There he goes again, again! The “he” is President Joe Biden. At 1 pm today, the Wall Street Journal posted a new Biden op-ed piece on the economy, and it’s chock-full of Pinocchios and other related untruths, as per usual.
The one I want to tackle, first and really foremost, is his assertion that, since he took office, our economy has somehow created more than 13 million jobs. This is a gigantic cherry-picked exaggeration. The vast bulk of those jobs were COVID replacement, not new jobs. That’s point number one.
Point number two: If you look at the broadest measure of employment, which is total civilian employment, the household survey, adjusted for population changes, that number through May is 160.7 million jobs. Now, pre-pandemic in January 2020, that number was 159.6 million. So, actually, the household employment gain is a grand total of 1.1 million from the pre-COVID baseline, which means, in effect, Mr. Biden hadn’t created any new jobs at all.
And the bulk of the replacement jobs, by-the-by, the largest share of them came during the second half of 2020 under Donald Trump. And the biggest unemployment decline also came under Donald Trump.
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This should come as no surprise. Joe Biden has run the most anti-business economic policy ever. Worse than Barack Obama, way worse than Jimmy Carter, who actually deregulated during his last years, and way, way, way worse than Bill Clinton, whose second term was actually pro-business. Now, Joe Biden’s op-ed piece doesn’t talk about his war against fossil fuels, or his across-the-board regulatory assault on virtually every other American sector.
Mr. Biden says inflation has come down — but not thanks to him, or his policies. His $5 trillion in spending and the Fed’s easy money regime led to a near 10% inflation rate, while both Biden and Janet Yellen and Jay Powell first told us there was no inflation, then it was transitory, and then the Fed pushed the panic button about a year ago and jacked up their target rate by 500 basis points. And we’re still stuck at around 5% inflation.
Under Joe Biden, the CPI has increased 15.3%. Groceries up 19.6%, energy up 32.9%, gasoline up 43.7%. Now, these price hikes, which are the soft underbelly of the Biden economy, they are the reason why a recent poll shows that 61% of Americans believe we’re in a recession. And 63% disapprove of Biden’s handling of the economy. And it is precisely the inflation that has slammed worker wages into the ground.
During the Biden administration, real wages have fallen 2.7% over nearly 2.5 years. During the Trump administration, real wages went up 7.3%. People do have jobs, but they’re losing money after inflation and taxes. Reagan called it “take-home pay.” Under Biden, it’s take-home pay cuts. That’s why this is going to be a pocketbook, kitchen table election. And that’s why Donald Trump is running 30 to 40 points ahead in the polls.
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And Joe Biden goes back to his totally discredited claim, yeah, here it comes, that he has cut the budget deficit by $1.7 trillion during his first two years — that has earned him the Bottomless Pinocchio Award from the Washington Post. And then he claims that his new budget proposals would cut the deficit by another $2.5 trillion. That is solely a function of his bid to repeal all of the Trump tax cuts, which would, if implemented, virtually destroy the economy. And that tax disruption would lead to an even more gigantic deficit than the $20 trillion in combined deficits that the Biden budget already shows.
Then Biden brags about his Medicare drug price controls, which will damage any number of pharmacological breakthroughs and innovations to cure diseases and save lives. And by the way, on that point, Merck, is bringing a lawsuit on First Amendment free speech grounds and Fifth Amendment takings grounds. Good for them!
Folks, we’re in year three of a socialist experiment called Modern Monetary Theory, where allegedly you can just spend, tax, regulate, and print money as much as you want with no negative consequences. But this high school-level science experiment has failed.
The economy has stalled, it’s headed lower. The Biden untruths continue to pile up. The polls show voters are not being fooled.
So, I’ll just conclude: Save America. Return to free enterprise capitalism.
This article is adapted from Larry Kudlow’s opening commentary on the June 8, 2023, edition of “Kudlow.”
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