President Biden is making things up. In a campaign speech last week, the absent-minded president declared, “Gas prices — I know I got criticized for going into the stockpile. But guess what? Gas prices are down $1.30 a gallon. And in 41 states plus the District of Columbia, the average gasoline price is less than $2.99.” That is not true.
There are zero states with an average price under $2.99 per gallon. According to AAA, the national average price for regular gasoline is $3.689.
In contrast, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that gas prices were $2.392 per gallon during the week Mr. Biden took office. So the average price of gas is actually $1.297 more per gallon than it was the week he was sworn in.
It was particularly noteworthy as I was looking at a gas station in California while writing this column. The sign said $6.19 per gallon. This seems to be the kind of America that radicals like Mr. Biden want for the future. Ironically, they want to push people to electric vehicles even as notices are sent out not to charge electric cars and trucks because of rolling brownouts.
Mr. Biden also said, “We have a 3.7% unemployment rate, the lowest in 50 – more than 50 years.” No, it is not the lowest in 50 years or more than 50 years. Interestingly, the monthly unemployment rate was lower than 3.7% nine times during President Donald Trump’s tenure. Prior to the 45th president, the unemployment rate had not been as low as 3.5% since 1969.
Then there was Mr. Biden’s miserable performance on CBS News’ “60 Minutes” when interviewed by Scott Pelley. It is worth sharing the transcript of his comments when asked about inflation and the impact on hardworking Americans:
Mr. Pelley: “Mr. President, as you know, last Tuesday the annual inflation rate came in at 8.3%. The stock market nosedived. People are shocked by their grocery bills. What can you do better and faster?”
Mr. Biden: “Well, first of all, let’s put this in perspective. Inflation rate month to month was just — just an inch, hardly at all.”
Mr. Pelley: “It’s the highest inflation rate, Mr. President, in 40 years.”
Mr. Biden: “I got that. But guess what we are. We’re in a position where, for the last several months, it hasn’t spiked. It has just barely — it’s been basically even. And in the meantime, we created all these jobs and — and prices —have — have gone up, but they’ve come down for energy. The fact is that we’ve created 10 million new jobs. We’re in — since we came to office. We’re in a situation where the —the unemployment rate is about 3.7%. one of the lowest in history. We’re in a situation where manufacturing is coming back to the United States in a big way. And look down the road, we have mas-massive investments being made in computer chips and — and employment. So, I — look, this is a process. This is a process.”
Mr. Pelley: “Is the economy going to get worse before it gets better?”
Mr. Biden: “No. I don’t think so. We hope we can have what they say, ‘a soft landing,’ a transition to a place where we don’t lose the gains that I ran to make in the first place for middle-class folks, being able to generate good-paying jobs and — expansion. And at the same time — make sure that we — we are — are able to continue to grow.”
Mr. Pelley: “And you would tell the American people that inflation is going to continue to decline?”
Mr. Biden: “No, I’m telling the American people that we’re gonna get control of inflation. And their prescription drug prices are gonna be a hell of a lotta lower. Their health care costs are gonna be a lot lower. Their basic costs for everybody, their energy prices are gonna be lower. They’re gonna be in a situation where they begin to gain control again. I’m — more optimistic than I’ve been in a long time.”
The facts suggest otherwise—at least under Mr. Biden’s failed oversight. E.J. Antoni, research fellow in regional economics with The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis, just released new economic numbers that show that the average American has lost the equivalent of $4,200 in annual income under the Biden administration because of inflation and higher interest rates.
As Mr. Pelley said, “It’s the highest inflation rate, Mr. President, in 40 years.” He was referencing the annual inflation rate of 8.3%. During Mr. Trump’s last year in office, it was 1.23%. Inflation was lower, gas prices were lower, and unemployment rates were lower before Mr. Biden took office.
Don’t bother telling Mr. Biden. He’ll just make things up.
• Scott Walker is president of the Young America’s Foundation and served as the 45th governor of Wisconsin from 2011 to 2019.