by 8%.
Mortgage interest rates have gone through the roof. As of August 10, 2023, the national average 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate was 7.42%. The national average 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate on the day that Joe Biden became president was 2.84%.
Meanwhile, real weekly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees have declined about 3.5% since January 2021. These earnings certainly have not kept up with the increases in the prices they are paying for basic necessities.
As a result, according to CNBC, which cited a LendingClub report, “as of June, 61% of adults still say they are living paycheck to paycheck.” The hardest hit individuals are those whose day-to-day lives President Biden claims he has improved – lower-income workers. “Roughly three-quarters of consumers earning less than $50,000 annually and 65% of those earning between $50,000 and $100,000 were living paycheck to paycheck in June, based on LendingClub’s numbers.”
President Biden has a strange idea of what constitutes an improving day-to-day life for the average American.
Even Vice President Kamala Harris, in one of her rare clear-thinking statements, conceded during her remarks at a campaign reception last month that “the average American is a $400 unexpected expense away from bankruptcy.”
Not exactly a great record of economic achievement to run on after more than two years of Bidenomics. It is far more like a record to run away from as fast as one can.