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April 13, 2023

Lies About Inflation

Democrats and their media allies are telling us inflation is “falling,” but that is simply not true.

“Inflation is falling,” headlined The Washington Post yesterday. “Why aren’t people noticing?”

Because inflation is NOT falling.

It is true that the annual rate of inflation is now 5%, which is considerably lower than last June, when it hit a 40-year high of 9.1%. Yet that means inflation is still growing, just at a slower pace than a year ago or a month ago. It’s also still increasing at more than twice the Federal Reserve’s goal of 2%, and it’s been above 5% for 23 of Joe Biden’s 26 months in office. When he took up residence in the White House, it was 1.4%.

Cumulative inflation since 2020 — i.e., roughly since Biden took office — is 16.6%. So even if prices literally fell right now, goods and services would still be vastly more expensive than they were not long ago.

People do notice that.

If Glenn Kessler, The Washington Post’s official “fact-checker,” were an honest man, he’d be out there with a “Four Pinocchios” rating for his own paper’s headline because it misstated the truth.

Obviously, he’s not going to do that.

The Post’s story does largely get the details correct, explaining that the rate is slowing and so forth. Yet the vast majority of people saw only the headline and came away misinformed. That’s often how the media misleads and sometimes flat-out lies to consumers.

Leftmedia outlets aren’t the only ones deceiving people. “Today’s CPI report shows continued progress in our fight against inflation,” Joe Biden’s social media team tweeted for him yesterday. “Inflation has now fallen by 45% from its summer peak. Gas prices are down, and grocery prices fell last month for the first time since September 2020.”

That 45% business is a real whopper, though we’ve already addressed that above. The bigger picture is that Biden and his Democrats created inflation with the grossly misnamed American Rescue Plan, which passed Congress two years ago. Inflation immediately skyrocketed and, far from being “transitory” as the president and his team promised, it persists two years later. Biden doesn’t get credit for partially cleaning up his own mess.

When Biden took office, gas was $2.39 per gallon. After peaking at $5.02 last June, it’s now at $3.65 — nearly 20 cents higher than a month ago, which is roughly when the CPI measured prices. Gas prices are rising again because Biden declared war on gas-powered cars and because OPEC is really sticking it to Biden with production cuts.

Remember when he arrogantly boasted, “No one f***s with a Biden”? Yeah, OPEC didn’t get that memo.

Back to Biden’s tweet, yes, prices for food at home did fall 0.3% in March, but those prices are still 8.4% higher than last year and 19% higher than two years ago. Eggs fell but are up 36% from a year ago. Thanks for all the “savings,” Joe.

In other words, Biden’s tweet so utterly misconstrued any cherry-picked facts it contained as to be entirely false.

Again, contra the Post headline, people do notice this stuff. In fact, while Biden is crowing and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is insisting that the economy is “very resilient” and “doing very well,” some 70% of Americans tell pollsters they’re “stressed about their personal finances these days.”

Maybe that’s because Biden is not really lowering prices.

It’s also because people aren’t earning enough money to cover increased costs. “Average hourly earnings rose at a 4.2% annual pace,” reports CNBC, “the lowest level since June 2021.” We learned math back when it was actually still taught in schools, so we know that 4.2% is lower than 5%. The Wall Street Journal editorial board notes, “The average American hasn’t had a raise after inflation over the course of his Administration.”

So, what are people noticing? That they aren’t making enough money to cover the drastically higher costs for nearly everything. Our standard of living is lower than it was two years ago, and that is Joe Biden’s legacy.

(Updated)

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