by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
“You know, if you let me write $200 billion worth of hot checks every year, I could give you an illusion of prosperity, too.”
That was then-Democratic Sen. Lloyd Bentsen back in 1988 arguing that the Reagan boom was a myth because it was bought and paid for with deficit spending, then running about $200 billion a year.
What would Bentsen say today about an economy that – instead of blasting ahead at more than 4% a year at it was in 1988 – is barely eking out gains and appears headed to a downturn … despite the fact that President Joe Biden is writing $200 billion in hot checks every two months.
We know what Biden and his legions of sycophants in the “independent” media would say. The economy is doing great thanks to “Bidenomics.”
“The economy is growing and we’re lowering costs for families. That’s Bidenomics at work,” Biden said after the latest GDP numbers came out, which showed the economy growing 2.4% in the second quarter of this year. “This progress wasn’t inevitable or accidental — it is Bidenomics in action, growing the economy from the middle out and bottom up, not the top down.”
One week later, Fitch downgraded the U.S. credit rating from AAA to AA+.
The lower rating, Fitch said, “reflects the expected fiscal deterioration over the next three years, a high and growing general government debt burden, and the erosion of governance relative to ‘AA’ and ‘AAA’-rated peers.”
Fiscal deterioration over the next three years and a high and growing debt burden? Is this “Bidenomics in action”?
Look at the numbers and you see why Fitch is worried.
In 1988, when Bentsen was complaining about “hot checks,” the federal deficit was 3% of GDP. This year, under Bidenomics, the deficit will be twice that, and possibly higher.