Inflation’s still sky high, yet Biden keeps bragging about the economy

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Last week, the White House attempted to define its economic vision in a 58-page report titled “The Biden-Harris Economic Blueprint.” First of all, the laxity of the report is noticed. The five footnotes believed to be sourcing the White House data include, in bold letters: “ERROR! Bookmark not defined.” There’s also the odd repetition, such as cutting and pasting “the strongest and most equitable labor market recovery in modern history” in paragraph after paragraph (enough to eventually remove the word “modern”, prompting even the president to declare superiority). to allow on all ancient economic reforms).

The most revealing aspect of the White House’s economic vision is that No Involved: inflation or deficit reduction.

Sure enough, the introduction declares that “President Biden’s top economic priority is to reduce inflation and reduce costs for families . . ..” Yet none of the report’s “five main pillars” focused primarily on combating inflation, which remained incredibly high – 8.3% in August.

In fact, the report repeatedly brags about policies that worsen inflation. These include the Project Labor Agreement and Davis-Bacon prevailing wage rules (federal gifts that raise costs for federal projects), and expanding federal Buy America rules that prevent federal agencies from buying cheaper imports. The White House even trumps its mandate to impose costly Davis-Bacon rules for semiconductor makers in the Chips Act – contradicting the bill’s purpose to reduce production costs and boost domestic semiconductor production. .

Inflation is still skyrocketing, even if President Biden says it is otherwise.
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

The White House report also laments the rising cost of college tuition, yet also brags about the massive increase in Pell grants and college student aid (according to the Federal Reserve) to colleges that capture 60% of all student aid. Inspires to further increase tuition.

If reducing inflation is indeed the president’s top economic priority, we don’t see that in his policies.

Nor does the White House report express any concern over the trillion-dollar budget deficit. In fact, the only mention of the deficit appears in a throwback line about the decline in the 2022 deficit that was driven solely by rising tax revenues and timely pandemic spending rather than by any presidential actions.

President Biden’s laws such as the American Rescue Plan, the Infrastructure Bill, the Veterans Bill, the CHIPS Act, the Appropriation Bill, and the student loan bailout have cumulatively added to the 10-year deficit of more than $4 trillion in just 20 months. And that’s on top of a rising baseline deficit that is set to push interest costs on debt to the economy’s record 3.3% within a decade. Most of the 58-page plan boasts about all the amazing new benefits of buying on a national credit card, and offers no plan to stem the tide of red ink.

The White House report also repeatedly, and breathlessly, credits an economic recovery that resulted in the reduction of the pandemic rather than any presidential policy. The “major achievement” of creating 9.7 million jobs stemmed mostly from the economy reopening after the pandemic. “Gas prices dropped by more than $1.20 this summer” certainly fails to mention the $2.61 price hike that previously occurred under President Biden.

In what is certainly news for Republicans, as well as America’s governors, mayors and public health officials, the report claims that “the Biden-Harris administration also took decisive action to safely open America’s schools.” ”

It seems that there are some positive developments in the US for which the President will not demand full credit.

Vice President Kamala Harris has tagged with President Biden's bullshit.
Vice President Kamala Harris has tagged with President Biden’s bullshit.
Amanda Andrade-Rhodes – Pool V

The report also presents sluggish economic analysis that has long been refuted. It involves posting a chart that claims a substantial divide between worker pay and productivity that economists on the left and right (including Lawrence Summers) have long rejected.

The report shows a decline in tax revenues, even though 2022 tax revenues are set to reach 19.6% of the economy (the second highest level since World War II), driven by personal income tax revenues to grow to a record 10.6% of the economy . Many charts attempt to show insufficient business tax revenue by including only corporate tax revenue and ignoring taxes paid by small businesses through the personal income tax code. The White House reiterates questionable claims that households earning less than $400,000 are exempt from all new taxes, and that no more than $80 billion in new IRS funding will lead to middle-class audits.

With Americans suffering painful inflation, dwindling real wages and a falling stock market, the White House clearly feels pressure to justify its economic performance. They have to outperform the latest spin.

Brian Riddle is a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Follow him on Twitter @Brian_Riedl.

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