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Nate Jackson / March 16, 2022

The Return of the Misery Index

Inflation spikes and Joe Biden scrambles for scapegoats, but Americans know who to blame.

Joe Biden has found a favored villain for the inflation his policies fueled beginning last spring, and that is Vladimir Putin. Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, Biden wants you to believe, is causing inflation that began in February 2021.

“The current spike in gas prices is largely the fault of Vladimir Putin,” says Biden, for example. “It has nothing to do with the American Rescue Plan.”

As Mark Alexander says: “Fact-check: ‘Current spike’ may be partly correct, but the problem is that Biden enabled Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, so the blame for that spike immediately comes full circle. As for Biden’s so-called American Rescue Plan, that was $1.9 trillion in taxpayer-funded graft to fill a $300 billion economic hole created by the ChiCom Virus pandemic. The remaining $1.6 trillion is indisputably a major factor in the inflation now crushing family budgets.”

We already noted last week that the Consumer Price Index is up 7.9% over one year ago. Yesterday, the Labor Department brought more bad news: The Producer Price Index, which measures wholesale prices, surged 10% year-over-year. Obviously, consumer prices are set in large measure based on wholesale prices, so this dramatic increase in the cost of goods that line store shelves means consumer prices will continue to follow suit.

Retail sales already slowed in February — growth dropped to just 0.3% from 4.9% in January — because people can’t even afford to drive to the store, much less pay the higher prices for the stuff on the shelves.

These numbers are, of course, the reason why Biden and his fellow Democrats are scrambling to find another scapegoat for their colossal failures before this year’s election. There’s one more number that President Carter Jr. might want to look at: The Misery Index.

“Each month, economists use the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data in an attempt to gauge the health of our economy,” writes political analyst Gwendolyn Sims. “By adding the current U.S. unemployment rate of 3.8% to the current rate of U.S. inflation of 7.87%, economists quantify the economic well-being of the country into what is called the U.S. Misery Index.”

That number now stands at 11.67%, the highest since the world fell apart in March 2020. In June 1980, it was 21.98%, and Jimmy Carter soon lost in a landslide to Ronald Reagan. So Biden still has some room to fall.

Now, don’t get us wrong; all isn’t lost. The Senate did after all just unanimously pass the Sunshine Protection Act of 2021.

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