The Daily Malarkey

I receive and email every day from The Daily Malarkey. It is basically a write-up of some of the foolishness that is currently going on in the media and the so-called leadership of our country.

Here is an excerpt from today’s email:

Media Doing Opposite Of Supposed Mission

FOX headline: “MSNBC, WaPo, ABC figures warn voters against gas prices influencing their vote in November; Some media pundits worried that gas prices, inflation will dominate midterm concerns”“After downplaying concerns about the economy in the last year, some media outlets are now panicking that high gas prices and inflation will tank Democrats in the midterm elections, with some pundits even scolding voters for making it a priority.“Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell told readers that it was a ‘wild fantasy’ to believe the GOP could lower gas prices, as she warned voters to ‘think carefully about what they’ll get if they cast their ballot based on gas prices,’ in a Sunday opinion piece.”“Quoting colleague E.J. Dionne, she cautioned that if Republicans win in November that could lead to ‘far more radical and sinister forces’ trying to ‘undermine democracy.’“On MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe,’ branding guru Donny Deutsch fretted that pocketbook issues would win out with voters this year and in 2024 as more important to them than America’s democracy being ‘in peril.’“MSNBC host Joy Reid and political analyst Matthew Dowd characterized a red wave as a ‘threat’ the media needed to warn voters against on Monday.“‘We have to tell the voters what the threat is just like we do, Joy, we tell them about inflation, and we tell them about job growth, and we tell them about a hurricane, and we tell them about tornadoes, and we tell them about wildfire, we have to treat this assault just like we have to tell them about the assault on democracy,’ Dowd said.“Fellow MSNBC host Tiffany Cross took the same approach on her show Saturday, complaining that inflation was more of a concern for voters than the Jan. 6 committee hearings.“‘Come this November, will voters be more concerned with saving money than saving democracy?’ the ‘Cross Connection’ host asked.“Cross griped that inflation and ‘high prices’ dominated media coverage, which led Americans to be less interested in the ‘compelling testimonies and evidence’ in the Jan. 6 committee hearings.”“‘The View’ host Joy Behar absolved Biden of any responsibility for the energy crisis and said Republicans just wanted to make Biden ‘look bad.’”

An honest media would be a wonderful thing. Should we reward the Biden administration for doing a really bad job of running the country by electing people who will endorse their policies?

The Plan

On Tuesday, Issues & Insights posted an article about the Biden administration’s plan to fight inflation.

The article reports:

“Today the Democratic House takes a strong step to bring down crucial kitchen table costs of the pump and grocery store and across the board.”

That’s the transcript of what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on the House floor before all but five of her fellow Democrats voted for the “Lower Food and Fuel Costs Act” last week.

Pelosi’s garbled syntax aside, the only thing this bill would lower is the public’s trust in anything Democrats say these days. Despite its title, this bill would expand government but do nothing – repeat, nothing – to lower prices today, tomorrow, or any time in the future.

Among the Democrats’ brilliant inflation-fighting ideas is to create a new meat police to harass the meat industry. Another is to expand a subsidy program for farmers that has already proved ineffective in keeping food prices from skyrocketing. Finally, it would expand the use of ethanol – a plan that even President Joe Biden admits will fail to lower fuel prices.

…The bill also claims to lower food costs by encouraging farmers to adopt “precision farming” techniques that would lower their reliance on fertilizer, the cost of which has also spiked.

Here’s how Democrats on the House Agriculture Committee describe this: “Expanding access to precision agriculture has the potential to reduce fertilizer use and lower costs while also providing resource benefits including clean water and reduced carbon use. It is also a priority to help deal with the water shortages facing growers in much of the Western United States.”

But this program has been around for 26 years and Washington has dumped more than $25 billion into these subsidies. What effect has all this largesse had on food price inflation today? Go to your nearby grocery store for the answer.

The article concludes:

Biden doesn’t believe this will make any difference either. The Washington Post reported recently that while talking up E-15 as a money saver in public, “privately, Biden dismissed the policy as ineffective” and “worried … that it exaggerated ethanol’s ability to cut gas prices and could harm his climate goals.”

There’s also the inconvenient truth that encouraging farmers to turn more corn into fuel will leave less corn for food, pushing up grocery prices. So even if consumers did see gasoline prices fall, they’d pay for it in higher food prices

The Democrats’ bill does have one thing in its favor. It makes it clear that the only way to change the direction of economic policy coming out of Washington is to change the leadership in Washington.

I am praying for an honest mid-term election.

More Pinocchios For The White House

On Tuesday, Breitbart posted an article about the Biden administration’s claim that the biggest driver of American inflation in the war in Ukraine. It is interesting that this claim is coming out as many economists believe that the economic growth numbers that will come out at the end of this month will show that America is in a recession according to the classical definition of the word recession.

The article notes:

Inflation was high and rising long before the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 0.6 percent in May of 2021 after rising 0.8 percent in April., On an annual basis, prices were up 5.0 percent, the largest 12-month increase since a 5.4-percent increase for the period ending August 2008.

Core inflation, which excludes food and energy, was 3.8 percent over the previous 12 months, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending June 1992.

The article concludes:

The biggest factor in the rise of energy prices has been increased global demand and a lack of capital investment. The latter was caused, in part, by ESG investing, Biden’s promise to end fossil fuels, and regulators discouraging fossil fuel production.

Yet inflation is still very high even with energy excluded. Absent energy, the CPI is up 6.6 percent year over year and rose 0.7 percent in May from April. This demonstrates that Putin has very little to do with the bulk of U.S. inflation.

People who normally invest in finding oil are being very cautious right now. Banks have slowed lending to oil companies for exploration because the government is not allowing the exploration needed to keep America energy independent. The first step toward ending inflation would be open up drilling (and the necessary pipelines) to keep the income from the energy market in America. The next step would be removing at least one in three government regulations on business and people trying to start businesses. Don’t look for either solution under the Biden administration.

 

Creating More Inflation

On Friday, The Conservative Treehouse posted an article about one plan proposed by the White House to help Americans cope with the high cost of gasoline. After all, there is an election in November. Aside from the fact that this plan would further fuel inflation by putting more dollars into the economy, it does nothing to help the truckers who transport everything and have no choice but to pass on their increased costs to the consumer resulting in rising prices on nearly everything.

The article includes the following chart:

On Friday, The Washington Post reported the following:

Gas prices have been one of the most visible signs of inflation. The White House has taken a number of actions to try to address the problem, such as committing to a historic release of the nation’s oil reserves and, on Wednesday, sending a letter to the nation’s refineries calling for more production and criticizing their profits. President Biden has also tried to increase production internationally, prodding the world’s oil producers and coordinating the release from national reserves with U.S. allies.

But those measures appear not to have helped substantially. The average gas price nationally rose above $5 a gallon for the first time this weekend, a roughly 11 percent increase from just last month, according to AAA, although some industry analysts say it could fall back to $4.55 in the weeks ahead. Polling suggests widespread frustration with rising prices, increasing the likelihood that voters punish Democrats this fall and give Republicans control of at least one house of Congress next year.

We desperately need an honest election in November.

I Think The Fact-Checkers Went Home

President Biden and his administration members have been claiming for the past few days that inflation in America is lower than inflation in other industrial countries. The claim is made with the assertion that because America has lower inflation it can’t be President Biden’s fault. The only problem with the claim is that it isn’t true.

The chart below was posted by The U.K. Daily Mail on Friday.The article reports:

In an interview with the Associated Press that was conducted Thursday, he (President Biden) slapped back suggestions he is to blame.

‘Isn’t it kind of interesting? If it’s my fault, why is it the case in every other major industrial country in the world that inflation is higher? You ask yourself that? I’m not trying to be a wise guy,’ he told AP reporter Josh Boak in the Oval Office.

While prices having been rising across the globe, the inflation in the U.S. has been higher than the G7 nations and China for most of the year.

The United Kingdom with a four-decade high of 8.6 percent has only just surpassed inflation in the United States.

But nations including Germany, France, Japan and Canada are Sall still behind the U.S. when it comes to prices.

Data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development from April 2021 until April 2022 shows U.S. inflation has been rising steadily above all other nations.

The data runs only until April as it is where the fullest data was available. 

It should also be noted that President Biden has consistently criticized the profit margins of the oil companies. A website called Macrotrends includes information of both oil company profit margins (and for comparison) the profit margin of Apple.

Here are portions of those charts:

I don’t think oil profit margins are the problem.

It’s Not A Pretty Picture

Just the News posted an article on Sunday that sums up the Biden administration in five numbers.

These are the numbers:

1. 8.6 percent

2. $5.01 per gallon

3. 234,088 illegal border crossings

4. 39% approval

5. 83% dissatisfied

Obviously, this is not a pretty picture. The 8.6 number represents the government figure on inflation. There is little question that government policies on spending and energy have fueled the rapid spike in inflation. According to Fox Business, on Jan. 20, 2021, the average price for a gallon of gas nationwide was approximately $2.39. Today it generally $5.00 or more. That impacts everyone. It has the same impact as a massive tax increase.

The number of illegal border crossing also impacts everyone because of the drug traffic and human trafficking associated with those illegal crossings.

The article notes:

The figure reached about 2.4 million illegal border crossings from April of last year to this past April, the last month for which there’s publicly available data and the month with the highest number of migrant encounters during the Biden administration at 234,088.

The 39 percent approval rating is not a surprise, but I would love to know who those 39 percent are.

The article notes:

A new poll from Quinnipiac last week found that approval of Biden’s job performance plummeted to 33%. More striking, however, the data shows just 22% of Americans ages 18-34, 24% of Hispanic voters, and 49% of black voters said they approve of Biden’s job performance. Each of those demographics is a critical voting bloc for the Democratic Party.

And finally, the article notes that 83 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with “the way things are going in the United States at this time.” Only 16% of Americans said they were satisfied.

The article concludes:

In this political environment, Democratic pollsters and strategists are growing increasingly pessimistic, seeing major Republican gains as all but inevitable.

To make matters worse for Biden and Democrats in Congress, “election outcomes are more-or-less baked in” by the end of the second quarter of an election year, according to RealClearPolitics Senior Elections Analyst Sean Trende.

Of course, things can always change, but the numbers don’t look good for Biden.

More importantly, behind those numbers are real people who are hurting. And each of them has a vote in November.

These numbers only matter if there is an honest election in November.

Looking Past The Spin

It’s always interesting to listen to enough mainstream media to find out what the catch phrase of the day is. When Dick Cheney was appointed as George W. Bush’s Vice-President, the phrase was ‘gravitas.’ I can’t prove that the mainstream media has an online meeting early every morning to plan the news for the day, but I can say that it sure looks that way. Even Wikipedia has an entry for Operation Mockingbird.

Two of the current phrases of the day are ‘Putin’s tax on food and gas’ and ‘Putin’s inflation.’ I am not sure the American public actually believes either one.

On Friday, The Western Journal noted the following:

President Joe Biden is continuing to blame inflation on Russian President Vladimir Putin more than three months into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

During an event on Friday, Biden addressed the latest inflation report as he said, “I understand Americans are anxious. And they’re anxious for good reason.”

“I was raised in a household when the price of gasoline rose precipitously it was the discussion at the table. It made a difference,” he continued.

Finally, Biden said, “We’ve never seen anything like Putin’s tax on both food and gas.”

Actually, inflation arrived before Putin invaded Ukraine, but that is what you call an inconvenient truth.

The article notes:

From the outset of Russia’s war on Ukraine, Biden officials have blamed the “Putin price hike” for the spikes Americans were seeing in gas and food prices — even though inflation had hit a 40-year-high in the months leading up to the invasion.

Biden’s comments come after the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that inflation accelerated in May.

The consumer price index rose 8.6% in May compared to the same month last year, marking the fastest pace of price increases since Dec. 1981.

It’s much easier to blame Putin than to take responsibility for the runaway government spending that has occurred since President Biden took office. Look for more catch phrases of the day as inflation continues.

Life In America Is Getting More Expensive

On Friday, The Daily Caller posted an article about the impact of inflation on household budgets.

The article reports:

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) reached its highest rate in over 40 years in May, adding more strain on U.S. household budgets.

American families watched as consumer prices for necessities like groceries, oil and gas, and transportation rose 8.6% in the last year, according to the Friday U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report.

The CPI, which measures the change in price for products paid for by U.S. consumers, increased a startling 1% in May after only rising 0.3% in April, the BLS report shows.

The skyrocketing rates affect all areas of American life, but shelter, gasoline, and food saw the highest price increases.

The article concludes:

Records show food prices rose 1.2% in May, an increase from the .9% rise in April. The food at home index climbed for the fifth consecutive month, increasing 1.4% in May. The price for American families to eat at home has risen 11.9% over the past 12 months, making it the largest 12-month increase since April 1979, reported BLS.

“All six major grocery store food group indexes increased over the [last 12-months], with five of the six rising more than 10 percent. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs increased the most, rising 14.2 percent, with the index for eggs increasing 32.2 percent,” the BLS report stated.

Fruits and vegetables rose 8.2%, with other food at home rising 12.6%.

Transportation costs, like new and used cars, and airline fares, also rose. The price of new vehicles rose 1% in May and 12.6% over the past 12-month. The used car index increased 1.8% in May and 16.1% over the past year. Airline fares rose 12.6% in May alone, after increasing 18.6% in April, statistics show.

There are a lot of reasons for this increase in inflation. There is also a belief in some circles that it is by design–inflation makes the national debt easier to pay off. Unfortunately, if the Federal Reserve raises interest rates, the interest on the debt increases dramatically. Basically, excessive government spending is a major source of inflation. The dramatic increase in fuel prices has a trickle-down impact on inflation and is also contributing to the problem. Both of these things are correctable if we had an administration that wanted to correct them.

Using Spin Instead Of Solving The Problem

On Wednesday, The Washington Free Beacon posted an article detailing how the Biden administration plans to address the problem of rising inflation as they approach what could be a disastrous mid-term election. Mid-term elections tend to lose seats for whatever party holds the White House. If this year’s mid-term is an honest election, the prospects for the Democrat party are looking bleak.

The article reports:

President Joe Biden and the Democratic Party finally have a plan to get inflation under control and address the economic anxiety felt by millions of Americans. It’s not a plan in the conventional sense, but rather a public relations campaign to convince the American people that “despite their current misgivings, the economy is actually doing quite well.”

Inflation is soaring and gas prices are through the roof, but Americans are wrong to be concerned about the direction of the country, the president and his allies will argue this month. Politico reports that Biden has assembled a team of experts and professional communicators to make the case that, actually, the economy is good. The White House effort to “communicate on our accomplishments” kicked off on Monday with a Wall Street Journal op-ed in which Biden touted his stewardship of “the most robust recovery in modern history” and cited a bunch of macroeconomic statistics to make his case.

No one who routinely makes trips to the gas station or the grocery store is going to believe that the economy is doing well.

The article concludes:

The dubious public relations campaign is in keeping with the Democratic Party’s longstanding belief that all of their electoral problems could be solved by simply explaining to skeptical voters that they have no good reason to be skeptical. It is also indicative of a White House in disarray. Biden is reportedly furious at his subordinates for failing to come up with a winning message ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, and White House chief of staff Ron Klain is rumored to be on the chopping block. Anita Dunn, a longtime Biden aide who once provided “damage control advice” to disgraced Hollywood rapist Harvey Weinstein, could take his place after the midterms.

Considering all of the information bubbling beneath the surface about Hunter Biden’s laptop and what is on it, Anita Dunn might be a really good choice for chief of staff.

 

This Might Be Good News For Republicans

On Wednesday, The Western Journal posted an article about voter turnout in the recent primary elections.

The article reports:

McDaniel (Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel) told Fox News on Wednesday that she believes it bodes well for the general election in November, but she cautioned GOP supporters not to become complacent.

She pointed first to Tuesday’s elections in Pennsylvania.

“The thing that we’re taking away from last night is, first of all, Republicans outpaced Democrat turnout by 100,000 votes. That’s the first time we’ve ever beaten the Democrats in 10 years in this type of primary situation,” McDaniel said.

Republican voters cast over 1.3 million ballots to Democrats’ slightly less than 1.2 million.

That would be very good news for the Republicans in the mid-term elections assuming that the mid-terms would be an honest election.

The article concludes:

“We know that inflation is hurting average Americans. We know that gas prices are hurting people. We know that there is a baby formula shortage that this administration is not addressing,” McDaniel added.

“It seems that every time a crisis comes up, they’re ill-prepared, and that’s why we’re seeing voters look at Republicans and say, ‘Maybe we need to switch leadership in Washington and put Republicans in charge of the Senate and the House in the midterm elections,’” she said.

The GOP leader is cautious about predicting a red wave in the fall, pointing out that Republicans only need a net gain of five seats in the House to take back that chamber and just one to retake the Senate.

“I don’t want anyone to get complacent,” McDaniel said. “We all need to work hard for every single victory.”

We need a conservative takeover of Congress (whichever party those conservatives belong to) to put an end to the destructive policies of the Biden administration. It’s time to become energy independent again. It’s time to control spending, and it’s time to remove (again) the regulations that make it nearly impossible for businesses to operate easily in America.

Everybody But Me..

President Biden has consistently blamed everyone and everything other than himself for the current high inflation. I guess he is not familiar with the phrase, “The buck stops here,” although his fellow Democrats were very familiar with that concept when President Trump was in office.

On Wednesday, The New York Post posted an article about President Biden’s recent statement about who is responsible for the current inflation.

The article reports:

President Biden admitted Wednesday that inflation was stuck at “unacceptably high” levels after the annual rate fell slightly in April to 8.3% — but then blamed the COVID-19 pandemic and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine for the price increases rather than government spending.

“While it is heartening to see that annual inflation moderated in April, the fact remains that inflation is unacceptably high,” Biden said in a statement.

Inflation hit a 40-year annual high of 8.5% in March. Although the annual inflation rate ticked lower in April, prices actually increased 0.3% on a month-to-month basis.

Biden had attempted to preempt the latest inflation data with a Tuesday speech in which he sought to shift the blame for the politically dicey issue.

In his Wednesday statement, Biden hailed a new federal initiative funded by his $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill to provide free internet service to about 40% of homes — and claimed Republicans would increase costs if they regain control of Congress.

“Congressional Republicans talk about inflation, but their only plan is to raise taxes on working families, taking even more money out of their pockets,” Biden said, referring to a plan proposed by Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) that would require all Americans to pay at least some taxes, though the proposal is not widely embraced by other Republicans.

…“Today, I am traveling to Illinois to speak with farmers about more we can do to lower their costs and help them produce more, lowering the price of food for Americans and around the world,” Biden said. “All of this is progress, but the fight against global supply chain issues related to the pandemic and Putin’s price hike will continue every day.”

Biden also touted a declining federal deficit, despite the fact that Democrats passed a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill last year without revenue offsets or Republican support. Months later, Congress approved a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, of which about $256 billion wasn’t paid for, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

I don’t think most Americans are naive enough to buy into the concept of ‘Putin’s price hike,’ particularly when the price hikes began before Putin invaded Ukraine. If he really wants to help the farmers, the President might consider opening up drilling to reduce their fossil fuel costs and their fertilizer costs.

The Biden Economy

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is a statement generally attributed to T. Bert (Thomas Bertram) Lance, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget in Jimmy Carter’s 1977 administration. It is a statement that the Biden administration would have done well to listen to when they took office.

On Wednesday, Breitbart posted an article about the latest inflation numbers.

The article reports:

The Department of Labor said Wednesday that the Consumer Price Index rose 8.3 percent compared with a year ago. Prices were up 0.3 percent compared with the prior month.

This is the eleventh straight month of inflation above 5 percent. Prices rose at an annual rate of 8.5 percent in March. This was the month since September 2021 that the year-over-year inflation figure was not higher than the month earlier.

Economists had forecast CPI to rise by 0.2 percent for the month and 8.1 percent compared with a year ago.

Core CPI, which excludes food and energy, rose 0.6 percent, well above the 0.4 percent estimate. Compared with a year ago, core prices were up 6.2 percent, above the 6.0 percent expected.

After inflation average hourly earnings for all employees fell 0.1 percent from March to April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said. Real average hourly earnings decreased 2.6 percent, seasonally adjusted, from April 2021 to April 2022.

One of the main causes of the increased inflation is runaway government spending. Meanwhile on Tuesday night, The House of Representatives passed a $39.8 billion bill to aid Ukraine. Where do they think this money is going to come from?

 

 

Let’s Worry About The Solution Rather Than Who Is To Blame

On Tuesday, Townhall posted an article about the inflation we are currently dealing with.

The article reports:

President Joe Biden’s approval rating is deeper underwater than Ted Kennedy’s car on Chappaquiddick, the midterms are less than six months away, baby formula is running out across the country, and fuel prices just notched a new all-time high for both diesel and unleaded. 

Scrambling to stem the hemorrhaging for his administration and party, Biden spoke Tuesday afternoon in remarks that were intended to head off Wednesday’s release of the latest consumer inflation data that’s remained at four-decade highs in recent months as a result of Biden’s economic policies. 

As usual, Biden refused to accept responsibility for the effects of his spending binge and regulatory regime that’s made the U.S. dependent on foreign energy and strained supply chains to the point of breaking.

President Biden acknowledged Tuesday that Americans were frustrated with rising costs, an upward climb that has only accelerated as Biden’s time in office drags on. “I can taste it,” Biden said, bizarrely, of Americans’ discontent. 

…President Biden also claimed that Republicans want to raise taxes on Americans while lowering their incomes, something that President Biden has…already done.

With the latest inflation data showing a red-hot 8.5 percent increase outpacing wage growth, Americans are paying more for everyday goods and services while their real wages are down three percent thanks to Biden’s policies. Biden has both inflicted a tax on all Americans in the form of record-high gas prices and four-decade-high inflation while lowering their real wages.

The current inflation has three major causes–the Biden administration’s war on energy, the Biden administration’s runaway spending, and Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Of the three, the last is the least important. A good business man could turn this economy around quickly–cut spending, open up drilling, and put full sanctions on Russia to end the invasion of Ukraine. However, none of these moves are likely from the Biden administration.

 

The Real Numbers On How Americans Are Doing Economically

On Saturday, The Conservative Review reported that wage growth for Americans is falling behind the rate of inflation.

The article reports:

The average hourly earnings for fall employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by only 0.3% in April. This is lower than what was expected by economists, and according to data released from the Bureau of Labor Statistics this past Friday, nominal earnings have increased 5.5% on an annual basis.

This earnings growth rate is far below the rate of inflation. Although April’s inflation numbers are not yet available, the Consumer Price Index grew by 8.5% in the year ending in March.

Real earnings appear to be falling by multiple percentage points.

The article notes:

Furman’s (Jason Furman, the chairman of former President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers) analysis presented an estimate of wage growth that adjusted for the fact that recently released hourly earnings figures released Friday are affected by hiring practices in the current workforce. For instance, wages might be artificially lowered if more low-income workers are hired back within a given month.

Essentially what this means is that pay rates are not growing fast enough to keep up with the rising costs of daily essentials and other expenses like gas, groceries, and rent.

Falling real wages help explain why voters continue to give President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris poor ratings on their handling of the economy.

The middle class is being negatively impacted under the Biden administration. During the Trump administration the middle class saw increases in wages and upward mobility. Under the Biden administration, the middle class is struggling to hold its own.

In April, the Workforce Participation Rate dropped to 62.2 from 62.4 in March. That indicates that few Americans are in the work force. The highest Workforce Participation Rate in recent history was in February 2020, when it hit 63.4.

The Cost Of The Biden Presidency

If inflation is a tax, Americans have just received one of the biggest tax increases in history courtesy of the Biden administration.

On April 13th, Just the News posted an article about the latest inflation numbers.

The article reports:

Wholesale prices leapt 1.4% in march from the February figures to hit a record 11.2% annual increase as inflation continues to smack the U.S. economy.

The newly released numbers follow the news Tuesday of an 8.5% annual rise in consumer prices – the highest figure on record since December of 1981.

The Producer Price Index, which is also put out by the Department of Labor, measures the price of goods and services that businesses pay each other.

A significant portion of the wholesale price increase in March was due to the jump in energy prices brought about by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

While outsized factors like the war in Ukraine, and the supply chain issues brought about by the pandemic, continue to impact inflation numbers, some economists are gesturing toward the federal government’s ongoing fiscal response to the pandemic as a driver of the issue.

Hoover Institution economist John H. Cochrane wrote in a beginning-of-year message that “n response to the disruptions of COVID-19, the U.S. government created about $3 trillion of new bank reserves, equivalent to cash, and sent checks to people and businesses. Mechanically, the Treasury issued $3 trillion of new debt, which the Fed quickly bought in return for $3 trillion of new reserves. The Treasury sent out checks, transferring the reserves to people’s banks. The Treasury then borrowed another $2 trillion or so, and sent more checks. Overall, federal debt rose nearly 30 percent. Is it at all a surprise that a year later inflation breaks out?”

The Biden administration has searched left, right, and center for a scapegoat for the inflation issue that is hurting the wallets of so many Americans ahead of the critical midterm election. Thus far, blaming Big Oil companies for price-gauging and Vladimir Putin for escalating gas prices has done little to divert attention of the American people from what they view as failing policies of the administration.

For a little historical perspective on inflation, here is a chart from The U.S. Inflation Calculator:

As you can see from the chart, the inflation rate was beginning to climb before Putin invaded Ukraine. The Biden administration’s spending and energy policies paved the way for the inflation we are now seeing. The best way to deal with the current inflation is to vote out of office anyone in Congress who continues to vote for massive spending bills and to vote President Biden out of office in 2024.

Are You Better Off Now Than You Were A Year Ago?

In the past, many election campaigns have asked the question, “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” We have seen the results of an election even after only one year.

The Wall Street Journal posted an article Thursday about the current rate of inflation.

The article reports:

A relentless surge in U.S. inflation reached another four-decade high last month, accelerating to a 7.5% annual rate as strong consumer demand collided with pandemic-related supply disruptions.

The Labor Department on Thursday said the consumer-price index—which measures what consumers pay for goods and services—in January reached its highest level since February 1982, when compared with the same month a year ago. That put inflation above December’s 7% annual rate and well above the 1.8% annual rate for inflation in 2019 ahead of the pandemic.

The so-called core price index, which excludes the often volatile categories of food and energy, climbed 6% in January from a year earlier. That was a sharper rise than December’s 5.5% increase and the highest rate in nearly 40 years.

Prices were up sharply in January for a number of everyday household items, including food, vehicles, shelter and electricity. A sharp uptick in housing rental prices—one of the biggest monthly costs for households—contributed to last month’s increase.

High inflation is the dark side of the unusually strong economy that has been powered in part by government stimulus to counter the pandemic’s impact. January’s continued acceleration increased the likelihood that Federal Reserve officials could speed up a series of interest-rate increases this spring to ease surging prices and cool the economy.

Inflation is a tax that impacts everyone. When your grocery bill doubles, you have to find a way to pay for the increase and still pay your other monthly bills. People who live paycheck to paycheck are being negatively impacted. The increased price of gasoline impacts the spending power of everyone who has to commute to work every day and the price of anything we buy that is transported by truck.

Elections have consequences.

The Predictable Truth

The White House and the media have worked very hard to sell the idea that the economy is in good shape and that inflation really isn’t that bad; and if it is that bad, it’s because the economy is growing. They have also attempted to convince Americans that the supply line crisis is due to Covid. Hopefully Americans are waking up to the fact that neither one of those things is true.

On Wednesday, The Conservative Treehouse posted an article that provides a much more honest assessment of where the American economy actually is. It is a rather long article, so I suggest that you follow the link and read the entire article. I will try to summarize some of the major points.

The article reports:

The business and financial wires are melting down today as ADP Payrolls, the nation’s largest private sector payroll providing service, releases data from January showing a drop of 301,000 jobs.  [ADP Raw Data Here]

The financial, economic and business pundits are completely caught off guard and using the words “shocked”, “unexpected” and “surprised,” within their analysis.  These employment numbers just don’t align with an economy growing at 6.9%, as measured by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).  However, for CTH readers who have carefully scrutinized the economic claims and looked at the bigger picture through the prism of kitchen table checkbook economics, these results are not a surprise.

Every sector of the employment picture on Main Street USA is hit.  The pundits, following the narrative first seeded by the White House on Monday, are pointing to Omicron as the justification inside their review.  That’s nonsense.  For the better part of seven months these same pundits first claimed Delta, then shifted to Omicron as a way to explain the structurally weak economy.  All of that is nonsense.

What we are witnessing are the outcomes of massive inflation now hitting the labor market.  A drop in demand, and a subsequent drop in the employment of goods and services, is an unavoidable outcome of inflationary pressure on wages.

Let me say it again, on a macro level, natural consumer DEMAND has dropped – we are only now starting to see it surfacing in the statistical measures.

This is why White House spokesperson Jen Psaki made that weird statement on Monday.

The article concludes:

We are in the inflation hurricane right now.

The good news is… if domestic demand continues naturally contracting, due to unsustainable inflation, eventually prices will have to stabilize. It seems counterintuitive, but a strong cash position is valuable despite inflation right now.

Inflation will continue hitting wages hard, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. If you have prepared to ride out this storm of inflation, we should see things start to turn around in about six months. Unfortunately, between now and then, there will be significant job losses as inventories continue to build and sales get stagnant.

Prices on fast turn consumable goods like food, fuel, energy etc. will never return to their pre-inflationary price. The high prices on highly consumable products are here to stay and will never decline. Unfortunately, there are several indicators that those prices will go even higher throughout the next six months until they plateau mid-summer.

However, on the backside of this inflationary hurricane, the prices on long-term durable goods will start dropping sooner as consumer demand continues to focus on prioritization of spending and employment becomes more tenuous.

Please read the entire article. It includes a couple of charts that illustrate exactly what is happening to our economy under the economic policies of the Biden administration.

Ten Lies Told

On Wednesday, The Federalist posted an article listing ten lies President Biden told during his press conference.

This is the list of lies:

1. The Nation’s Problem Is COVID

2. Wages Are Up

3. Biden Created Jobs

4. The Supply Chain Crisis Isn’t That Bad

5. Inflation Was Already A Thing Before I Took Office

6. Republicans Want To Steal Minorities’ Right To Vote

7. Schools Aren’t Closed

8. Build Back Better Will Save Americans Money

9. White House Reporters Are The Most Informed Americans Of All Time

10. I Didn’t Compare My Democrat Colleagues To Racists

Please follow the link above to read the details. Some of these statements are such obvious whoppers I don’t even want to comment on them. I remember how often the press accused President Trump of lying with no evidence. Now we have a President who truly struggles to tell the truth and the media is generally silent. It is my hope that American voters are smarter than the press thinks they are.

The Real Reason Behind The Awful Jobs Report

“Experts” predicted that the Biden administration would see 400,000 new jobs created in December. The actual number was 199,000. The good news is that the Workforce Participation Rate did not drop. It is holding steady at 61.9. That’s not a great number, but at least it is holding steady.

On Friday, Breitbart noted:

The jobless rates for whites fell half a percentage point to 3.2 percent, while the rate for blacks rose from 6.7 percent to 7.1 percent, according to data released by the Labor Department on Friday.

On Friday, The Conservative Treehouse posted an article detailing some of the reasons for the low jobs number. It’s not the coronavirus as President Biden claims.

The article reports:

Keep in mind, the November jobs report showed a decline in retail jobs of 29,000, and this report shows that despite November & December being the largest shopping months for holidays, the retail sector jobs were nonexistent.

The issue is what we have discussed here for months, inflation.

The job quits and JOLT turnover reports from last week showed massive numbers of employees quitting their jobs.  In part this is pressure from the vaccine mandate (more on that later).  However, in the majority what we are seeing is employment decisions based on inflation hitting the labor market.

Additionally, the current BLS report does not have the Omicron “winter of death” employment impact within it.  That impact will come in the January report, and it will not be good.  But let’s get down to reconciling December jobs data with reality on the ground.

Inflation is chewing up income amid the workforce.  This is not debatable, and this is reflected in every opinion poll and economic statistic that has surfaced for the past six months.   The BLS report somewhat surprised people in the 0.6% wage gains, and average wage increases are now 4.7% year over year.  That should be a good thing.  However, inflation at 20 to 50+% on energy, fuel, gasoline and food means a 4.7% growth in wages is a pittance.

Unfortunately, the article does not conclude with good news:

We have a looming problem that does not reconcile with 3.9% unemployment. The pundits are perplexed.

The confusion is because NO ECONOMIC data has ever shown this level of inflation in such a short period of time. There are no models. There is no experience in this situation. This is not like the 1970’s where oil prices were the direct and primary cause. This is different, because we are experiencing shortages and price increases specifically due to policy.

Energy policy is killing us (oil and natural gas prices). Legislative policy is killing us (spending and bailouts). Monetary policy is killing us (cheap lending, quantitative easing, devaluation). All of this is causing massive inflation at a level we have never seen in history, and it’s on everything.

Then we throw in a vaccine mandate, and perpetual fear of a virus that hits both the demand side and the employment side simultaneously…. and, well, here you go. The disruptions inside the economy are like deep cuts, thousands of them, and they are not accidental.

Many, if not most, of these disruptions are being done at the altar of climate change and the Green New Deal.

COVID-19 mitigation and mandates only make this worse.

The disruptions in the supply chain are a direct result of policy. Now, we have to prepare for inflation AND shortages. This will not get better in 2022.

Prepare your family accordingly. I believe those of you reading this article represent the people best prepared for what is about to happen.

Prepare for the worst, pray for the best.

It’s Not Dead Yet

On Sunday, Breitbart reported that the White House and Senator Joe Manchin have resumed discussions of the “Build Back Better” Bill (also known as the Build Back Broke Bill).

The article reports:

According to Axios, sources confirmed that the senator has reportedly engaged with the White House “on the climate and child care provisions” in the president’s signature piece of legislation “if the White House removes the enhanced child tax credit from the $1.75 trillion package — or dramatically lowers the income caps for eligible families.”

The article concludes:

“The fight for Build Back Better is too important to give up,” press secretary Jen Psaki said. “We will find a way to move forward next year.”

Senate Democrats have reportedly doubled their efforts to get Manchin on board with the bill, believing its passage will improve their chances in the 2022 midterm elections.

“The Senate Democratic Caucus sees salvaging the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better package as key to boosting the party’s chances in this fall’s midterms, especially as President Biden’s popularity sags in the polls,” said Axios in a separate report.

One senior Senate Democrat aide said the holidays likely cooled everyone off, allowing for more negotiations to proceed.

Senator Manchin has claimed that his objection to the bill is that it will fuel inflation (which it will). The article noted that last months inflation reading from the Bureau of Labor Statistics was 6.8 for the year. The next Consumer Price Index will come out on January 12.

According to the CPI Inflation Calculator:

Elections matter.

 

 

What I Never Thought I Would See

On Monday The Federalist posted a list of thirteen things that have happened that they would not have believed five years ago.

Here is the list. Please follow the link to the article to read the details:

1. Men As Women

2. Blocking Puberty

3. Drafting Women

5. Massive Illegal Immigration

6. Widespread Censorship

7. Parents Labeled Terrorists

8. President’s Mental Abilities Doubted

9. Asking Athletes for Advice

10. Record Debt and Inflation

11. Covid Restrictions Continue and Some Increase

12. Major Scientific Advances Not Celebrated

13. Losing Our Lead

Please follow the link above to read the details. We are obviously not in a good place.

If You Repeat A Lie Often Enough…

On Tuesday, The New York Post posted an article about something the Biden administration is claiming as a success.

The article reports:

Are you better off than you were one year ago?

That’s the message the White House is trying to convey in a year-end memo to Democratic lawmakers and other supporters, according to a new report from Axios.

The memo — titled “2021: POTUS Delivered for Working Families” — illustrates in words and graphics what the Biden administration describes as a year of accomplishments, according to the outlet.

The two-page document touts the COVID-19 vaccination program, the widespread reopening of schools, and a decline in the unemployment rate and jobless claims. It also hails the passage of two major spending bills this year: the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan in March and the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure framework last month.

“In spite of unprecedented crises and opposition from Congressional Republicans, President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Congressional Democrats got an enormous amount done for the American people in 2021​,” the memo claims.

Well, let’s see. Unprecedented crises and opposition from Congressional Republicans are listed as the obstacles the Biden administration had to overcome. I may have missed something, but did the Republicans try to frame and impeach President Biden? Did the Republicans go behind his back to talk to China? The mess we are currently in has much more to do with the actions of the Biden administration than it does with any Republican opposition. President Biden unilaterally shut down the Keystone XL Pipeline and limited America’s development of its natural resources–ending our energy independence. That in turn caused the price of gasoline at the pump to double in a year, contributing to inflation. The runaway spending (of which the Republicans were a part) also contributed to inflation. The opening of the southern border was also done unilaterally. The crisis there is caused by the Biden administration. No one else is to be blamed.

The article notes:

Absent from the document is any mention of​ inflation, which is at a 39-year high. Nor is there any discussion of an increase in COVID-19 cases across the country as the Omicron variant becomes the dominant strain, the collapse of the multitrillion-dollar Build Back Better plan after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) pulled his support, or the tragic aftermath of the botched US military withdrawal from Afghanistan.

I am not sure too many Americans are currently convinced that they are better off now than they were a year ago. Their grocery and energy bills are an everyday reminder that making ends meet is becoming more difficult.

The Tax On Everything

Inflation is a tax on everyone on everything. It has a negative impact on the economy and on the mood of the voters. It reared its head after the Biden administration made some key decisions (limiting drilling in America, shutting down the Keystone XL pipeline, reckless spending, etc.). Issues & Insights posted an article today explaining that the inflation we are seeing now was not only predictable, it was predicted.

The article reports:

We’re not big fans of economist Larry Summers, but in this case, he should be in line for a Nobel Prize for predicting exactly what is happening with inflation today … and who is to blame for it.

On Wednesday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that inflation climbed at an annual rate of 6.2%, the biggest such jump in three decades.

And that’s despite repeated predictions from other “experts” that the spike in prices earlier this year was “transitory.” Even now, they are flummoxed. As the Washington Post put it Wednesday, inflation is “lasting longer than policymakers at the Fed and White House anticipated.”

But no one, we repeat, no one, should be surprised by the latest turn of events.

Go back and listen to what Summers was saying at the start of the year, and it’s eerily prescient.

Summers publicly and repeatedly warned that President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion “rescue” plan —which was Biden’s first big “achievement” that passed without a single Republican vote — would spark an inflationary spiral.

The article includes the following graph:

The article concludes:

But Summers had the most to lose by so publicly sticking his neck out. He’s a die-hard liberal who’d served in the Obama administration. He knew that raising a stink threatened the new president’s big-spending agenda. And, unintentionally or not, he called the lie on Biden’s claim that “leading economists” all agreed on the need for another massive COVID stimulus.

Now that Summers’ prediction is coming true, will any of his detractors apologize? Will any admit that Biden’s $1.9 trillion spending spree — which is now being followed by a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill and, quite possibly, a multi-trillion dollar welfare expansion — was a colossal mistake? Will they acknowledge that Biden is principally to blame for the inflationary spiral the economy appears to have entered?

Don’t count on it. Biden is running around the country claiming that still more deficit-financed spending will somehow cut prices. Everyone else is busy looking for other scapegoats. Anything so as not to hold Biden, or themselves, accountable for the damage being done.

Unfortunately inflation will probably be with us until we can either change Congress or change the administration.

 

Is The Misery Index Back?

In the 1970’s Chicago Economist Robert Barro coined the phrase ‘misery index.’ The phrase was used to describe a number obtained by adding the unemployment rate to the inflation rate. During the Carter administration, that number ranged between 12 and 17 percent. During the Trump administration, that number ranged between 5 and 7 percent. I shudder to think where it is headed during the Biden administration.

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article about the current rate of inflation.

The article reports:

Inflation continued to surge in July, but appeared to settle close to the fastest pace in almost 13 years as the economy continues to emerge from the pandemic, the feds said Wednesday.

The Labor Department’s Consumer Price Index, which measures a basket of goods and services as well as energy and food costs, jumped 5.4 percent in July from a year earlier.

That’s the same as June’s 5.4 percent year-over-year rise in prices, which marked the biggest 12-month rise since August 2008, just before the financial crisis sent the US into the worst recession it had seen since the Great Depression.

Consumer prices rose 0.5 percent from the month prior, the Labor Department said.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expected a 5.3 percent year-over-year spike in July and monthly increase of 0.5 percent.

The core consumer price index, which excludes volatile food and energy costs, rose 4.3 percent from a year ago, lower than the 4.5 percent year-over-year jump that the index saw in June, which marked the fastest acceleration since 1991.

The article concludes:

Federal Reserve officials have so far maintained their position that inflation is mostly temporary and will likely subside this year. They’ve cited this as a reason why they haven’t yet pulled back on their economic support measures like the bond-buying program.

Last week’s July jobs report showed that the country added a whopping 943,000 jobs in the month, more than expected, in a sign that the labor market recovery could finally be gaining steam.

Fed officials have said they will look for more confirmation of that in the next few jobs reports before a tapering of their financial support measures will be considered.

“I think this keeps taper talk on the table because inflation is staying relatively high and transitory may mean a little longer,” Minopoli said.

“If the supply chain kinks and businesses raising prices remains sustained, ‘transitory inflation’ might be a little less transitory than Fed Chair Powell will like and the hawks at the Fed may push a little harder on timing and speed of taper,” he added.

I remember the 1970’s–gas lines and all– and I don’t want to go back there.

The Past Six Month In Charts

Issues & Insights posted an article today about President Biden’s first six months in office. The article included eight charts to illustrate what the first six months has brought us.

Here are the charts:

Please follow the link above to read the entire article.

The article concludes:

It is true that Biden has been in office for only six months. It’s also true things could turn around. But we don’t see that happening unless Biden changes course.

We have no doubt that Biden was very much hoping one day to tell the public how he killed COVID and saved the economy (just as he once bragged that “Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive” while he and President Barack Obama where in the White House).

The way things are going right now, Biden might one day have to admit that “the economy is dead, but COVID is alive.”