How Much Is The Biden Presidency Costing Americans?

On Tuesday, PJ Media posted an article about the impact of the Biden administration’s economic policies on Americans.

The article reports:

Thank to Joe Biden-flation and his catastrophic economic policies, American families are spending over $11,000 more annually just for necessities.

The obscene cost of inflation is hitting hardworking Americans, as overall prices have gone up almost 20% since the Meanderer-in-Chief came into office in 2021. Americans can thank the Biden administration for that $11,400 extra for necessities, about 20% of the average U.S. annual salary. And if you hear the lie that inflation is down, don’t believe it. All that means is that the inflation rate is allegedly slowing, and the Biden administration loves to engage in monkey business to manipulate such statistics.

As Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) posted last week, “Inflation is still ~50% higher than the targeted rate. Biden’s inflation is far from over.” Unfortunately, he’s right.

Grocery and energy costs have, of course, gone up drastically under Biden, as the Washington Examiner reported. Gas is 33% more expensive than at the start of 2021 and electricity prices increased 29%. But groceries have, perhaps, seen the most staggering increase:

Grocery staples such as cheese, eggs, meat, and fruits and vegetables have all seen significant price increases, with ground beef as much as 103% higher.

Because inflation persists and prices continue to climb, it’s getting harder and harder to make ends meet. Biden wants you to believe the government can spend its way to prosperity — which is good for the government but not so for the rest of us.

The Biden administration continues to lie about inflation, but most Americans believe what they see rather than what the Biden administration tells them.

The Rest Of The Story On Inflation

On Friday, the Associated Press posted an article about the current state of inflation.

The article reports:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Wholesale prices in the United States rose by a larger-than-expected 2.6% last month from a year earlier, a sign that some inflation pressures remain high.

The increase, the sharpest year-over-year increase since March 2023, comes at a time when other price indicators are showing that inflation has continued to ease.

The Labor Department said Friday that its producer price index — which tracks inflation before it reaches consumers — rose 0.2% from May to June after being unchanged the month before. Excluding food and energy prices, which tend to bounce around from month to month, so-called core wholesale prices increased 0.4% from May and 3% from June 2023.

The increase in wholesale inflation last month was driven by a sizable 0.6% rise in services prices, led by higher profit margins for machinery and auto wholesalers.

By contrast, the overall prices of goods fell 0.5%. Gasoline prices tumbled 5.8% at the wholesale level. Food prices also dropped.

The producer price index can provide an early sign of where consumer inflation is headed. Economists also watch it because some of its components, notably healthcare and financial services, flow into the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge — the personal consumption expenditures, or PCE, index.

Most of the media reported that inflation was slowing based on the producer price index. That number was used to fuel speculation of a federal reserve rate decrease by the end of the year. That likely caused the bump in the stock market yesterday. It’s nice to celebrate a drop in food as fuel prices, but where are they in comparison to where they were four years ago? The Biden administration is hoping you won’t remember.

Bidenomics or Badonomics?

Author:  R. Alan Harrop,Ph.D     harropcrew1@gmail.com 

Biden keeps saying that his economic plan is working for the American people. Is his so-called Bidenomics good or bad for the country? Let’s take a look at the truth; something the Biden regime seems allergic to.    

Inflation is a hidden tax that never is reversed. It may slow down, but short of an economic collapse, prices will not go down and we will always have some inflation. When Biden took office, the annual inflation rate was 1.2%.  Now it is about 10%.   This rate, however, does not reflect the actual increase in prices since 2020. Food has gone up close to 80% as any food shopper can tell you. Gasoline is up from $1.87 per gallon to $3.45 per gallon which is an 85% increase. These are essential expenses that are not included in the government’s Consumer Price Index and therefore make this estimate of inflation unreliable. Housing, which we all must have, has gone up dramatically. The cost of the average home has gone up 47% since 2020 which is unheard of. Rents are up an average of 26% over the same period. Most importantly, mortgage interest rates essentially doubled to 7%, which represents an increase in monthly payments of about $1200 for the average home purchase. Insurance has also gone up substantially for automobiles and homes (30%). Utility Costs have also increased significantly since they are up about 30%. None of these items are optional and cannot be avoided. Other items like cars, appliances, clothing, etc. are also up substantially. Who is hurt the most by these increases? Well of course, the average American not the Democrat elite. 

As a result of these increases, the average family has experienced an $8,500  annual reduction in their purchasing power and standard of living. But according to Biden, his economic plans are working and you are just too blind to see it!  You are being gas lighted. 

What has caused this destructive inflation?  Excessive government spending and printing paper money is the primary cause. However, the war against fossil fuels and excessive government subsidies for so-called green energy projects are also major contributors. All of these things are part of the Marxist agenda of the Biden regime that is out to destroy this country. 

This situation threatens the traditional American Dream. This is especially true for younger Americans. There was a time when young married couples could afford to buy a new home and begin the journey to financial security and wealth. The equity in a home is the bedrock of financial security and the American Dream.  With the dramatic increase in home prices, mortgage rates, and home insurance, young people can no longer afford to buy and must resort to paying rent.  Not a good thing to do in the long run. 

So, we are back to President Reagan’s question, “ Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” The answer is a no-brainer. You know what to do. 

 

The Problem Really Isn’t President Biden

On Friday, The Federalist posted an article reminding us that the inflation, lack of border security, and rising crime rates are not solely the responsibility of President Biden. President Biden represents (and his policies represent) the platform of a particular political party.

The article notes:

CNN spent the hour after Thursday’s presidential debate in an emotional tailspin. But at the heart of their desperate “analysis” was speculation about whether the fumbling Biden should step down to let another Democrat jump in to carry the torch of “DEMOCRACY.”

The jig is up. Here’s what disillusioned Democrats and independents and moderates need to know. What all the blue-state refugees who now live in Texas and Florida instead of California and New York City need to admit. What all the fed-up middle-class families and forgotten nonwhite voters in the suburbs need to remember: These aren’t just Joe Biden policies that are disastrous. They’re Democrat policies.

Abortion. Economy. Crime. Immigration. Lawfare. Foreign policy. Health care. It doesn’t matter what pet issue has voters down in the dumps. Democrats are in lockstep on the losing side. And anywhere they aren’t in lockstep — like on whether Israel is a victim of terrorism or a group of oppressive “colonizers” — they tow the radical line.

The article concludes:

And our two-tiered system of justice — led by the deep state, rogue state prosecutors, and a leftist executive — wouldn’t stop just because Biden isn’t on the ticket. The same people who raided the homes of pro-lifers while seeking immunity for the Biden family; prosecuted one man for “classified documents” while letting other worse offenders go free; and made up novel legal theories and new statutes of limitations to gag, fine, and ultimately imprison their chief political opponent are beholden to a party, not just the sitting president.

So when the Democrat armchair class suddenly gets weepy about Biden’s decline, saying Democrats “‘HAVE A PROBLEM’ AFTER BIDEN’S DEBATE PERFORMANCE,” don’t buy the spin that a shiny new Democrat could bail America out.

It isn’t just Biden that’s ruined America. It’s his party.

It’s very easy to focus on personalities instead of party platforms. I suggest that voters read each party’s platform before they vote. Which platform best represents your views? The answer to that question is as important as the individual candidate.

What A Difference An Election Made

On Monday, Breitbart posted the following headline:

Argentina Logs First Week with No Inflation in Food Prices in 30 Years

This is one of many positive results of the election of President Javier Milei, who began his term as President in December 2023.

The article reports:

A study published on Sunday by Econométrica, a private Argentine consulting firm, first reported the no-inflation week. In its study, Econométrica analyzed 8,000 prices in local online supermarkets and found no change when compared to the preceding week — something that has not happened in Argentina in three decades. In addition to the lack of variation in prices in one week, the study found that the prices of food and drinks only experienced an increase of 0.1 percent in the past 15 days.

…Upon taking office in December, Milei enacted a series of “shock therapy” economic policies to restore Argentina’s economy after nearly two decades of socialist rule left it in a precarious state and on the verge of a hyperinflation spiral.

Since then, monthly inflation rates in Argentina have experienced a dramatic and continued downward trend, going from 25.5 percent in December to 4.2 percent in May, the lowest rate experienced in the country in over two years. In April, Argentina recorded a surplus of its gross domestic product (GDP) during the first quarter of the year — something that the South American nation had not seen since 2008.

Milei is in the Czech Republic on the final stop of a four-day tour of Europe that began on Friday with a visit to Spain, followed by a two-day stop in Germany over the weekend that included an encounter with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Milei is slated to meet with Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala on Monday morning.

The article concludes:

Milei also confirmed that his administration would not promote a devaluation of the Argentine peso, echoing statements by Economy Minister Luis Caputo last week where he ruled out such plans. Caputo instead said he would continue implementing the current plan, which focuses on maintaining a good relationship with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and upholding a currency exchange system that allows companies to sell 20 percent of their income in U.S. dollars in the financial market and settle the remaining 80 percent at the official exchange rate.

“There are professionals who, in order to justify and wash their mistakes, make unfortunate arguments, which speak more about what they want to happen than what really has to happen,” Milei said. “There are sectors that find it convenient to have low dollar salaries and more poor and indigent people, and we believe that the situation works in a different way.”

This could happen in America with the proper election results.

The Choice Is Between Bad And Awful

On Wednesday, Armstrong Economics posted an article about inflation and recession.

The article reports:

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Neel Kashkari has advised against anticipating near-term rate cuts. While speaking to the Financial Times, the Fed president stated that people would simply prefer a recession to continued inflation.

“I have learned that the American people—and maybe people in Europe equally—really hate high inflation. I mean, really viscerally hate high inflation,” he told the Financial Times’ The Economics Show podcast. Kashkari is speaking as if we are not already in a recession. It is not difficult to understand the “visceral” hatred people around the world feel toward rising prices. The effects of inflation are felt with every purchase, causing the average person to adjust their entire lifestyle.

The article concludes:

Real prices have far surpassed anything they calculate in CPI. Everyone understands that prices have risen far more than the arbitrary number the Fed provides us. Taxes are continually increasing for everyone in every tax bracket. The government not only adds to inflationary issues with their spending but then expects their citizens to foot a portion of the bill with taxes, which will simply never be enough.

Then we have Washington telling the masses to blame corporations for price gouging while raising their taxes and making it increasingly difficult to conduct business and maintain a large workforce. It is not that the people would prefer to be in a recession, the real issue is that countless people are entering survival mode. People everywhere want to hold onto whatever they may have out of fear for the future, but they are unable even to hoard as real prices now demand they hand over whatever they have to maintain their lives.

In a recession, consumer spending drops, and people lose their jobs. A service economy such as the one America currently has is more vulnerable to recession than a manufacturing economy. A recession creates hardship for working families.Inflation impacts both working families and retirees. Either one is a bad deal. The most practical way to deal with inflation in America would be to cut government spending and to resume domestic oil production. Both of those things would help revive a miserable economy.

A Study in Entropy

Entropy is defined as the trend of the universe toward disorder. Entropy is illustrated by what happens to a farmer’s field if he ignores it for a few years. It is also what happens to a tractor or wagon that is left out in a field unattended. Crops do not automatically grow in straight lines, and weeds do not pick themselves. It is not a good idea to let children raise themselves. It takes human effort to keep things moving forward.

Does entropy apply to nations? If freedom and liberty are not carefully nurtured, do they degrade? If the culture is not properly guarded and maintained, does it degrade into unhealthy places?

Recently there was something of an uproar about a commencement speech given by a National Football League player. In his speech, Harrison Butker praised the virtues of motherhood. He praised his wife for the role her support has played in his success. He stated that many of the women in the audience that day will eventually become mothers. They will struggle with balancing their roles as wives, mothers, and corporate employees. All those roles are important, but has our culture devalued the role of wife and mother? A poem by William Ross Wallace states, “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle Is the Hand That Rules the World.” In the past, children learned basic foundational things from their mothers—baking cookies, shopping, language skills and values. In a world where career is valued over motherhood, children may or may not learn these things at daycare. There is nothing wrong with daycare, but I can guarantee that a child’s daycare provider does not love the child the way his/her mother does. I understand that in today’s economy staying home with your children is something of a luxury, but it can be done. Is devaluing motherhood a step forward or a step backward?

The speech given by Harrison Butker would have merely been a statement of the obvious in 1970. What changed?

The programs of the Great Society and the War on Poverty came into their own in the 1970’s. In 1965, “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action, the Moynihan Report,” was written by Daniel Patrick Moynihan. He warned against the collapse of the black family unit, noting a rise in single-parent families. The Great Society programs exacerbated that problem by making payments to women only if there was not a man living in the house. The destruction those programs created in the black population later spread to the white population. The 1970’s also gave rise to the Feminist movement and created what was then the cottage industry of daycare—now a billion-dollar industry. This further weakened the family structure—the foundation of a healthy society.

The overspending of the 1960’s and 1970’s and beyond created an inflationary cycle that forced many women into the workforce. One positive aspect of this is that educational and professional opportunities for women increased. That at least was a positive thing.

Is America now experiencing a state of entropy? How many Americans voted in the last primary election? How many Americans voted in the last Presidential election? Are you willing to take an active role in your government? What impact will the dramatic increase in population from places that do not share our culture have on our own already degrading culture?

If Americans want to save our country from entropy, they need to stand up and fight for the values and culture that made this country great. If we do not do that soon, we will go the way of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome.

The Root Causes Of The Current Inflation

On Wednesday, Breitbart posted an article about the cause of the level of inflation Americans are currently dealing with.

The article quotes Neel Kashkari, who runs the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

The article reports:

Surging immigration is keeping inflation and interest rates high, Fed honcho Neel Kashkari said in an interview with the Telegraph.

Kashkari, who runs the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, said he’s not ready to consider cutting rates until he sees “several months of real progress on inflation.” The flood of immigrants, he argued, is hindering that progress.

U.S. borrowing costs are likely to stay put for “an extended period of time,” Kashkari warned.

He’s particularly freaked out by the booming demand for housing, which just won’t cool off despite sky-high rates.

Kashkari’s immigration bombshell runs directly contrary to the claims by the Biden administration and its allies that surging immigration is keeping down inflation by depressing wages.

Kashkari said that “dramatic increase in immigration” is boosting housing demand. More people working from home and years of underbuilding aren’t helping either. It’s a perfect storm that’s keeping the housing market red-hot.

The article concludes:

He (Kashkari) also noted that services inflation had been “much stickier” in the past few months, making it even tougher to justify rate cuts.

“In the second half of last year, we saw very rapid disinflationary progress, and that was comforting for all of us because the economy was strong and inflation was falling quickly. I expected and hoped that that was going to continue in the first quarter of this year [but] inflation has more or less moved sideways,” Kashkari said.

Like other Fed officials, Kashkari said he needs solid proof that inflation is heading back to 2 percent before he’s comfortable with rate cuts.

“I want to see evidence that inflation is headed well back down towards the 2 percent target. I’m not saying that we have to get all the way back down to 2 percent before we start cutting, but I need to be convinced that that’s where we’re headed before I would be comfortable normalizing interest rates,” he said.

Rate cuts could result in people feeling better about the economy (a good thing in an election year), but they could also create even more inflation.

 

Does Anyone On The Political Left Go Grocery Shopping Or Buy Gasoline?

On Thursday, BizPacReview posted an article about the mainstream media’s spin on America’s current economy. If it were not sad, it would be funny.

The article reports:

MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle is telling Americans not to believe their lying eyes, that President Biden’s economy is fantastic and they are better off economically than they mistakenly believe.

The condescension and gaslighting have kicked into full gear as the presidential election nears. Despite Americans struggling to put food on the table, a roof over their heads, and clothes on their children’s backs, Ruhle is telling them they are basically dimwitted and don’t appreciate how good they have it.

“We need an economic explainer,” Ruhle told the president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Austan Goolsbee. “People are confused, they’re exhausted, but they’re also doing quite well.”

“Ruhle, who hosts MSNBC’s ‘The Eleventh Hour,’ had been discussing a recent Federal Reserve report that ‘shows people are still struggling to cover day-to-day expenses, even as inflation has slowed.’ She noted how some major brands are responding by enticing consumers with slashed prices, ‘Target says it is cutting prices on 5,000 essential items, things like milk, butter, pet food. Wendy’s is now offering a $3 breakfast deal. And rivals like McDonald’s are offering new lower-priced value meals,’” Fox Business reported.

The article includes the following screenshot:

This is not the result of corporate greed as President Biden likes to claim–it is the result of companies trying to stay in business after their operating costs skyrocket. Anyone who eats and drives knows that we were much better off four years ago. The problem with inflation is that prices very rarely go back down to where they were.

What Four More Years Of Bidenomics Would Look Like

On May 14th (sometimes it takes me a while to get to things), Stephen Moore posted an article at BizPac Review detailing some of the economic plans the Biden administration has if they win the election in November. If you like trying to stretch your dollar because of inflation, you will love the new challenges.

The article reports some of the plans:

1. Tax rates on investment up to 70%.

2. $2 trillion in new debt spending.

3. A “net zero” energy policy eliminating production of nearly all our abundant fossil fuels.

4. An end to state “right-to-work” laws in 26 states.

5. The antitrust assault against Silicon Valley and corporate mergers ramps up.

The article also concludes:

There is more to worry about under Bidenomics in a second term. One worry is that Dems will agree to eliminate checks and balances in our system of government by overturning the filibuster rule of at least 60 votes in the Senate to pass legislation. Another concern is that Dems will lock in their electoral strength by making Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico states to add four more Democratic senators. Remember Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of Pennsylvania heroically voted to save the filibuster — but they won’t be around in January 2025 to stop the court packing.

Could American businesses and families survive getting smashed by these gale-force winds of another Bidenomics hurricane in 2025 without capsizing the ship of state? I wouldn’t bet on it.

Stephen Moore is a visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation and a senior economic advisor to Donald Trump. His latest book is: “Govzilla: How the Relentless Growth of Government Is Devouring Our Economy.”

Your vote counts. We need enough votes against Joe Biden to overcome the fraud that is already being planned.

April Inflation Statistics

On Tuesday, CNN reported that according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data released Tuesday inflation in April was the highest it has been all year.

The article reports:

Wholesale inflation picked up in April to its highest rate in a year, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data released Tuesday.

The Producer Price Index, which measures the change in prices that manufacturers pay to suppliers, was 2.2% for the 12 months ended in April, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data released Tuesday.

That gain is higher than what was seen in March, which was downwardly revised from 2.1% to 1.8%.

On a monthly basis, prices rose 0.5%, a faster pace than March’s 0.1% loss (also downwardly revised) and ran much hotter than what economists had anticipated. Economists were expecting a monthly gain of 0.3%, according to FactSet consensus estimates.

“The concern here is that we now have a trend, an upward trend in producer prices, which can only be passed through to consumers and result in upward pressure on consumer price inflation over the coming months,” Kurt Rankin, senior economist for the PNC Financial Services Group, told CNN in an interview.

And that means interest rates will stay higher for longer and could further delay the Federal Reserve’s plans for cuts on that front, he said.

…While higher energy costs (up 2% in April) helped to push goods prices higher, services inflation is what drove up the overall PPI last month. Nearly three-quarters of the April monthly gain was attributable to price hikes seen by producers of services, according to the report.

Services providers saw a 0.6% increase in prices for the month, the fastest pace seen for that category since March 2022, Rankin noted.

“Services has been the issue over the past year as consumers continue to spend money, and costs for services-oriented businesses is still stronger than goods inflation; but goods producer prices are now also rising after having fallen through most of 2023,” he said.

This is bad news for consumers and also bad news for the Biden administration that wants to get re-elected in November. The promise of cutting the interest rate before the election to bring consumer costs down will not be kept if inflation continues on its current path.

Regulations Matter

On Thursday, Issues & Insights posted an article about the regulatory nightmare that is being created by the Biden administration.

The article reports:

Just after Ronald Reagan won the presidential election in November 1980, economic adviser David Stockman wrote a memo warning the president-elect that he faced an “economic Dunkirk” thanks to the disastrous economy he was inheriting.

Among Stockman’s warnings was that the Carter administration had set a “ticking regulatory time bomb” that would blow up the economy.

“They have spent the past four years ‘tooling up’ for implementation through a mind-boggling outpouring of rulemakings, interpretative guidelines, and major litigation – all heavily biased toward maximization of regulatory scope and burden,” Stockman wrote.

Stockman – who would later serve as head of the Office of Management and Budget and ended up losing Reagan’s trust – had that part wrong. While Carter was a disaster as president, at least he showed an ability to learn on the job. And so late in his term, Carter embarked on a deregulatory campaign to fight inflation. Among other things, he freed the trucking and airline industries from onerous government mandates.

“Carter gave Reagan the phenomenal gift of deregulation. Combined with the (Reagan) tax cuts that largely took effect in 1983, the economy went on a growth tear,” wrote Brian Domitrovic, a scholar at the Laffer Center, in Forbes. “All the capital that Reagan freed up via his tax cuts found room to roam in the deregulated world which Carter had set up.”

Unfortunately the Biden administration has not studied the lessons of history. The article lists some of the regulations the Biden administration has put in place:

  • Force car owners into inconvenient, expensive, range-deficient EVs.
  • Impose emission standards on large trucks that, the industry says, will be “the most challenging, costly and potentially disruptive heavy-duty emissions rule in history.”
  • Sharply raise the cost of drilling for oil and gas on public lands and raise the cost of water.
  • Make it nearly impossible to get permits to expand or build new facilities in most areas of the country without violating impossibly strict clean-air standards.

The article concludes:

In his 1980 memo, Stockman said avoiding an economic Dunkirk required “an initial administration economic program that is so bold, sweeping, and sustained that it totally dominates the Washington agenda (and) holds promise of propelling the economy into vigorous expansion and the financial markets into a bullish psychology.”

Reagan delivered.

It will take even greater levels of boldness today. And while there is hope for such a comprehensive program under the return of Donald Trump, if Biden wins in November there will be no rescuing the economy this time.

Deregulation will be one of the keys to reviving the struggling economy. Despite the fact that the Biden administration keeps telling us that the economy is strong, people are working two jobs to keep up with inflation, there are layoffs in a number of industries, and high interest rates are making it very difficult for new home owners to afford a home.

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.