The March Inflation Numbers

On Wednesday, MSNBC posted the March Inflation Numbers. As any consumer can tell you, inflation is still and issue.

The article reports:

  • The consumer price index, a key inflation gauge, rose 3.5% in March, higher than expectations and marking an acceleration for inflation.
  • Shelter and energy costs drove the increase. Energy rose 1.1% after increasing 2.3% in February, while shelter costs were higher by 0.4% on the month and up 5.7% from a year ago.
  • Following the report, traders pushed the first expected rate cut out to September, according to CME Group calculations.

The article notes:

Stocks slumped after the report while Treasury yields spiked higher.

Shelter and energy costs drove the increase on the all-items index.

Energy rose 1.1% after climbing 2.3% in February, while shelter costs, which make up about one-third of the weighting in the CPI, were higher by 0.4% on the month and up 5.7% from a year ago. Expectations for shelter-related costs to decelerate through the year have been central to the Fed’s thesis that inflation will cool enough to allow for interest rate cuts.

Food prices increased just 0.1% on the month and were up 2.2% on a year-over-year basis. There were some big gains within the food category, however.

The measure for meat, fish, poultry and eggs climbed 0.9%, pushed by a 4.6% jump in egg prices. Butter fell 5% and cereal and bakery products declined by 0.9%. Food away from home increased 0.3%.

Elsewhere, used vehicle prices fell 1.1% and medical care services prices rose 0.6%.

The past three years or so have not been a good time for most Americans. Inflation has increased the cost of simply maintaining an average lifestyle. It will be interesting to see if inflation can be brought under control by November and if people will vote their pocketbooks.

Cooking The Books

The Biden administration claims that the economy is really doing well. Some of us who buy gasoline or shop at grocery stores might not agree with that statement. The other claim has been that there is a booming job market. Our city is have layoffs in some of our local companies, is yours? There seems to be something fishy here. On March 29th, Zero Hedge posted an article explaining what was fishy. This is one of those articles when I post what I don’t totally understand, so please be patient. I have very little to add–the article says it all.

The article reports:

The first red flags emerged in the summer of 2022: that’s when the Biden Labor Department started well and truly rigging the labor market data.

Regular readers may recall that it was back in July of 2022, when we first warned that something had “snapped” in the labor market: that’s when a striking discrepancy emerged between the number of US Payrolls (as measured by the BLS’ Establishment Survey, a far more crude and imprecise, yet much more market-moving data series), and the number of actual Employed Workers (as measured by the BLS’ far more accurate Household Survey) . As we showed then, after the two series had tracked each other tick for tick for years, a wide gap opened in March 2022 which quickly grew to 1.5 million jobs in just 3 months…

The article includes the following chart:

 

The article further explains:

And while some of this discrepancy could be explained with the record surge in multiple jobholders, which increased by 1 million since March 2022 to an all time high of 8.6 million at the end of 2023 (as a reminder, the Establishment Survey counts 1 worker have 2 or 3 (or more) multiple jobs as, well, 2 or 3 (or more) separate jobs, even if it is just one worker trying to make ends meet under the roaring inflation of Bidenomics), most of the gap remained unexplained.

There was more: it was around the summer of 2022 that the Biden labor department – in its zeal to show job growth no matter the cost, or quality of jobs – also started fooling around with the composition of the labor market, with most of the monthly gains going to part-time workers, even as full-time workers stagnated or declined. The culmination, as we reported earlier this month, is that in February 2024, the US had 132.9 million full-time jobs and 27.9 million part-time jobs. Which is great… until you look back one year and find that in February 2023 the US had 133.2 million full-time jobs, or more than it does one year later! And yes, all the job growth since then has been in part-time jobs, which have increased by 921K since February 2023 (from 27.020 million to 27.941 million).

The article concludes:

Putting it all together, we now know – as the Philly Fed reported first – that the labor market is far weaker than conventionally believed. In fact, no less than 800,000 payrolls are “missing” when one uses the far more accurate Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages data rather than the BLS’ woefully inaccurate and politically mandated payrolls “data”, and if one looks back the the monthly gains across most of 2023, one gets not 230K jobs added on average every month but rather 130K.

Of course, none of that paints Bidenomics in a flattering picture, because while one can at least pretend that issuing $1 trillion in debt every 100 days to add 3 million jos per year is somewhat acceptable, learning that that ridiculous amount buys 800,000 jobs less is hardly the endorsement that the White House needs.

Which is also why nobody in the mainstream media – which is now nothing more than the PR smokescreen for the Biden puppetmasters, the government and the deep state – will ever mention this report.

As such, we urge all readers to read Philly Fed analysis (link here) and to analyze the excel data (link here) at their own leisure, because in a fascist state, the media no longer works for the people.

Think of these numbers when you vote in November.

Our Future With Extreme Environmentalists

On Monday, Just the News posted an article about energy prices in California. Obviously inflation combined with the curtailment of American energy production has caused energy prices to increase everywhere, but in California they have increased at double the rate of the rest of the country.

The article reports:

California’s energy costs are double the national average and increasing at double the national rate as the state pushes for reducing emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. The state’s energy regulator says energy costs are rapidly approaching the tipping point at which filling up a Tesla with electrons will cost more than filling up a Camry with gasoline.

With the state reducing emissions by an average of 1.5% per year since 2010, this rate would leave the state not reaching its emissions goal until 2047.

California energy costs 2.3 times the national average, with energy costs in the state increasing 10.9% over the past four years compared to 5.1% nationwide, according to an analysis by Radiant Energy Group of U.S. Energy Information Administration data. In some markets, consumers face even higher increases — in San Jose, average monthly energy bills rose from $121 in 2021 to $203 by the end of 2023, with increases from $152 to $220 and $113 to $138 in Los Angeles and San Diego across the same time frames.

The California legislature is dealing with this increase by instituting what can only be called a Marxist solution–equal outcome–not equal burden.

The article reports:

Due to the extremely high cost of California energy, the legislature ordered the California Public Utilities Commission to restructure energy bill surcharges for non-consumption costs to be based on household income. Under this plan, monthly fees to cover utilities’ normal costs outside of electricity consumption — such as power line maintenance and wildfire protection — would be charged to homes based on their household income. Both Republican and Democratic state legislators have come out with plans to repeal this order, suggesting the income-graduated fixed charge may be shut down before it takes effect on July 1.

I think we can safely say that the free market is dead in California.

Making Selling A Home Cheaper

On Friday, Yahoo Finance posted an article about a change in the commission rate that many realtors will make when selling a home.

The article reports:

The 6% commission, a standard in home purchase transactions, is no more.

In a sweeping move expected to dramatically reduce the cost of buying and selling a home, the National Association of Realtors announced Friday a settlement with groups of homesellers, agreeing to end landmark antitrust lawsuits by paying $418 million in damages and eliminating rules on commissions.

The NAR, which represents more than 1 million Realtors, also agreed to put in place a set of new rules. One prohibits agents’ compensation from being included on listings placed on local centralized listing portals known as multiple listing services, which critics say led brokers to push more expensive properties on customers. Another ends requirements that brokers subscribe to multiple listing services — many of which are owned by NAR subsidiaries — where homes are given a wide viewing in a local market. Another new rule will require buyers’ brokers to enter into written agreements with their buyers.

…By some estimates, real estate commissions are expected to fall 25% to 50%, according to TD Cowen Insights. This will open up opportunities for alternative models of selling real estate that already exist but don’t have much market share, including flat-fee and discount brokerages.

I have very mixed emotions on this. I support the change because I think it was needed in view of the inflation of house prices in recent years. A 6 percent commission on selling a house for $100,000 would be $6,000. Obviously some of that commission would be paid to the Real Estate Agency–the agent would not be able to keep the entire amount. According to Statista, the average price of a house sold in 2023 was &511,100. The real estate agent’s commission on the sale of that house would be approximately $30,000. I realize that the agent has expenses-a photographer to photograph the house, the cost of multiple listing, etc., but that seems high. I hope with this lawsuit, we will get back to more of a free market in real estate sales where the rate is competitive. I don’t want to see either a private or government monopoly determining real estate commissions.

The Misinformation In The State Of The Union Speech

On Friday, The Federalist posted a list of the thirty lies President Biden told during the State of the Union Speech. For further details, follow the link to the original article, but here are some of the topics of the lies:

1. Sending Money To Ukraine

2. Trump’s NATO Remarks

3. World Security And Ukraine

4. Jan. 6 Demonstrations

5. Alabama IVF Issue

6. Kate Cox

7. Covid Shots And Cancer

8. 15 Million New Jobs

9. U.S. Inflation Rate

10. Consumer Confidence

11. Drug Prices

12. Biden Beat Big Pharma

13. Student Loans

14. Decreasing The Federal Deficit

15. Corporations Aren’t Paying Their Fair Share

You get the picture. Follow the link to find the other lies.

“Get Off My Lawn,” He Shouted

Last night I watched the State of the Union Address. I watched the entire speech and the rebuttal. I learned that to our ‘representatives’ and the elites in Washington, the most most important issues are Ukraine and January 6th. In the rebuttal, I learned that the four things important to Republicans are our southern borde5r, conflicts overseas, inflation, and crime–not necessarily in that order. When the State of the Union Address was over, I felt like someone had yelled at me for an hour and a half. The speech proved that President Biden does have the energy to give an hour and a half speech. It also left many Americans wondering if there were drugs involved.

In his speech, the President needed to allay doubts about his cognitive abilities. He also needed a reset from his image as a tired old man. He did a reasonable job on both counts as long as you ignored the yelling and the slurred speech near the end of the address.

There were a number of lies told during the speech. January 6th was not an insurrection–there were no guns involved and no one has been convicted of insurrection. The President did not inherit a struggling economy–he inherited low inflation, low interest rates, energy independence, and an economy on the rebound from the Covid lockdowns. A large number of the jobs he claims to have created were simply people returning to the jobs they held before the Covid lockdowns. I would also like to note that many of the jobs currently being created are part-time jobs. During the past two months, the number of full-time jobs has significantly decreased. The President also claimed that crime is down under his administration. That is simply not true, although much of the increase in crime is due to Democrat-run cities who have eliminated bail and are not keeping criminals in jail. In New York, the National Guard has been called up to patrol the New York City subways because crime has become a serious problem there.

Also, why was there a fence around the Capitol, but not a wall at our southern border? Do fences and walls work or do they not work? There was also a comment about increasing taxes on corporation and on the wealthy. Corporations do not pay taxes–they pass them on to their customers, fueling inflation. “Taxing the rich” is a proposal that simply feeds class envy. If you want to see the results, look at the Laffer Curve. I would also like to note that during the Obama administration, General Electric paid no income taxes. Why weren’t they sharing the burden?

The speech was loud, inaccurate, and divisive. The tone was not attractive. I do wonder if this speech, which seemed more like a campaign speech than a State of the Union Address, actually won over any undecided voters.

Policies Have Consequences

We can all look back with nostalgia at the prosperity and low inflation we enjoyed under President Trump. One of the keys to that prosperity was deregulation that allowed business and the economy to grow.

In January 2021, Forbes reported:

According to the administration, agencies in the 2020 fiscal year issued 145 deregulatory actions and 45 significant regulatory actions, for an out-to-in ratio of 3.2 to one.

Of those deregulatory actions, 58 were deemed “significant” by agencies and the administration. Comparing significant-in to significant-out still gives a ratio of 1.3 to one.

This regulatory streamlining requirement was one of the earliest 2017 moves of the Trump administration, put in place by Executive Order 13771. A Biden administration will kill it on “Day One,” as the incoming supervisors like to say.

We have now had three plus years of the Biden administration’s economic policies. It has been a tough three plus years.

On Monday, Blaze Media reported the following:

A group of black voters told MSNBC last week why they are considering voting for Donald Trump in the 2024 election.

Reporting from Charleston, South Carolina, MSNBC correspondent Trymaine Lee spoke with black voters in a barbershop and discussed the “appeal” Trump has over President Joe Biden with black men specifically.

They explained:

    • Thomas Murray: “I just think that Donald Trump, in spite of all the craziness he may have in his head, reading some of the things that he talks about with business, I can kind of agree with as far as business-wise because I’m trying to grow my business. As far as Biden, I haven’t seen Biden really care about business like that. And my concern is having my business, so that I can build generational wealth, so my kids can see and have something to take upon when I’m not here.”
    • Kinard Givens: “A lot of my friends we’ve only voted once, and Trump is kind of all we know — Trump and Biden. And they’re like, ‘Well, we were broke with Biden. We weren’t with Trump.’ And that’s kind of the only thing that I’m hearing over and over again is that ‘with Trump, we had money.'”
    • Juston Brown: “A lot of people admire the persona and they want to be him. They want to enjoy the perks that he has. He seems to always be able to circumvent the rules.”
    • Anthony Freeman: “Donald Trump has a reputation of being the money man.”

As James Carville stated in 1992, “It’s the ECONOMY, Stupid!” That statement still holds true today.

Behind The Jobs Numbers

On Saturday, Zero Hedge posted an honest analysis of the jobs report that recently came out. It may be the only honest analysis out there. All of us know that the Biden economy is a problem for middle America–food inflation is in double digits, gas prices are lower than they have been but still a dollar or so a gallon more than they were under President Trump, and utility bills have increased dramatically in some places. President Biden may tell us that the economy is wonderful, but many of us living in it are not convinced. Just as an example, the total increase in my husband’s and my Social Security this year (after deducting the cost of Medicare) was about $115. I suspect that a lot of retirees didn’t even see that much of an increase. I can assure you that our grocery bill has gone up more than that.

The article at Zero Hedge is complicated and detailed. I suggest that  you follow the link and read it for yourselves. I will try to highlight some of it.

The article reports:

The headline data was stellar across the board, starting with the unemployment rate which once again failed to rise – denying expectations from “Sahm’s Rule” that a recession may have already started – all the way to average hourly earnings, which unexpectedly spiked from 4.1% (pre-revision) to 4.5%, the highest since last September, and a slap in the face to the Fed’s disinflation narrative…

… or it would be if one didn’t think of checking how the average rose: well, it turns out that, since average hourly earnings is a fraction, it did not rise due to a jump in actual wages but – since it is earnings over a period of time – “rose” because the BLS decided to sharply slash the number of estimated hours that everyone was workingfrom 34.3 to just 34.1, which may not sound like a lot until one realizes that the last time the workweek was this low was when the economy was shut down during covid Excluding the covid lockdowns, one would have to go back to 2010 to find a workweek that was this anemic.

The article concludes:

…Said otherwise, not only has all job creation in the past 4 years has been exclusively for foreign-born workers, but there has been zero job-creation for native born workers since July 2018!

This is a huge issue – especially at a time of an illegal alien flood at the border – and is about to become a huge political scandal, because once the inevitable recession finally hits, there will be millions of furious unemployed Americans demanding a more accurate explanation for what happened – i.e., the illegal immigration floodgates that were opened by the Biden admin.

Which is also why the Biden admin will do everything in his power to insure there is no official recession before November… and is why after the election is over, all economic hell will finally break loose. Until then, however, expect the jobs numbers to get more and more ridiculous.

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

President Biden and his administration are claiming that they have inflation under control and that Americans are doing better than ever. They can claim all they want, but a quick trip to the grocery store could quickly result in widespread skepticism.

On Friday, Red State posted an article where the Tweets tell the real story.

These are the tweets:

I realize it is hard to read, but the price went from $5.99 to $7.69 in three years–a 28 percent increase. Did your income go up 28 percent in those three years?

 

At Least One Committee Is Moving In The Right Direction

On Sunday, Townhall reported that the House Budget Committee passed three bills out of committee with bi-partisan support. That is good news. Now if we could just close the border, we would have it made.

The article reports:

The Fiscal State of the Nation Act (H.R. 6952) was passed with strong bipartisan support on a voice vote and without amendments. That bill will require the Comptroller General of the United States, a position I held from 1998-2008, to provide an in-person annual report on the country’s financial condition and fiscal outlook of the country to a joint session of Congress. 

The Debt to GDP Transparency and Stabilization Act (HR 6957) passed without amendment with a 22-12 bipartisan vote. That bill will require the President’s annual budget submission to provide information on the current state and projected outlook of federal debt/GDP based on the President’s proposed budget.

The Fiscal Commission Act (H.R. 5779) was the most important piece of legislation and was the subject of a vast majority of the markup session. It would establish a sixteen-person statutory commission that would, among other things, educate and engage the American people on our nation’s financial and fiscal challenges. Twelve of the commission members would be sitting members of Congress equally divided between the House and Senate and each major party. These twelve would be the voting members. Four of the commission members would be fiscal experts who would not have a vote. After receiving input and deliberating various options, the commission would make a package of fiscal reform recommendations designed to stabilize debt/GDP at no more than 100% within ten years and ensure the long-term solvency of various trust funds. Everything would be on the table – discretionary, mandatory, and revenues. If a majority of the commission’s voting members recommend a package of reforms with bipartisan support, it would receive an expedited vote in both houses of Congress and only require a simple majority vote in both houses for passage. The commission would issue its report in December 2024 or, depending on the final passage of the Fiscal Commission Act, no later than May 2025. 

Fiscal responsibility should be a bi-partisan effort. The inflation cased by our bloated federal spending impacts all of us either directly or indirectly. The plan proposed years ago to take one penny away from every dollar spent by the federal government still has validity. Someone simply has to have the courage to stand up and demand budget cuts.

Things President Trump Got Right

First of all, why is President Clinton always referred to as President Clinton and President Trump often referred to a Donald Trump? Subtle manipulation by the media?

On Sunday, Breitbart posted the following headline:

New York Times Columnist Admits ‘ Trump Got Three Big Things Right’

If you honestly look at President Trump’s accomplishments and record as President and compare it to where we are now, your choice in November is obvious.

The article analyses The New York Times article:

The January 11 article was posted under the headline: “The case for Trump … by someone who wants him to lose.”

Stephens wrote that “you can’t defeat an opponent if you refuse to understand what makes him formidable [and] too many people, especially progressives, fail to think deeply about the enduring sources of his appeal.”

…“Enforcing control at the border — whether through a wall, a fence or some other mechanism — isn’t racism,” Stephens wrote. “It’s a basic requirement of statehood and peoplehood, which any nation has an obligation to protect and cherish.”

Trump also caught the public’s mood of decline and pessimism, Stephens wrote. “Far too little has changed since then … If anything, Trump’s thesis may be truer today than it was the first time he ran on it,” Stephens admitted.

Trump also amplified the public’s falling trust in experts, professionals, and merit institutions that were supposed to be independent of politics, Stephens wrote.

…Many voters in 20224 will remember Trump’s first term fondly, he said. “Americans have reasons to remember the Trump years as good ones … Wages outpaced inflation, something they have just begun to do under Biden.

I question the claim that wages have begun to outpace inflation. What used to be a $75 trip to the grocery store is still about $125. President Trump represents the hope of the American people that someone will speak up for them in Washington. We don’t want the government meddling in the home appliance market. We don’t the government performing S.W.A.T. raids on citizens that are not a threat to society. We don’t want the government refusing to enforce the law when Supreme Court Justices have their homes unlawfully picketed.

The Real Cost Of Living

Washington always finds a way to lie with statistics when it comes to the economy. Limiting the items included in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is one way to convince Americans that inflation isn’t as bad as it seems and also a way to limit the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) of various federal disbursements. However, those fake numbers don’t help Americans deal with the rising cost of food and gasoline.

On Sunday, PJ Media posted an article about the rising cost of living in America.

The article reports:

Perhaps the most misleading government statistic of all is the Consumer Price Index. The CPI is an incredibly important statistic because so many government programs that benefit American citizens are tied to that number.

It’s usually cited as the inflation rate, but it’s not really. The CPI is the rate of increase in a subjective “market basket” of goods and services. The things that concern you and me the most as far as price increases have very little to do with the CPI. The CPI doesn’t track food or gas prices at the pump, so the CPI that we see every month doesn’t tell us anything useful.

Right now, the CPI stands at 3.1%. That’s down from a high of 9.1% in June 2022. But even that doesn’t tell us the whole inflation story because along with skyrocketing food and gas prices, real wages failed to keep pace with the price increases.

According to The New York Sun:

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released jobs numbers this morning that show non-farm wages increased 4.1 percent in the past year, which is above the inflation rate of 3.1 percent. The problem is that inflation-adjusted real hourly wages — those of the average blue-collar or middle-class person — are down 4.7 percent today from when Mr. Biden took office. That’s a weekly earnings decline in real wages to $381 in November 2023 from $399 in January 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“The reason Biden polls so badly is that there’s a decline in wages and an increase in prices,” a former economic adviser to President Trump, Larry Kudlow, tells the Sun. He calls this the “affordability crisis.”

Americans feel it when they walk into the grocery store. Food prices increased nearly 6 percent in 2023, according to the Department of Agriculture. In 2022, at-home food prices — what one buys in a grocery store — increased more than 11 percent. No matter one’s income, it’s hard not to notice the rising cost of food at the grocery store and at restaurants — even fast food.

Are voters going to believe what they are told or what they see?

If You Wanted Your Pizza Delivered…

Beginning in 2024, California’s new minimum wage law passed by the Democrat legislature will go into effect. The new law sets the fast-food minimum wage at $20 an hour. That’s a pretty good place to start if you are a worker. However, what does it do to the bottom line of a company who is in business to make a profit (most companies are in business to make a profit)?

On Thursday, Issues & Insights posted an article detailing the impact the law, which will go into effect in April, has already had.

The article reports:

The state will raise its overall mandated minimum-wage rate from $16 an hour to $16.50 an hour overall, starting in 2024. But some industries will get an even bigger wage shock: fast-food minimum wages go up to $20 an hour starting in April. Meanwhile, workers in the health care industry will see their minimum wage rise to $18, $21 or $23 an hour, depending on the job.

It’s about time, you say?

Let’s start by saying we’re not against anyone getting a raise. But raises should come from the companies themselves, not from government decrees. As study after study in recent years show, government-mandated minimum wage hikes usually hurt those they’re meant to help.

It’s an irony that seems lost on California’s leftist political class, now in total control of the state, continues to “help” those at the bottom rungs of the economic ladder by making it more expensive for businesses to hire them and keep them working.

Already, with California’s looming minimum-wage tax on fast-food chains in the state, employers are tweaking costs by reducing hours, laying off workers and charging you more for that cheeseburger, fries and a drink that you crave.

Though the calendar says it’s still 2023, franchisees of the Pizza Hut chain have announced this week they’re laying off 1,200 drivers who used to deliver their piping-hot pies door-to-door. With the new higher wages, they can’t afford to keep drivers working.

The article points out some other consequences:

So who will suffer?

“Every time we raise the minimum wage, kids lose their jobs,” Ohanian explains. “This isn’t efficient, and it isn’t right. We should not be implementing policies that prevent people from being able to work.”

As for the argument that the hike is needed to “keep up with inflation,” whose inflation are we talking about? Just the workers? How about the businesses? With three-quarters of their costs being labor-related, they have to take immediate action, or go out of business.

And then there are the customers. They, not the businesses, will foot the bill when they buy a suddenly-much-pricier cheeseburger or a pizza. Prices will go up, as they inevitably do, when higher costs can’t be offset by gains in productivity.

For the curious, there are literally dozens of studies and reports out there (including our own) that explode the myths of raising minimum wages, ranging from Walter B. Williams’ 1977 landmark study for Congress that showed minority youths suffered most when minimum wages rise, to more recent studies showing that non-wage losses after a minimum-wage hike offset any gains for workers.

What will now happen, no doubt, is that there will be more automation (robots already prepare food at McDonald’s, Chipotle, White Castle, Panera and other outlets), more self-service terminals, and fewer workers overall.

And, oh yes, stores will close. Marginal stores that can’t make up the higher costs will simply shut down, thanks to inflation and higher wages.

Sometimes when the government aims to help, it simply makes things worse for the people who are struggling to make ends meet already.

 

 

Can We Elect Argentina’s President As America’s President This Year?

On December 27th, Headline USA reported the following:

(Luis CornelioHeadline USA) Newly sworn-in Argentina President Javier Milei purged over 5,000 government bureaucrats, fulfilling a campaign pledge to reduce the size of the inflation-burdened federal government. 

According to the Spanish-language newspaper El Pais, Milei signed an executive order to halt the contracts of federal workers hired in 2023, likely targeting individuals hired by his former leftist predecessor.

The order came after the capitalist president vowed to rescue Argentina from widespread corruption, inflation and wasteful government spending. 

El Pais reported that some disabled and indispensable employees will be exempt from the layoffs. However, the Argentine government announced a comprehensive audit within the next 90 days, hinting at potential future layoffs. 

The article notes that President Milei has been compared to President Trump in that President Trump has also pledged to shrink the federal government if he is elected in 2024. It will be interesting to watch the consequences of such a drastic change.

Bidenomics And The Cost Of Buying A House

Although President Biden has attempted to buy votes from younger voters with his student loan bailout programs, in the process he has created inflation and interest rates that put buying a home out of reach for the very people he has tried to bribe.

On Monday, Breitbart posted an article about what has happened to monthly mortgage payments under President Biden.

The article reports:

The average monthly mortgage payment in Joe Biden’s America has soared to $3,322, per analysis from the Wall Street Journal.

That $3,322 is nearly double the average monthly mortgage payment when His Fraudulency assumed office. When former President Trump left office, the average monthly mortgage payment was $1,787.

The article includes the following Twitter post:

The article notes:

Those obnoxiously high mortgage payments are not only due to the Bidenflation caused by His Fraudulency’s lunatic government spending. There are other factors…

For those of you who vote Democrat and are currently pissing away all your money on rent because you can’t afford a home, riddle me this: What happens to the housing market when a president throws open our southern border to millions and millions of illegal aliens who need a place to live? Think hard now… Could it be that when you have a finite amount of something people want and then flood the country with millions more people who want it…? Yes, that’s right, dummies, the cost of that Something People Want explodes and that Something People Want becomes scarcer. And now you want it and can’t get it because you’re a dummy.

The second factor is this… Democrats hate single-family homes. This is why they use Climate Change to justify blocking the construction of new homes. Democrats want us all packed in cities in massive government housing complexes. By the way, they make no secret of this.

The final factor is this… This is all by design, dummies. Democrats know lunatic government spending creates lunatic inflation and that lunatic inflation destroys purchasing power and creates high interest rates that make it impossible for the middle class to purchase a home. Democrats also know that when you flood a country already dealing with a housing crisis caused by enviro-lies with millions of illegals, housing costs explode.

If you are a young American just entering the workforce full time, do yourself a favor and vote every Democrat (and RINO Republican) out of office. That is the only way you can secure your financial future.

When You Have Someone In The White House Who Does Not Understand Basic Economics…

On Wednesday, The Gateway Pundit posted an article about one of President Biden’s recent speeches. The President is most interesting when he is not reading his notes.

The article reports:

President Biden acknowledged Monday that prices are still “too high” and argued that companies should lower them after an 18% jump in consumer costs since he took office.

“We know that prices are still too high for too many things — that times are still too tough for too many families,” the 81-year-old said near the White House.

“We’ve made progress, but we have more work to do,” Biden added. “Let me be clear to any corporation has not brought their prices back down, even as inflation has come down, even supply chains have been rebuilt: It’s time to stop the price gouging and give the American consumer a break.”

The prices of some goods, such as food products, are expected to decline in the coming months, but periods of general deflation are rare in US history.

Biden previously used his bully pulpit to try to pressure oil companies to take action to lower gas prices last year.

The only one price gouging is the federal government–they call it taxing. The cause of our current inflation is government spending, but that is the one cause that Washington consistently refusing to examine.

We need a businessman in the White House and many more in Congress.

Gaslighting?

After a while you wonder if people are going to believe what the mainstream media tells them or what they see with their own eyes. Some of the recent claims made by the Biden administration simply do not agree with the reality Americans are dealing with.

On Monday, The U.K. Daily Mail reported:

President Joe Biden on Monday touted his administration’s success in bringing down the price of gas, groceries and airline tickets during the past year but received little thanks for his efforts.

Republicans ridiculed his claims.

‘FACT: Since Biden took office, airfare is up 21%, Thanksgiving dinner was up 25%, and gas prices are $0.86/gallon higher,’ the Republican National Committee said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

It illustrates the difficulty Biden faces as he tries to sell what his administration believes is an economic good news story ahead of next year’s general election. 

Inflation may have slowed and some prices may have dropped since last year, but most prices are still higher than they were before the pandemic.  

The article concludes:

And when it comes to public perceptions, most consumers don’t see a good news story in inflation settling down when they are still paying much higher prices than they did before the pandemic.

‘No matter how the White House spins it, Joe Biden’s out-of-control spending & mismanagement of our nation’s finances have increases prices by more than 17%,’ said Republican Rep. Ben Cline on X.

‘The cost of “Bidenomics” just keeps adding up for working families.’

Republican Sen. Markwayne Mullin said: ‘Last year, Joe Biden’s broken policy agenda generated the highest inflation in 40 years. Americans have faced 33 straight months of rising prices, with food costs increasing every month since Biden took office. 

‘Americans aren’t buying the spin.’

The Republican National Committee also took issue with Biden saying gas prices had come down.

‘FACT CHECK: Under Joe Biden, gas prices have been above $3 per gallon for over 900 days in a row,’ it posted.

I think I would welcome a mean tweet about now.

Bidenomics At Work

Aside from what you are paying for groceries and gasoline, have you looked at mortgage rates and home sales right now?

On Monday, One America News reported the following:

Sales of new U.S. single-family homes fell more than expected in October, likely as higher mortgage rates reduced affordability, but the housing segment remains supported by a persistent shortage of previously owned properties on the market.

New home sales dropped 5.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 679,000 units last month, the Commerce Department said on Monday. September’s sales pace was revised lower to 719,000 units from the previously reported 759,000 units.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast new home sales, which account for a small share of U.S. home sales, would fall to a rate of 723,000 units.

New home sales are counted at the signing of a contract, making them a leading indicator of the housing market. They, however, can be volatile on a month-to-month basis. Sales increased 17.7% on a year-on-year basis in October.

The stock of previously owned houses on the market is nearly 50% below it’s pre-pandemic level, according to the National Association of Realtors, which last week reported that home resales plunged to more than a 13-year low in October. Most homeowners have mortgage rates under 3%, making many reluctant to sell, boosting demand for new construction.

According to The Mortgage Reports, the mortgage interest rate in 2021 was 2.96 percent. In 2022, it was 5.34 percent. The current mortgage rate, according to Nerd Wallet is about 7.5 percent. That is a significant increase. Interest rates were artificially kept low for a number of years. That was not sustainable. However, the rate of increase (the Federal Reserve’s attempt to curb inflation) has hurt real estate sales. At one point many years ago because of a job change, we were forced to take out a mortgage at 8.5 percent (giving up a mortgage of 4 percent). If you are sitting on a 3 or 4 percent mortgage right now, the last thing you want to do is move and take out a 7.5 percent mortgage. Bidenomics has hurt Americans across the board. We need a new President with a new approach to the economy.

The Economy Is Questionable At Best

I love it when a Democrat is in power–when unemployment rises it is always a surprise–even at Fox News.

On November 3rd, Fox News posted an article about the current state of the American economy.

The article reports:

U.S. job growth slowed more than expected in October, a sign the labor market is finally softening in the face of higher interest rates, stubborn inflation and other economic uncertainties.

Employers added 150,000 jobs in October, the Labor Department said in its monthly payroll report released Friday, missing the 180,000 jobs forecast by Refinitiv economists.

The unemployment rate, meanwhile, unexpectedly ticked up to 3.9% — the highest level in nearly two years. The pickup in the jobless rate suggests that layoffs are on the rise; the survey of households shows that the number of workers laid off rose in October by 92,000 from the previous month.

The unemployment number of 3.9% is not really a good measure of the economy unless it is looked at in relation to the workforce participation rate, currently slightly down at 62.7. Just to give some perspective, the workforce participation rate was 62.8% when President Trump took office in January 2017. It peaked at 63.3 in February 2020 (the ‘stop the spread’ shutdown began in March 2020). The reported unemployment rate is calculated only counting people who are looking for jobs. I suspect that if you counted everyone who is able to work but not working, the number would be much higher.

The article also notes:

The report also contained steep downward revisions to job growth at the end of the summer. Gains for August and September were revised down by a total of 101,000 jobs to a respective 165,000 and 297,000, the government said, suggesting that the labor market is weaker than it previously appeared.

The bottom line here is that the economy is not really growing although inflation is. For further details, please follow the link above to read the entire article.

 

Looking Behind The Obvious Numbers

On Saturday, Trending Politics posted an article about the latest jobs numbers (which are being praised by the Biden administration).

The article reports:

President Biden and other top Democrat leaders have taken a victory lap over the latest jobs report that “soared past expectations” by showing that the U.S. added 336,000 jobs in September. While the Biden Administration has hailed the report as a win for “Bidenomics,” an economist with the Heritage Foundation took to X to explain why the report is actually “very troubling.”

…Heritage Foundation economist E.J. Antoni analyzed the findings further in a lengthy X thread, however, explaining why the report is “very troubling.”

“September nonfarm payrolls jump 336k; Unemployment rate flat at 3.8%; Labor force participation rate remains depressed at 62.8%; Those not in the labor force rose to roughly 5 million more than pre-pandemic – this is artificially pushing down unemployment rate,” Antoni wrote. When adjusting for true labor participation rate, Antoni pegged the actual unemployment rate between 6.3 and 6.8 percent.

…Antoni also pointed out that roughly 22 percent of jobs created came from the government, “an unsustainable increase.”

“Remember that private sector workers have to support those public sector jobs,” he continued.

The economist also noted that every single job created was part-time, pointing out that 1.2 million part-time jobs have been created over the last three months. Full-time jobs actually dropped by 700,000 over the same period, the highest figure since COVID-19 lockdowns.

In addition, double counting of multiple jobholders accounted for 37 percent of supposed gains.

…Antoni concluded by pointing out that the massive increase in part-time jobs is slowing down wage growth. “Lastly, the loss of full-time jobs and their replacement w/ part-time work is helping slow wage growth, which is then negative after adjusting for inflation – real weekly earnings fell dramatically until Jun ’22 and have moved sideways since,” Antoni wrote.

“People [are] supplementing incomes w/ part-time jobs are goosing the headline numbers while underlying economic fundamentals remain weak; people absent from workforce pushing down unemployment rate; earnings not keeping up with inflation; don’t expect the job gains to last.”

It will be interesting to see if this ‘favorable’ jobs report results in the Federal Reserve raising interest rates. The Biden administration is also claiming that inflation is under control–tell that to the people who have recently gone shopping or filled up their gas tank.

Please follow the link to the article. It includes a number of graphs and lots of additional information.

Bidennomics At Work

On September 12, The Washington Examiner reported the following:

Median household incomes peaked at $78,250 in 2019, the year before the pandemic. They declined in 2022 to $74,580, a year that saw inflation soar, undercutting household purchasing power.

“Despite nominal gains, historically high inflation resulted in a decline in real median household income,” said Liana Fox, assistant division chief for economic characteristics in the Census Bureau’s Social, Economic, and Housing Statistics Division.

That’s about a $300 a month decrease.

The article continues:

The figures released on Tuesday showed that poverty was flat, with about 11.5% of the population, or 38 million people, below the poverty line, which was $29,678 for a family of four.

The bureau also reported a jump in child poverty by one metric, the supplemental poverty measure, or SPM, from 5.2% to 12.4%. The increase was attributable in large part to the expiration of the temporary expanded child tax credit implemented by Democrats and President Joe Biden as a form of pandemic relief. The SPM, unlike the official poverty measure, includes tax credits in calculating household resources.

The question that needs to be asked in next year’s election is, “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?”

The Results Of Out-Of-Control Spending

On Wednesday, Issues & Insights posted an article about the budget deficit.

The article reports:

Over the weekend, the Washington Post let it slip that all is not well in Bidenomicsville. The deficit, it reports, could end up hitting $2 trillion when the current fiscal year ends in three weeks, which it describes as an “unexpected deficit surge.”

In other words, the deficit will nearly double this year, calling the lie on one of President Joe Biden’s favorite boasts about how he cut the deficit more than any president in history.

But while this apparently comes as a shock to the Post, as well as other liberal news sites that picked up on the Post report, anyone paying attention knew this was happening.

Back in February, for example, we pointed out that Biden’s reckless economic policies had added more than $5 trillion to projected deficits, even as he claimed he’d done more to cut the deficit than “any president in history.”

…Now, households are paying dearly in the form of sharply higher prices for food, energy consumer goods, rents, and just about anything else they buy.

At the same time, Biden pushed through tax hikes and unleashed federal regulators, who are now gleefully writing rules to ban gas stoves, force electric car sales, slap massive new costs on energy producers, with plenty more to come. These are all anti-growth policies that are having their expected effect.

This is what Bidenomics is all about. And now we have a budget crisis that is snowballing.

That’s because while revenues keep coming in “unexpectedly” low (thanks to Biden’s sluggish economy), interest rate hikes are fueling massive increases in the cost of financing the federal government’s $30 trillion debt load.

Shutting down the government to stop the spending may be the only way we even have a possibility of not seeing our economy collapse under the weight of the federal debt.

How You Vote Impacts YOU!

On Tuesday, The Associated Press reported the following:

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia and Russia agreed Tuesday to extend their voluntary oil production cuts through the end of this year, trimming 1.3 million barrels of crude out of the global market and boosting energy prices.

The dual announcements from Riyadh and Moscow pushed benchmark Brent crude above $90 a barrel in trading Tuesday afternoon, a price unseen in the market since November.

The countries’ moves could increase inflation and the cost for motorists at gasoline pumps. It also puts new pressure on Saudi Arabia’s relationship with the United States, as President Joe Biden last year warned the kingdom there would be unspecified “consequences” for partnering with Russia on cuts as Moscow wages war on Ukraine.

Because of the Biden administration’s energy policies, we are not in a position to make any threats to any oil-producing country! Like it or not, fossil fuel is one of the major foundations of our economy. Fossil fuel powers the trucks that move products, the factories that produce products (those factories the Biden administration tax policies have not driven out of the country), and provides Americans with comfort and mobility. Under President Trump we were energy independent and inflation was under control. Until we go back to the policies that worked for the American people, our standard of living will continue to decline and inflation will continue to rise.

The article concludes:

In recent months, tensions eased slightly as Biden’s administration sought a deal with Riyadh for it to diplomatically recognize Israel.

But those talks include Saudi Arabia pushing for a nuclear cooperation deal that includes America allowing it to enrich uranium in the kingdom — something that worries nonproliferation experts, as spinning centrifuges open the door to a possible weapons program.

Prince Mohammed already has said the kingdom would pursue an atomic bomb if Iran had one, potentially creating a nuclear arms race in the region as Tehran’s program continues to advance closer to weapons-grade levels. Saudi Arabia and Iran reached a détente in recent months, though the region remains tense amid the wider tensions between Iran and the U.S.

Higher oil prices would also help Russian President Vladimir Putin fund his war on Ukraine. Western countries have used a price cap to try to cut into Moscow’s revenues. But those sanctions have seen Moscow be forced to sell its oil at a discount to countries like China and India.

How Is Bidenomics Working For You?

On Monday, Breitbart posted an article about the ‘success’ of Bidenomics. The White House is attempting to convince Americans that Bidenomics has had a positive impact on the American economy. I don’t think they are succeeding.

The article reports:

A super-majority of voters have negative views of the U.S. economy and disapprove of President Biden’s handling of the issue, according to a Wall Street Journal poll that the paper describes as “a stark warning to the 80-year-old incumbent ahead of the 2024 contest.”

Sixty-three percent of American registered voters say the economy’s strength is “not so good” or “poor.” Just 32 percent say the economy is “good” and only five percent say the economy is “excellent.”

…When asked how the economy has fared over the past two years, 58 percent say the economy has gotten worse. Just 28 percent say the economy has gotten better. Twelve percent say the economy is about the same as it was two years ago.

Although the rate of inflation has declined this year, Americans are unhappy with rising prices. Seventy-four percent say inflation has moved in the wrong direction, with just 20 percent saying it has moved in the right direction.

…The economy is weighing heavily on the minds of many Americans. Thirty-eight percent of Americans say the economy is the most important issue in the 2024 Presidential election, up from 35 percent in April. Another 10 percent said inflation is the most important issue, up from seven percent in April. After the economy, the top issue is “immigration, at 23 percent. No other issue scores in the double-digits.

These negative views of the economy are likely weighing down Biden’s overall popularity. Just 39 percent say they have a favorable view of Biden, versus 58 percent who say they have an unfavorable view. Forty-nine percent say they have a very unfavorable view.

Unfortunately, because of media bias, former President Trump has never been given credit for the economy he created during the first two years of his administration (and was beginning to rebuild after Covid). The logical solution to the pending economic disaster under President Biden is to re-elect President Trump. However, the media and the uni-party in Washington are willing to do anything to prevent that from happening.

Unfortunately, Inflation Is Still With Us

On Thursday, Townhall posted an article about the current inflation levels.

The article reports:

Yet another inflation metric jumped in July, further debunking claims that inflation is in the rear-view mirror and reinforcing Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s remarks earlier this month that additional interest rate hikes would be needed.

The latest Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) price index print released Thursday was in-line with expectations which were higher than previous reads.

Headline PCE inflation showed an increase of 3.3 percent year-over-year and Core PCE inflation — excluding volatile food and energy prices — increased 4.2 percent in the last year.

Compared to the previous release, headline and core PCE inflation increased 3.0 percent and 4.1 percent, respectively, showing that price increases continue to trend in the wrong, more expensive, direction. The July report also (again) debunks President Joe Biden’s wishful claims that inflation is “down.”

So what do higher interest rates mean for Americans?

Today’s fixed interest rate on a thirty-year mortgage is about 7 percent. If you have an $180,000 mortgage and put 10 percent down, your monthly payment at 7 percent (mortgage only) would be about $1,200. For the same down payment and loan amount, your monthly payment (mortgage only) at 3.5 percent would be about $800 (source here). That’s a difference of almost $5,000 a year. That impacts the housing market as well as the ability of young couples starting out to buy a house.

There is also the matter of payments on the national debt. As the interest rate is raised, those payments also go up.

Raising interest rates may slightly slow down inflation, but it will not solve the problem. Until someone deals with the runaway spending in Washington, we will have inflation. The other thing to note is that as the value of the dollar goes down because of inflation, payments on the national debt are made with money that is worth less than it was when the debt was incurred. The whole thing is a viscous circle where working-class Americans pay the price.