It’s bad enough that the White House helped create 40-year-high inflation. But now it has the audacity to gaslight the American people by not only minimizing the problem, but pretending to be part of the solution.
Nothing could be further from the truth—and the Biden administration’s own data prove it. The American people are demonstrably worse off because of President Joe Biden’s policies.
When Biden took office, inflation was below the Federal Reserve’s 2% target, with prices rising a mere 1.4% over the prior 12 months. After a year and a half of Biden’s runaway government spending and borrowing, prices were rising almost that fast in a single month, with annual inflation reaching 9.1%—6.5 times the rate Biden inherited.
Several factors have helped bring down inflation since then, including a divided Congress that has slowed government spending, the Fed implementing a tighter monetary policy and Biden’s unwise draining of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).
Although the latter temporarily reduced energy prices, which helped temper price increases throughout the economy, it has also left the nation in a vulnerable strategic position and did nothing to increase domestic production. By reneging on his promise to refill the SPR when crude oil prices were lower, Biden will now have to refill it at a loss, paying more to replace the oil than the price at which it was sold.
Any previous reduction in oil prices from draining the SPR will now be offset by the opposite effects from refilling it. In short, the Biden administration has done nothing to reduce inflation.
Even the deceptively named Inflation Reduction Act, advocated for and signed by Biden, has not reduced inflation. In fact, by increasing deficit spending and imposing new energy taxes, the legislation is raising prices.
The latest inflation data from the Biden administration’s Bureau of Labor Statistics show that prices rose an average of 3.7% over the last 12 months. That’s not as bad as the 40-year-high inflation from last year, but it’s still more than two and a half times the inflation rate from when Biden took office.
And yet the Biden administration giddily took credit for these still-elevated inflation rates, saying, “That’s Bidenomics in action!” The White House also said it would work to continue bringing down prices.
Notice the sleight of hand: conflating lower inflation with lower prices. Inflation is the rate at which prices are rising. Even low rates of inflation mean prices are still going up. Thus, inflation coming down means prices are rising slower than before, not that prices are going down. To date, prices have risen an average of more than 17% since Biden took office—and are still climbing.
Thus, before the White House can talk about continuing to bring down prices, they need to first start bringing them down at all. Instead, this administration’s gargantuan federal budgets and blowout deficits are keeping inflation alive and crushing Americans as government spending crowds out private economic activity.
Even if the White House wasn’t purposely conflating prices and inflation, it is still damning with faint praise to brag about 3.7% inflation being less than 40-year highs. Similarly, while gasoline and diesel prices are no longer at their record highs, which were set last year, they are still up 57% and 75%, respectively, from when Biden took office—hardly “progress.”
Until the breakneck pace of government spending comes down, we will continue to have elevated levels of inflation. Unfortunately, the Biden administration and its big-spender allies in Congress are intent on expanding the federal budget even more, no matter how much family budgets have to shrink to compensate.
As the president would say, “That’s Bidenomics in action!”
This piece originally appeared in MSN