It’s bad enough that President Joe Biden held a James Taylor celebratory concert yesterday after a terrible consumer inflation report with soaring prices for food and groceries, electricity, natural gas, cars, medical care—pretty much everything besides a drop in gasoline —with a near 1,300-point stock market selloff and 30-year mortgage rates jumping up to almost 7%, decimating the housing sector.
If all that weren’t embarrassing enough, today in Detroit his new word salad sounded like this. See it for yourself:
BIDEN: “We started with the American Rescue Plan. It’s taken us from economic crisis to economic resurgence.”
Hang on a second, Mr. President. Objective observers using actual factoids might put it a bit differently.
Namely, you inherited a low-inflation boom with economic growth of 6.5% and in a little over a year, you turned it into a high-inflation bust with two consecutive negative growth quarters, a deepening recession likely and your “American Rescue Plan” with all of its excess spending has triggered a relentless inflation that is forcing the Federal Reserve to aggressively tighten the monetary screws on the economy.
You generated $5 trillion in new deficits according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. You put an end to fossil-fuel permitting and leasing and you’ve implemented at least $200 billion of new regulations, roughly 40 times what Donald Trump imposed—a set of actions that has literally strangled business enterprise.
Meanwhile, besides your tax and regulatory prosperity killers, your inflation scourge has given average working folks a 3.4% wage cut over the past year. Around the kitchen table, families are talking about a 16% hike in electricity prices, a 33% jump in natural gas services and a 11.4% spike in groceries and families are still looking for baby formula on store shelves.
Even with the recent drop in gasoline prices partly induced by your election-year oil selloff from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which of course jeopardizes our energy and natural security, gasoline is still up 26% from a year ago. National gas today is about $3.70. In January 2021, it was $2.40.
By the way, don’t take it from me alone about the inflationary recession we’re in. Listen to top Democratic economists like Jason Furman and Larry Summers and those folks are expecting 6.5% unemployment over the next two years. Right now, it’s 3.5%. So, the great middle class is heading for even more pain as a result of your policies.
The fact is, you were handed an economic resurgence by your predecessor Donald Trump and in short order, you turned that into a crisis, a real crisis.
This stagflation plague that you have forced on us can be fixed with a return to free markets, free enterprise and supply-side policies to reduce tax rates and slash regulations. Reopen the fossil fuel spigots. Revive confidence in what king dollar can purchase in terms of homegrown goods and services.
We can stop expanding welfare assistance that incentivizes non-work and replace it with fiscal policies that make it pay, after tax, to work and produce. Yes, the cavalry is coming. That’s the ultimate way out, but even the best-trained cavalry is still going to probably need a couple of years to fix the Biden mess.
This article is adapted from Larry Kudlow’s opening commentary on the September 14, 2022, edition of “Kudlow.”