January 16, 2023

Spinning Inflation and the Debt That Caused It

While Janet Yellen warns of dire consequences for breaching the debt ceiling, Joe Biden tells us his inflation work gives us “breathing room.”

Whew, we sure are enjoying all the “breathing room” Joe Biden tells us we have in our family budget now! It’s all thanks to Thursday’s inflation report, which he says shows “for the sixth month in a row, inflation has come down.” He claims that “adds up to a real break for consumers, real breathing room for families, and more proof that my economic plan is working.”

Is it?

Well, assuming the Left’s plan is to bring inflation down, which is more than debatable, Democrats and their media propagandists certainly want you to think Biden’s plan is working, which is why they’re all saying exactly the same thing. “Our economic plan is working,” Kamala Harris parroted. The president’s “economic plan is working,” added Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. Elizabeth Warren opted instead to repeat the line about “breathing room.” The media just included snippets of those and other quotes to give readers the impression of great economic news.

To be sure, we’ve sometimes done our best to find the silver linings in a lousy economic situation because we’re all tired of a dour outlook. It’s not all bad; there are bright spots. But what Biden and friends are doing is pure political spin.

Anyone bought eggs lately? When a dietary staple like that is multiple times as expensive as it used to be, families don’t feel much “breathing room.” In fact, the spin is a lie. Because wages have not kept up with inflation, even as the inflation rate slows as it has over the last six months, families can’t afford what they were buying six months ago or two years ago.

It also may be worse than you think. Political analyst Joy Pullmann recently pointed to the work of economist John Williams: “Measuring year-over-year inflation by the U.S. government’s 1980s methodology,” Pullmann summarized, “put it at 15.23 percent in November 2022 instead of the government’s claimed 7.11 percent.”

No matter the calculation, prices are still far higher than they were a year ago or two years ago, and on most items they’re not coming down; they’re still going up. That’s not “breathing room.” Cuts have to be made.

Politicians never cut anything, so maybe there’s the disconnect. When the growth rate of the federal budget slows a hair, Democrats caterwaul about supposedly draconian “cuts” that will harm everyone from your kids to your grandma. In reality, the federal budget very nearly never actually gets smaller.

To that point, juxtaposed with inflation news is Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s apocalyptic warnings about the “irreparable harm” to come if Congress doesn’t raise the debt limit so the federal government can continue spending money like there’s no tomorrow. The U.S. is projected to reach the debt limit this Thursday, and in a letter to Congress, Yellen explained the “extraordinary measures” the Treasury Department must begin taking “to prevent the United States from defaulting on its obligations.”

Yellen will of course not admit that rampant and unconstitutional government spending is the problem, not the debt ceiling. Spending ridiculous gobs of your great-grandchildren’s money after shutting down the economy is what caused inflation to take off in the first place. Much of it was deficit spending — to the tune of 41% of expenditures in 2021 and 22% in 2022. Yellen may or may not remember that in the summer of 2021 she and other Biden administration spinmeisters called inflation “transitory.”

Republicans who now run the House may put up a fight over raising the debt ceiling, but it’ll eventually be raised, and business as usual will continue in The Swamp. That includes staggering deficit numbers thanks to autopilot spending on Social Security and Medicare. Federal spending with huge deficits will continue to be a drag on the economy.

As for inflation, it’ll likely persist for some time. Why? Several reasons, not the least of which is that, outside the House, the same people who created this mess are still in charge.

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