You’ve got to wonder what color the sky is in President Biden’s world.
The new inflation numbers came out on Tuesday, and here’s what the president had to say.
“Inflation in America is continuing to come down, which is good news for families and businesses across the country. Today’s data confirm that annual inflation has fallen for seven straight months. Inflation for food at the grocery store came down again last month. Gas prices are down about $1.60 from their peak last year,” he said in a statement.
“And real wages for working Americans are up over the last seven months, delivering welcome breathing room for American families. We are seeing this progress even as unemployment remains at its lowest level since 1969 and job growth remains resilient,” Mr. Biden said.
But this Pollyanna view is not borne out by the facts.
Inflation rose 6.4% between January 2022 and January 2023, according to data released Tuesday morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That was higher than analysts had predicted, with prices for energy, food and shelter all crushing Americans.
Let’s look back. In December 2020, the last full month in office for former President Donald Trump, the rate of inflation was 1.4% year over year, according to the BLS. The average for 2020 was 1.2%, figures show.
But after Mr. Biden killed the Keystone XL pipeline, froze student debt collection, rejoined the Paris climate accords, made a pathway for illegals to gain citizenship, and halted construction on the border wall — all actions he took on day one — inflation started to climb.
In his first six months in office, inflation went from 1.4% to 5.4%. It was worse in 2022, rising to 9.1% by June. But Mr. Biden is a highly skilled liar: Inflation HAS fallen for six straight months — all the way down to 6.5%. The average for 2022 was 8%, soaring from 1.2% in 2020.
Now, some people argue that the president shouldn’t take credit for a good economy and certainly doesn’t deserve the blame for a bad one. But in Mr. Biden’s case, he definitely deserves the blame. After all, his fix America plan dumped out a trillion dollars, which nobody will ever try to track.
“Economists say Biden’s pandemic relief policies, including the American Rescue Plan, exacerbated matters by giving Americans too much money to spend when goods and services supplies were too low, which drove prices higher,” PolitiFact wrote last month.
It was Mr. Biden’s “most profound failure and policy error,” Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the center-right American Action Forum, told the fact-checking site.
Then there are gas prices. When Mr. Biden took office, a gallon of regular averaged $2.38. Today, it’s $3.46, according to AAA.
That’s nearly 50% higher (45%, to be exact) than it was when Mr. Biden took office. And remember, by February 2022, just before Russia invaded Ukraine, the price had already risen above $3.50 — which negates Mr. Biden’s claims of “Putin’s price hike” at the pump.
In addition to canceling the Keystone XL pipeline, Mr. Biden also suspended new federal oil and gas leases, hiked drilling fees on federal land, and mandated that all federal vehicles be zero emissions. Not good for us.
How about food prices? “In 2022, food prices increased by 9.9 percent,” the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports. “Food-at-home prices increased by 11.4 percent, while food-away-from-home prices increased by 7.7 percent.”
Egg prices increased by 11.1% in December, pushing the price 59.9% higher since December 2021. And we haven’t hit the ceiling yet — not even close. “Egg prices are predicted to increase 27.3 percent in 2023,” the USDA reported.
Prices soared in eight other food categories in 2022, and this year won’t be any better. “In 2023, prices are predicted to increase for … meats (12.8 percent), dairy products (8.0 percent), fats and oils (16.5 percent), processed fruits and vegetables (9.6 percent), sugar and sweets (10.6 percent), cereals and bakery products (12.0 percent), non-alcoholic beverages (8.7 percent), and other foods (6.8 percent),” the federal agency reported.
And take-home pay? We know the oil giants Exxon, Shell and BP saw record profits — as did a slew of supermarket chains — but if everyone’s taking home more cash, it’ll all come out in the wash.
But we’re not. Not by a long shot.
“Wages are rising, but they are not keeping up with inflation,” Statista reports. “In the United States, the average decline in real wages for the entire population — across all sectors and income levels — was just over 2 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2022.” And that’s just for one quarter.
In Mr. Biden’s entire presidency, wages have risen by 10% — so they are going up — but #bidenflation has soared 14%. So either way you cut it, you’re down 4 percentage points.
So Mr. Biden’s sky is, what, pink? Or maybe rainbow? Whatever it is, it ain’t real.
• Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @josephcurl.