In Brief: ‘Are You Better Off Than You Were Four Years Ago?’
Ronald Reagan’s famous question in 1980 is as relevant as ever.
“Next Tuesday, all of you will go to the polls and will stand there in the polling place and make a decision,” Ronald Reagan told voters ahead of Election Day 1980. “I think as you make that decision it might be well if you would ask yourself: Are you better off than you were four years ago?”
Is it easier for you to go and buy things in the store than it was four years ago? Is there more or less unemployment in the country than there was four years ago? Is America as respected throughout the world as it was? Do you feel that our security is as safe, that we are as strong as we were four years ago?
If you answer all of those questions ‘yes,’ why then I think your choice is very obvious as to who you will vote for. If you don’t agree, if you don’t think this course that we’ve been on for the last four years is what you would like to see us follow for the next four, then I would suggest another choice that you have.
Talk show host Dan O'Donnell takes Reagan’s famous election pitch, after which he won in a landslide, and takes a look at where things stand after three years of Joe Biden.
On Jan. 20, 2020, exactly one year before Biden took office and at the same point in Donald Trump’s presidency where Biden now is in his, the average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage sat at 3.72 percent, while the average monthly mortgage payment was $1,134. The average home was affordable too, costing $246,334.
Today, a flurry of Federal Reserve interest rate hikes aimed at tamping down inflation have pushed the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage to 7.06 percent with an average monthly payment of approximately $2,317. The price of an average home has ballooned to $402,600 or more, making home ownership an increasingly unaffordable luxury.
So too is car ownership. The average price of a new vehicle is now $48,008, up from $38,000 four years ago. That’s just $11,000 more than the price of the average used car today, which is a whopping $27,000. The average monthly payment on a new car today is $726, while the average used car payment is $533. In January 2020, the average monthly payment was $557 on new vehicles and $397 on used ones.
The price of gas, too, has skyrocketed even after President Biden drained the Strategic Petroleum Reserve ahead of the midterm elections. The average gallon of regular unleaded costs $3.08, meaning it is now $49.28 to fill an average 16-gallon tank. Four years ago, with the average gallon costing $2.51, filling up the same tank would be $40.16.
Nowhere is the pain of inflation more acutely felt than at the grocery store, where food prices have grown to the point that the average American family now spends $270.21 there every single week. That’s a staggering increase from the $160.35 per week the average family was spending four years ago.
“All told,” he says, “the typical American household must spend an additional $11,434 annually just to maintain the same standard of living it had in January 2021.”
This is the ultimate cost of Bidenomics, and the ultimate answer to the most basic question ahead of the 2024 election: You are not better off than you were four years ago, and it’s not even close.