by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
President Biden is on a “Bidenomics” tour, trumpeting what he claims are his administration’s economic gains. His effort comes as no surprise. In the RealClearPolitics average of the polls, only about 38 percent of Americans approve of Biden’s job on the economy. To date, the Biden administration’s efforts to convince Americans otherwise have fallen way short of the mark. The problems lie not with Biden’s rhetoric but rather with his policies — and economic reality.
Case in point: In an effort to avoid responsibility for a still-surging inflation rate while claiming credit for slowing it, Biden’s economic team recently posted a video boldly stating, “Here Are the Facts.” The first of these purported facts is, “Under the Biden Harris Administration Inflation Has Fallen.” Unfortunately, that’s just not true.
The annual inflation rate when Biden took office was 1.4 percent. In May, it was 4 percent, or nearly three times the rate he inherited and still double the Federal Reserve’s 2 percent target rate. Here’s an actual fact: “Under the Biden Harris Administration Inflation Has Risen.”
Of course, what the Biden team is attempting to take credit for is the decline in the inflation rate from its 9.1 percent peak in June of 2022. The Biden video goes on to claim that “inflation is less than half what it was last summer.” That claim is misleading for two reasons.
First, inflation continues to increase, inflicting greater and greater pain on consumers. Only the rate at which inflation is increasing has slowed. Keep in mind that inflation is cumulative; much like compound interest, it just keeps adding up. After a large increase in the prior year, it is not particularly impressive that the current year increase will be lower, but that lower number comes on top of — or in addition to — the prior year’s number.