Who Are Americans Going To Believe, Their Huge Grocery Bills, Or The White House’s Insulting ‘Bidenomics’ Pitches?

Year-Over-Year Inflation Rose In August, Remaining Far Above The Fed’s Target Rate, Leaving Americans Paying More For Basic Necessities While Their Household Income Fell Over The Last Year. Yet They’re Treated To Increasingly Off-Putting Pronouncements By The White House That ‘Bidenomics Is Working’

SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “Just this morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that inflation increased by 0.6% this month, putting year over year inflation at 3.7%. That’s well above the Federal Reserve’s 2% target, and it puts cumulative inflation since President Biden took office over 17%. But as the American people continue to struggle against rising costs, the President appears to be taking a victory tour, touting ‘Bidenomics’ as one of his crowning achievements. Over Labor Day Weekend, President Biden told voters that ‘Bidenomics,’ quote, ‘is working.’ Mr. President, the American people are not fools. They can feel the pinch in their wallets and they know that Washington Democrats’ runaway spending is to blame. As one woman told reporters recently, quote, ‘I don’t think [President Biden] has the everyday people’s best interests in mind…everything’s gone up, electricity, groceries, fuel…it’s not fair to the American people.’ Well, she’s not alone. According to one recent survey, a large majority of Americans disapprove of the President’s handling of the U.S. economy. Families are paying 20% more at the grocery store. Credit card debt has surpassed $1 trillion dollars for the first time ever. And overall, real wages are down 2.3% since 2021. Mr. President, the numbers do not lie…. “Bidenomics” may be working. But it’s working against working Americans.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 9/13/2023)

Prices Went Up Again In August, ‘The Biggest Increase In More Than A Year’

“[T]he Labor Department said the consumer price index rose 3.7% in August from a year ago, up from a 3.2% annual pace in July…. That is still far from the Federal Reserve’s 2% target.” (The Associated Press, 9/13/2023)

“On a monthly basis, consumer prices jumped 0.6% in August, the biggest increase in more than a year.” (The Associated Press, 9/13/2023)

Contributing To The Higher Prices Were A Huge Spike In The Cost Of Gasoline And Rising Prices For All Types Of Energy And Rent

“Gas costs drove inflation in August, rising 10.6 percent over the month and accounting for more than half of the increase over July. All other major energy categories rose as well.” (“Inflation Nudged Up Again In August, As Gas Prices Rose Rapidly,” The Washington Post, 9/13/2023)

“Energy costs rose 5.6% just in August, the biggest monthly increase since June 2022.” (The Associated Press, 9/13/2023)

“The shelter index, which is largely made up of rent costs, rose for the 40th consecutive month. Rent rose 0.5 percent in August, slightly hotter than the 0.4 percent notched in July…. Rent … continues to be a major driver of overall inflation.” (“Inflation Nudged Up Again In August, As Gas Prices Rose Rapidly,” The Washington Post, 9/13/2023)

“Auto insurance prices also soared, rising 2.4% last month and 19.1% compared with a year ago.” (The Associated Press, 9/13/2023)

Inflation Remains Unacceptably High And Well Ahead Of The Fed’s 2% Target

FORMER TREASURY SECRETARY LARRY SUMMERS: “Second, I hope for a clear rejection of suggestions that inflation is securely under control. ... And almost everyone agrees that it is still running well above the Fed’s 2 percent target, especially because current readings are likely depressed by deflation in some of the sectors where prices spiked last year.” (Lawrence H. Summers, Op-Ed, “What Jerome Powell Should Say On Inflation,” The Washington Post, 8/24/2023)

CNBC: ‘Fed Chair Powell Calls Inflation ‘Too High’ And Warns That ‘We Are Prepared To Raise Rates Further’’ (“Fed Chair Powell Calls Inflation ‘Too High’ And Warns That ‘We Are Prepared To Raise Rates Further,” CNBC, 8/25/2023)

The Cumulative Effect Of Inflation Since President Biden Took Office Has Americans Paying Significantly Higher Prices For Food, Energy, Transportation, Housing, And More

Since President Biden took office, inflation has increased 17.4%. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 9/13/2023)

‘Prices Are Not Expected To Return To Levels Before The Pandemic’

“Meanwhile, many Americans still feel the sting of high costs for the basics. And even as inflation eases, prices are not expected to return to levels before the pandemic.” (“Fed Chief Says More ‘Ground To Cover’ To Get Inflation Under Control,” The Washington Post, 8/25/2023)

“[T]hat doesn’t mean prices themselves have returned to pre-pandemic levels, which experts say is a main reason many Americans feel so down on the economy. That’s especially the case since some of the remaining sources of inflation affect key staples — like food and rent — that continue to dog the budgets of families and businesses nationwide.” (“Inflation Nudged Up Again In August, As Gas Prices Rose Rapidly,” The Washington Post, 9/13/2023)

Americans Spent The Summer Paying More For Groceries …

“Groceries are also up, with meat, fish, eggs and dairy products all pricier in July after two months of declines. That reality could answer why many Americans feel so bad about the economy or struggle to see progress in their daily lives.” (“Fed Chief Says More ‘Ground To Cover’ To Get Inflation Under Control,” The Washington Post, 8/25/2023)

“Mary Daly, president of the San Francisco Fed, said there is a kind of exhaustion pulsing through the economy. In conversations across her district, which spans California and eight other Western states, Daly said she routinely hears from people who are financially scraping by. There is anxiety lingering for many households, after dealing with inflation or worrying about whether another recession is around the corner, she told The Post earlier this month.” (“Fed Chief Says More ‘Ground To Cover’ To Get Inflation Under Control,” The Washington Post, 8/25/2023)

… And Struggling With Soaring Energy Bills, With Some Even Being Forced ‘To Choose Between Food And Air Conditioning’

“Extreme heat is forcing Americans to choose between food and air conditioning this summer. The rate of utility shutoffs has increased by 15% from last summer, according to a survey of 2,581 food stamp recipients between July 1 - July 14 released last week by Propel, which builds technology aimed at helping low-income Americans. The shutoffs disproportionately affect Black households, with 14% having had their utilities shut off in the last 30 days compared with 10% of white respondents and 11% of Latino respondents, it said.” (“Electricity Bills Soar As Extreme Heat Bakes The US. How You Can Lower Your Utility Costs.” USA Today, 8/09/2023)

“In early July, NEADA [National Energy Assistance Directors Association] estimated that home energy costs this summer would increase by nearly 12% to an average of $578, up from $517 last summer. The Southwest central region was seen paying the most at $706 … At the time, NEADA noted these forecasts could underestimate the final costs of home cooling this summer if temperatures continued to stay at record levels.” (“Electricity Bills Soar As Extreme Heat Bakes The US. How You Can Lower Your Utility Costs.” USA Today, 8/09/2023)

“About 1 in 4 Americans is uncertain about being able to pay household energy bills, with low-income people most at risk of having their utilities disconnected, according to Sanya Carley, a professor of energy policy and city planning at the University of Pennsylvania.” (CBS News, 7/28/2023)

‘Surging Inflation Gobbled Up Household Income Gains’ For The Third Straight Year

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: ‘U.S. Incomes Fall for Third Straight Year’ (The Wall Street Journal, 9/12/2023)

  • “Earnings—mostly wages and salaries—showed a mixed picture. Median earnings in 2022 for all workers fell 2.2% to about $48,000 from the previous year, adjusted for inflation. Among workers who worked full time, year-round, median earnings dropped 1.3% to about $60,100. The total number of workers rose about 2.8 million, while the number of full-time, year-round workers jumped by four million to 121.4 million.” (“U.S. Incomes Fall For Third Straight Year,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/12/2023)

“The bureau said the official U.S. national poverty rate in 2022 was similar to the prior year at 11.5%, or about 37.9 million people living in poverty. For a four-person household, the threshold for meeting the definition of poverty last year was income of about $30,000.” (“U.S. Incomes Fall For Third Straight Year,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/12/2023)

“A broader unofficial measure of poverty that accounts for such expenses and aid rose sharply last year to 12.4%. The increase was linked to the expiration of several pandemic-related tax credits, especially one for children, according to Liana Fox, an assistant division chief at the bureau. That caused the unofficial poverty rate for children to more than double last year to 12.4% in 2022.” (“U.S. Incomes Fall For Third Straight Year,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/12/2023)

‘It’s Hard To Be Amped Up About The Economy When You’re Making Less Money (And Prices Are Soaring)’

“The decline [in incomes] explains why Americans have felt so meh … over the past couple years. To be clear: It’s hard to be amped up about the economy when you’re making less money (and prices are soaring.)” (“Real Incomes Fell Last Year. No Wonder Americans Were Bummed Out,” Axios, 9/12/2023)

“Jason Furman, who served as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers in the Obama administration, said there was a regular debate in that White House about how much to sell the public on the idea that the economy was improving even if people didn’t feel in their own lives. Now he said it was difficult for the Biden administration to take victory laps over slowing inflation because wages haven’t kept pace, leaving a typical worker about $2,000 behind compared with before the pandemic. ‘The way to think about that is people were in an incredibly deep hole because of inflation and we’re still not all the way out of that hole,’ Mr. Furman said.(“Biden Struggles to Make ‘Bidenomics’ a Plus, Not a Minus,” The New York Times, 9/02/2023)

Incredibly, President Biden And The White House Keep Insisting To Frustrated Americans That ‘Bidenomics Is Working’

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: “We’re replacing trickle-down economics with what everyone on Wall Street is referring to these days as ‘Bidenomics.’ And guess what? It’s working.” (President Biden, Remarks, 9/04/2023)

VICE PRESIDENT KAMALA HARRIS: “[W]e are very proud of Bidenomics. And as today’s jobs numbers make clear: Bidenomics is working.” (Vice President Kamala Harris, Remarks, 8/04/2023)

WHITE HOUSE PRINCIPAL DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY OLIVIA DALTON: “[W]e’re now starting to see the impact of, again, all of this historic legislation the President has managed to get passed, the impact of Bidenomics taking root.” (Press Gaggle, 8/15/2023)

It’s Obvious Why Americans Aren’t Buying The White House’s Insulting Sales Pitch

WHITE HOUSE COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISORS CHAIR JARED BERNSTEIN: “[W]hen someone tells you Americans don’t like Bidenomics, it’s false.” (Fox News Sunday, 9/03/2023)

‘Biden Struggles To Make ‘Bidenomics’ A Plus, Not A Minus’

“Now, the White House and the Biden campaign is several weeks into another appropriation play — but it isn’t going nearly as well. Aides in July announced that the president would run for re-election on the virtues of ‘Bidenomics,’ proudly reclaiming the right’s derisive term for Mr. Biden’s economic policies. The gambit does not appear to be working yet.(“Biden Struggles To Make ‘Bidenomics’ A Plus, Not A Minus,” The New York Times, 9/2/2023)

“Americans’ real incomes fell in 2022 from the previous year, new Census data show, as record-high inflation took a bite out of our paychecks…. It’s another reason why the White House’s Bidenomics pitch, an attempt to tell a feel-good story about the economy, seems to have fallen flat so far.” (“Real Incomes Fell Last Year. No Wonder Americans Were Bummed Out,” Axios, 9/12/2023)

In Poll After Poll, Large Majorities Of Americans Scorn The Biden Administration’s Economic Policies, With Most Pointing To Them As Making Things Worse

“But 58% of voters say the economy has gotten worse over the past two years, whereas only 28% say it has gotten better, and nearly three in four say inflation is headed in the wrong direction. Those views were echoed in the survey by large majorities of independents, a group that helped deliver Biden’s victory over Trump in the 2020 presidential race.” (“Biden’s Age, Economic Worries Endanger Re-Election In 2024, Wsj Poll Finds,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/04/2023)

“Only 37% of voters approve of President Biden’s handling of the economy, while 59% disapprove, according to a Wall Street Journal telephone and text-to-web survey of 1,500 registered voters conducted Aug. 24-30.” (“President’s ‘Bidenomics’ Messaging May Not Have Effect On Americans He Thinks It Does, New Poll Finds,” Fox Business, 9/04/2023)

“President Joe Biden has devoted the past several weeks to promoting the positive impacts of his policies — but his efforts have yet to meaningfully register with the public. Only 36% of U.S. adults approve of Biden’s handling of the economy, slightly lower than the 42% who approve of his overall performance, according to the new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.” (“Biden’s Approval Rating On The Economy Stagnates Despite Slowing Inflation, AP-NORC Poll Shows,” The Associated Press, 8/17/2023)

“Views of Biden’s performance in office and on where the country stands are deeply negative in the new poll. His job approval rating stands at just 39%, and 58% say that his policies have made economic conditions in the US worse, up 8 points since last fall.” (CNN, 9/07/2023)

A CBS News Poll conducted last week found that 65% of Americans disapprove of the way President Biden is handling the economy and 71% disapprove of his handling of inflation. (CBS News Poll, 9/10/2023)

  • Asked to rate the condition of the national economy, a plurality of respondents called it “very bad,” and only 8% described it as “very good.” (CBS News Poll, 9/10/2023)
  • Asked how the Biden administration’s actions are affecting inflation, a plurality said they were increasing the rate of inflation. (CBS News Poll, 9/10/2023)
  • 65% of respondents said they were generally pessimistic about the economy over the next few months and 75% described themselves as pessimistic about the costs of goods and services. (CBS News Poll, 9/10/2023)

‘Everything’s Gone Up,’ ‘It’s Hurt Us Bad’

“‘I don’t think he has the everyday people’s best interests in mind,’ Cindy, from Texas, told Fox News. She graded Biden an F.  ‘Everything’s gone up, electricity, groceries, fuel,’ she continued. ‘It’s not fair to the American people.’(“‘It’s Hurt Us Bad’: Americans Grade President Biden’s Handling Of The Economy As He Touts ‘Bidenomics,’” Fox News, 9/06/2023)

“‘We’re a small business … and we’ve got hit since’ Biden’s taken office, Therion, of Texas, said. He awarded Biden an F. ‘It’s hurt us bad,’ Therion added. ‘Fuel is killing us right now. The interest rates have went up. It wasn’t that way when he took over.’” (“‘It’s Hurt Us Bad’: Americans Grade President Biden’s Handling Of The Economy As He Touts ‘Bidenomics,’” Fox News, 9/06/2023)

“Michael Davidson, of Arlington, Va., said … that prices for gas and groceries were still a source of anxiety for him. He said he has noticed his grocery bill every few weeks is up by about $50 now compared with last year.” (“U.S. Inflation Accelerated in August as Gasoline Prices Jumped,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/13/2023)


Related Issues: Energy, Economy, Inflation