President Biden Is Breathtakingly Out Of Touch

In His Recent '60 Minutes' Interview, President Biden Made Claims About The Economy That Are Deeply Out Of Touch With The Experiences Of American Families Struggling To Pay For Groceries And Power In The Midst Of Massive Price Increases


SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “[L]ast night, on ‘60 Minutes,’ President Biden gave an almost comically out-of-touch interview on the inflation crisis. The President argued — with a straight face — that the American people ought to be grateful for last month’s terrible inflation report because it could have been even worse…. Struggling Americans are supposed to be grateful that we have plateaued at a steady, ongoing inflation rate of more than 8 percent?! The President wants a round of applause for steadily clocking month after month after month of the worst inflation in 40 years? the inflation rate plateauing does not mean that prices themselves have leveled off. It means prices are still steadily climbing all the time! At an historically fast pace, the worst in a generation! Month after month after month, Democrats’ policy failures are continuing to add inflation on top of inflation. The inflation rate plateauing above 8% does not mean that families are catching a break. It means exactly the opposite. It means that families are continuing to see prices go up, and up, and up all the time…. Here’s the number that really matters. Since the day that President Biden was sworn in, since the day that this one-party Democratic government took power, our country’s inflation rate has been 13.2%. And according to President Biden, if you’re angry about that, if parents are upset, if workers are frustrated, they just aren’t putting things in proper perspective. Considering the American people give President Biden an 38% approval rating on his handling of the economy, I’d say it’s the White House that needs to get some perspective, not the working people of this country.” (Sen. McConnell, Floor Remarks, 9/19/2022)


President Biden Said Inflation ‘Hasn’t Spiked’ Over The Summer And Claimed ‘It’s Been Basically Even’

CBS’ SCOTT PELLEY: “Mr. President, as you know, last Tuesday the annual inflation rate came in at 8.3%. The stock market nosedived. People are shocked by their grocery bills. What can you do better and faster?”
PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: “Well, first of all, let’s put this in perspective. Inflation rate month to month was just-- just an inch, hardly at all.”
PELLEY: “You’re not arguing that 8.3% is good news.”
BIDEN: “No, I’m not saying it is good news. But it was 8.2% or-- 8.2% before. I mean, it’s not-- you’re ac-- we act-- make it sound like all of a sudden, ‘My god, it went to 8.2%.’ It’s been— ”
PELLEY: “It’s the highest inflation rate, Mr. President, in 40 years.”
BIDEN: “I got that. But guess what we are. We’re in a position where, for the last several months, it hasn’t spiked. It has just barely-- it’s been basically even.” (CBS’ “60 Minutes,” 9/18/2022)


Biden Also Asserted The Economy Is ‘Growing … In A Way That It Hasn’t In Years And Years’

PELLEY: “Sir, with the Federal Reserve rapidly raising interest rates, what can you do to prevent a recession?”
BIDEN: “Continue to grow the economy. And we’re growing the economy. It’s growing in-- in a way that it hasn’t in years and years.” (CBS’ “60 Minutes,” 9/18/2022)


In Fact, ‘Underlying Inflation Accelerated’ In August, And The U.S. Economy Shrank For Two Consecutive Quarters, Indicating A Recession

‘U.S. Consumer Prices Unexpectedly Rose In August And Underlying Inflation Accelerated,’ ‘Inflation Has Probably Not Peaked’

“U.S. consumer prices unexpectedly rose in August and underlying inflation accelerated amid rising costs for rents and healthcare, giving the Federal Reserve ammunition to deliver a third 75 basis points interest rate hike next Wednesday. The surprisingly firm inflation readings reported by the Labor Department on Tuesday were despite an easing in global supply chains, which had contributed to a surge in prices earlier in the year. With a resilient labor market supporting strong wage growth, inflation has probably not peaked, keeping the Fed on an aggressive monetary policy path for a while.” (“Stubbornly High Rents, Food Prices Boost U.S. Inflation In August,” Reuters, 9/13/2022)

  • “The consumer price index edged up 0.1% last month after being unchanged in July. Though consumers got some relief from a 10.6% decline in gasoline prices, they had to dig deeper to pay for food, rent, healthcare, electricity and natural gas. Food prices rose 0.8%, with the cost of food consumed at home increasing 0.7%. Food prices surged 11.4% over the last year, the largest 12-month increase since May 1979.” (“Stubbornly High Rents, Food Prices Boost U.S. Inflation In August,” Reuters, 9/13/2022)

The United States Economy Shrank For The Two Consecutive Quarters In A Row, Meaning The Country Is In A Recession

The U.S. economy shrank for a second quarter in a row—a common definition of recession—as businesses trimmed their inventories, the housing market buckled under rising interest rates, and high inflation took steam out of consumer spending. Gross domestic product, a broad measure of the goods and services produced across the economy, fell at an inflation and seasonally adjusted annual rate of 0.9% in the second quarter, the Commerce Department said Thursday. That marked a deterioration from the 1.6% rate of contraction recorded in the first three months of 2022. The report indicated the economy met a commonly used definition of recession—two straight quarters of declining economic output.” (“U.S. GDP Fell at 0.9% Annual Rate in Second Quarter,” The Wall Street Journal, 7/28/2022)

  • “Thursday’s first of three government estimates of GDP for the April-June quarter marks a drastic weakening from the 5.7% growth the economy achieved last year. That was the fastest calendar-year expansion since 1984, reflecting how vigorously the economy roared back from the brief but brutal pandemic recession of 2020. But since then, the combination of mounting prices and higher borrowing costs have taken a toll. The Labor Department’s consumer price index skyrocketed 9.1% in June from a year earlier, a pace not matched since 1981. And despite widespread pay raises, prices are surging faster than wages. In June, average hourly earnings, after adjusting for inflation, slid 3.6% from a year earlier, the 15th straight year-over-year drop. The inflation surge and fear of a recession have eroded consumer confidence and stirred public anxiety about the economy … Americans are losing confidence: Their assessment of economic conditions six months from now has reached its lowest point since 2013, according to the Conference Board, a research group.” (“US Economy Shrank 0.9% Last Quarter, Its 2nd Straight Drop,” The Associated Press, 7/28/2022)


The Reality Is American Families Are Struggling To Pay For Groceries

“To understand how people are navigating inflation these days, go to a grocery-store parking lot. An afternoon spent talking with shoppers and reviewing grocery receipts outside of Rouses Market in Houma, nearly 60 miles southwest of New Orleans, painted a picture of the trade-offs and difficult decisions families are facing to afford steadily rising food bills. The consumer-price index—which measures what consumers pay for goods and services—rose 8.3% in August from the same month a year ago, driven by higher prices for everything from new vehicles to medical care and electricity. Grocery prices were 13.5% higher in August compared with a year earlier, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is the biggest 12-month jump since March 1979. With no relief in sight, many consumers say they are struggling to keep up. In the Houma area, just over half of households are considered middle class, with a median income of $44,956, according to Pew Research Center. The stories people told coming out of Rouses—a middle-of-the-road local chain—were all the same. They saw ever-higher prices on staples from milk to bread, while wages fail to keep up. The shoppers told stories of planning meals around what is on sale and driving to four stores to find the best price.” (“High Food Prices Are Getting to People. The Scene at One Grocery Store Shows Why.,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/19/2022)

‘I Just Get To The Point Where I Break Down And I’m Like, “OK, How Do I Do It?”’

“When single mom Jamaica Bonvillian was asked about her grocery trip, she started tearing up. ‘I just get to the point where I break down and I’m like, “OK, how do I do it?”’ she said. After getting off her shift as a part-time bricklayer, she grabbed $129 worth of food, including a $7.99 Lunchable her son had begged for that had jumped from about $5. She was restocking the pantry after moving back into her home two weeks ago, more than a year after it had been damaged by Hurricane Ida. Until a few months ago, $832 in monthly government assistance was enough to comfortably feed her four-person family. Now, the essentials cost her closer to $1,400 a month. She has been buying in bulk from Sam’s Club and picking up Dollar Store paper towels and toilet paper ‘so thin you can see through them’ to stretch the budget, she said. And she has taken on extra work painting and landscaping on the weekends to try to make up the difference.” (“High Food Prices Are Getting to People. The Scene at One Grocery Store Shows Why.,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/19/2022)

‘I Can’t Do What I Want To Do. I Have To Be On A Budget’

“For Kerry Carter, 54, grocery shopping has become something of a second job. An avid cook, Mr. Carter said he now only buys food when it is on sale and plans his meals accordingly. He decides where to go shopping for the week based on the coupon mailers, which he skims over breakfast every morning. He normally only goes to Rouses on Wednesdays, when more goods are on sale. Still, he said his monthly grocery bills keep climbing. ‘I can’t do what I want to do. I have to be on a budget,’ Mr. Carter, a construction worker, said. He can’t remember his last vacation, and hasn’t been able to afford the materials he needs to finish the house he is building for his family, including his wife and teenage son…. He said he can’t afford to buy red meat or pork chops anymore, but said the biggest loss is that he can no longer host as many seafood boils for his friends and family. What used to be $100 for shrimp, crab, corn, sausage, potatoes and lemons is now closer to $300. ‘Boils are the lifeblood of Louisiana,’ Mr. Carter said, adding that he feels less connected to his community without them.” (“High Food Prices Are Getting to People. The Scene at One Grocery Store Shows Why.,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/19/2022)

‘It’s Horrible. It’s Nonsense’

“Jessica Boudreaux, 45, and her son Daniel Horsley, 23, spent $68.21 that day on ingredients for cornbread, Mexican dip and affordable staples like hot dogs. She said she has been shopping at Rouses instead of a more expensive store closer to her house. Two years ago, she said, she spent about $300 a month on groceries for her and her son. Now, their bill is about $600. She was most struck by the price of a dozen eggs ($2.49) and a stick of margarine ($1.49). The price of eggs is up about 40% from a year ago, according to the Labor Department, and butter and margarine are up about 29%. ‘It’s horrible. It’s nonsense,’ said Ms. Boudreaux, who receives disability assistance. Her other son and her grandson are moving in with her soon, and she doesn’t know how she will afford to feed everyone. ‘Luckily my grandbaby is only 2, so he doesn’t eat a lot,’ she said.” (“High Food Prices Are Getting to People. The Scene at One Grocery Store Shows Why.,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/19/2022)

‘Stuff Hasn’t Just Gone Up A Little Bit, It’s Gone Up Tremendously’

“Megan Naquin, 38, visited the supermarket with her 1-year-old and 3-year-old for a few ingredients for the breaded chicken she was making for dinner. She said she now spends more on groceries for her family of eight than on her $1,500 monthly mortgage. ‘Stuff hasn’t just gone up a little bit, it’s gone up tremendously,’ the homemaker said, adding that she and her husband have been trying fewer recipes and doing less cooking for fun than they once did. She cautions her six children not to go through the food in the pantry too quickly: ‘Anytime we go grocery shopping we say, this better still be here next week.’” (“High Food Prices Are Getting to People. The Scene at One Grocery Store Shows Why.,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/19/2022)

The Reality Is American Households Are Being Crushed With Electricity Bills Carrying The Largest Price Increases In 40 Years

“U.S. utility customers, faced with some of their largest bills in years, are set to pay even more this winter as natural-gas prices continue to climb. Natural-gas prices have more than doubled this year because of a global supply shortage made worse by the war in Ukraine, and they are expected to remain elevated for months as fuel is needed to light and heat homes during the winter. The supply crunch has made it substantially more expensive for utilities to purchase or produce power, and those costs are being passed on to customers. From New Hampshire to Louisiana, customers’ electricity rates are increasing. The Energy Information Administration anticipates the residential price of electricity will average 14.8 cents per kilowatt-hour in 2022, up 7.5% from 2021. The agency forecasts record gas consumption this year amid surging prices, in part because power producers are limited in their ability to burn coal instead due to supply constraints and plant retirements.” (“Electric Bills Soar Across the Country as Winter Looms,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/18/2022)

  • “The U.S. consumer-price index for electricity in August climbed 15.8% over the same month a year ago, the biggest such 12-month increase since 1981, according to a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics…. The National Energy Assistance Directors Association has forecast the highest winter heating season in a decade—a 35% jump to an average of $1,202 from two seasons ago—and a likely shock to consumers.” (“Electric Bills Soar Across the Country as Winter Looms,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/18/2022)

Electricity Prices For Customers Of A Utility In New Hampshire Are Up 112%

“The strain is particularly acute in New England. The region is investing heavily in renewable-energy sources, but many of those projects aren’t yet operational, and it still relies heavily on natural gas for electricity production. The region has limited pipeline capacity and imports large volumes of liquefied natural gas, which are in shorter supply as a result of European demand. Eversource Energy, a utility company that serves about four million electric and natural-gas customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, last month implemented an unprecedented price increase for customers in New Hampshire. Rates more than doubled from about 10.67 cents to 22.57 cents a kilowatt-hour and will remain at that level through January.” (“Electric Bills Soar Across the Country as Winter Looms,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/18/2022)

  • “Donald Kreis, who works on behalf of utility customers through New Hampshire’s Office of the Consumer Advocate, said his office has lately seen a sharp increase in the number of calls from customers concerned about their ability to handle the jump in electricity prices. The costs of natural-gas and fuel-oil delivery have jumped as well, making home heating more expensive as it gets colder. ‘People are really freaked out because winter looms,’ he said.” (“Electric Bills Soar Across the Country as Winter Looms,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/18/2022)

Electric Bills For Customers Of A Utility In Louisiana Are Up 38%

“In Louisiana, where power generation skews heavily toward natural gas, rising fuel costs are coming on top of … [a]n especially hot June and July [which] meant people used more air conditioning than usual. ‘Not only did we have higher rates as a result of those high natural-gas prices, we also had higher usage,’ said Phillip May, chief executive of Entergy Corp.’s Louisiana business. ‘It’s coming at a time when they’re seeing higher grocery prices and higher gasoline prices.’ … ‘Louisiana saw the effects of these gas prices immediately, faster than just about any other state, but those price changes are coming to every state,’ Mr. May said. Entergy’s fuel charges soared 91% in July over the same month last year, according to a report from the state’s utility regulator. Overall bills rose about 38%, Entergy Louisiana said.” (“Electric Bills Soar Across the Country as Winter Looms,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/18/2022)



Related Issues: Inflation, Economy, Energy