“Inflation is the bane of our existence,” President Biden lamented last week to talk show host Jimmy Kimmel. Unfortunately, he was referring to the effect of inflation on presidential approval ratings, not the plight of average Americans being bullied into paying for gas and groceries.
The president’s Tuesday address to the AFL-CIO was another Biden team pity fest that hard facts weren’t allowed to interrupt.
CLAIM: Biden bragged about “putting America in a position to tackle the global problem that is worse everywhere but here: inflation.”
REALITY: Did Joe’s speechwriters use “common core” math that makes all the wrong numbers disappear? Inflation is 8.6% in the United States and 5.4% in South Korea, 5.1% in Australia and 6.8% in Canada.
CLAIM: Biden continued to blame Russian President Vladimir Putin for price hikes here in America.
REALITY: But National Public Radio reported earlier this year that “between 2019 and 2021, the United States experienced one of the largest increases in the rate of inflation in the world, behind only Brazil and Turkey.” Inflation had quadrupled under Biden – reaching 7% – before Russia invaded Ukraine. Wholesale price inflation last month was nearly 11%, signaling tougher times for US consumers.
CLAIM: Biden on Wednesday accused US oil companies of making excessive profits. He ordered them to “take immediate steps to increase the supply” of gasoline and diesel fuel.
REALITY: Biden’s own policies have disrupted energy markets. The American Petroleum Institute has released a list of 10 steps Biden could take to reduce supply disruptions, including ending permit obstruction on natural gas projects, lifting development restrictions on federal lands and waters and ending Trump-era steel tariffs.
CLAIM: Biden apparently thinks public delirium can restore confidence in his leadership. He literally shouted to the AFL-CIO crowd, “I don’t want to hear those lies about reckless spending anymore. We change people’s lives!
REALITY: Federal Reserve analysts estimated Biden’s deluge of donations added 3% to the inflation rate late last year. The Federal Reserve has increased the money supply by 40% since the start of the pandemic, which has contributed to soaring fuel prices across the board.
CLAIM: The president tells the AFL-CIO that he wants to fight inflation by offering new subsidies for child care. In Chicago, Biden said, “It’s costing you $12,000 to $14,000 a month for child care.” Does this include limo service to and from child care centers or what?
REALITY: The White House Press Office silently corrected the official transcript, adding “[year]after the word “month”. But that couldn’t solve the logic that a deluge of new federal aid would miraculously lower prices.
CLAIM: Perhaps the biggest howl in Biden’s speech was his plan to combat rising food prices in the United States by building temporary grain silos in western Ukraine and eastern Poland to facilitate wheat exports.
REALITY: Playing with silos will be too little, too late for consumers in the US or anywhere beyond Europe. Pathetic talking points in presidential speeches are no substitute for bread.
CLAIM: Biden bragged about cutting the federal deficit by nearly $2 trillion in his first two years.
REALITY: But that’s almost entirely because the 2020 benchmark was a tsunami of pandemic-related deficit spending. The Congressional Budget Office projects deficits averaging $1.6 trillion a year from 2023 to 2032, concluding with the highest federal debt-to-GDP ratio in American history.
CLAIM: Biden claimed he had “created the biggest jobs recovery in American history. . . . Since I have been President, we have created 8.7 million new jobs in 16 months.
REALITY: Is it considered a “new job” if it was “created” only because politicians stopped banning people from going to work? Almost all of Biden’s “success story” is simply jobs returning from pandemic shutdowns and disruptions. According to Statista.com, national employment this year will be about the same as in 2019.
CLAIM: Biden boasted, “We opened schools and businesses that were closed.”
REALITY: It’s the teachers’ unions that have done more than anyone else to keep schools closed, and those unions have been an arm of the Democratic Party for decades. Democratic governors have been far more aggressive in locking down state economies.
CLAIM: Biden described his COVID policies as part of his economic success story: “We have reduced COVID deaths by 90%”.
REALITY: More than 600,000 people have died from COVID since Biden became president, 50% more than during the Trump administration. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was reporting more than one million new COVID cases per day in January. Biden better hurry with his latest COVID victory lap as the White House predicts up to 100 million new COVID cases this fall and winter.
Biden alternates between claiming credit for everything that happens in America and swearing to be an innocent bystander in a derailed economy. There are many slanted fact-checking websites waiting to absolve progressive politicians and Democratic politicians. But there’s no cure for the grim numbers Americans see every day at the gas pump. Perhaps Biden’s only hope is that fact-checkers can persuade people, “Don’t believe your lying eyes!”
James Bovard is the author of 10 books and a member of the USA Today Board of Contributors.