Joe Biden on Monday launched a tripartite attack on inflation: denial, disinformation, and deflection.
First, despite inflation rising to a 13-year high of 5.4 percent last month, Biden deemed the situation expected and temporary, claiming, “there’s nobody expecting unchecked inflation on the way, no serious economist.”
As is generally the case with Biden, one must always parse his passive-aggressive strawman arguments for the weasel word—in this instance, “unchecked.” Thus, Biden is actually saying only unserious economists would expect his administration to leave inflation unchecked. That would be political suicide for Democrats. OK, then, what will his administration do to “check” inflation?
Smother it with $4 trillion..
Here we find the second stage of Biden’s tripartite attack on inflation: disinformation. Ignoring the inflation wrought by his initial trillion-dollar (non-)recovery expenditure, Biden selectively blames the virus (in actuality, government lockdowns) for every current economic condition—well, except those for which Biden is claiming credit.
For instance, Biden crows, “we’ve brought this economy back from the brink,” and cites positive job and economic growth that is, of course, far more the result of the lockdowns being lifted and the economy returning to (what is left of) normal. Even at that, wages are dropping, inflation is rising, and unemployment is nowhere near the record lows of the Trump Administration, pre-pandemic. Perhaps, Biden means his administration has brought us back from the brink of restoring record prosperity?
Regardless, Biden blames the virus and anti-vaccination Americans for the stock market’s precipitous drop. He then exacerbates the market’s uncertainty with the veiled threat that more lockdowns could be on the way: “We cannot afford to be complacent. We can’t let up, especially since and because of the delta variant, which is more transmissible and more dangerous.” Biden issued the veiled threat that the virus—i.e., a new government lockdown—“doesn’t have to hold our economy back any longer.”
Unless he decides it will.
But it won’t be his fault. Ignoring the fact that Democrats, including Vice President Kamala Harris, were the earliest public vaccine skeptics, and the detrimental effects of their disinformation upon minority vaccination rates, Biden warned that anti-vaccine zealots may force his hand to tear the scabs off our bleeding economy.
Thus does Biden tendentiously lumber into stage three of his tripartite attack: deflection.
Biden wants to make sure Republicans get the blame for his inflation. How, you ask? Turning centuries of economic understanding on its head, Biden argues his $4 trillion boondoggle to “reset” the American economy “can be a force for lower prices for Americans looking ahead”; and, if the GOP manages to stymie his scheme, they will be the reason inflation rises and persists despite his best efforts:
[blockquote][This $4 trillion] will enhance our productivity, raising wages without raising prices. That won’t increase inflation. It will take the pressure off of inflation [and] give a boost to our workforce, which leads to lower prices in the years ahead. So, if your primary concern right now is inflation, you should be even more enthusiastic about this plan.[/blockquote]
But weren’t we told earlier that Biden and the Democrats’ first $1.9 trillion “rescue” tranche would spur economic growth? In the end, however, it only retarded the efforts of the economic recovery by paying people more to remain unemployed. Indeed, states had to refuse to participate to encourage workers to return. And, yes, that trillion dollars helped spur the inflation we are seeing now.
If this inflation was expected, why didn’t Biden and the Democrats warn us? Maybe this is why some claim the nearly $2 trillion transfer of taxpayers’ money was less about rescuing the economy than rewarding core Democratic constituencies that supported Biden and the Democrats.
Regrettably, Biden now argues he must “build back better” by, for instance, restoring America’s supply chains that have been ravaged due to governmental responses to the virus. One would have thought this would have been addressed in the earlier “rescue” spending bill. Given the fact supply chains are international, it may have been off-narrative in a $1.9 trillion American “rescue” bill.
This raises the question, however, of just what was rescued and “built back better” by spending the first tranche of trillions? Evidently, as it pertained to an American economy reemerging from government lockdowns, it brought continued higher unemployment and inflation, and, ergo, did not rescue but retard growth.
This is the same Joe. Biden who claims “capitalism is alive and very well,” even as he outsources his domestic agenda to socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Consequently, one must be dubious of whether Biden’s carnival barking for $4 trillion more in government spending to “build back better”—in other words, “reset”—will prove any more honest or effective.
In sum, Biden is claiming our country will be ravaged by inflation unless Americans allow a doddering, sleepy-but-“woke” regressive to squander $4 trillion more to “reset” the most prosperous, productive, and equitable economy in human history. At the same time, any sane and sober economist realizes plopping $4 trillion in government spending upon an already inflationary economy will cause Americans to be ravaged by rising prices and shrinking investments. Such is the “consumer choice” offered by Bidenomics and Democratic Socialists.
The good news? We are not yet the Weimar Republic. The bad news? It’s time to dust off your old Gerald Ford-era “Whip Inflation Now” buttons. For, despite launching his tripartite attack on inflation by denying its scope, disinforming Americans about the situation, and deflecting blame from himself and Democrats, Biden cannot evade the reality: No serious president invests in inflation.