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Timothy Carney

Timothy Carney, Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute

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Opinion

Inflation is still too high and Biden is still to blame

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Timothy Carney

Timothy Carney, Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute

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Democrats are busy celebrating a consistently strong economy under President Biden, citing shocking GDP growth and record-low unemployment. Republicans are responding to the celebration with concerns about rising living costs, housing unaffordability, and continuing inflation.

Straight Arrow News contributor Tim Carney points out that many Americans feel left behind by “Bidenomics” and argues that they are completely right to feel this way. Inflation, Carney says, remains too high for most Americans, and President Biden is still to blame.

Unemployment is low. The economy is growing. The stock market is up. So what do Americans have to complain about?

Inflation.

Inflation has been way too high for most of Biden’s administration, and at the peak of “Bidenflation,” in 2022, prices were rising at a 9.2 percent rate. When prices rise that fast, it’s bad. Sure, wages tend to go up, too, but things don’t rise evenly. Folks with fixed incomes suffer, as their costs go up. The rapid rise in prices makes life less predictable and more complicated. Complexity and unpredictability have real economic costs.

Americans are right to complain about Biden’s high inflation.

The Biden administration and its allies in the media are pretty upset at the American public. You see, most people still say Joe Biden’s economy is bad. And American voters—by a 20-point margin—trust Trump more on the economy according to one recent poll.

 

Why?

 

Unemployment is low. The economy is growing. The stock market is up. So what do Americans have to complain about?

 

Inflation.

 

Inflation has been way too high for most of Biden’s administration, and at the peak of Bidenflation, in 2022, prices were rising at a 9.2 percent rate!

 

When prices rise that fast, it’s bad.

 

Sure, wages tend to go up, too, but things don’t rise evenly. Folks with fixed incomes suffer, as their costs go up. The rapid rise in prices makes life less predictable and more complicated. Complexity and unpredictability have real economic costs.

 

Americans are right to complain about Biden’s high inflation.

 

Biden’s defenders say that everyone should calm down because inflation is falling.

 

But falling inflation doesn’t mean falling prices, or stable prices, or even normal inflation.

 

From its 9 percent peak in the Summer of 2022, inflation fell for a year. Since summer 2023, though, inflation has remained between 3 and 3.7 percent, with no downward trend visible.

 

The liberal media tell us we should be grateful that inflation has come down so much. But that’s silly, because it’s still too high.

 

Economists, including Joe Biden’s Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, have long said that 2% is the right amount of inflation. That’s basically the lowest level that avoids the danger of deflation when a recession hits. Inflation consistently above 3% is too high, which is enough to justify Americans’ negative views of the economy.

 

And voters are right to blame Biden for high inflation. The government’s overspending in 2020 and 2021 pumped trillions of dollars into the economy at a time that Americans were doing less work and making less stuff. More money chasing less stuff and fewer services is the perfect recipe for inflation.

 

In 2020, the money-printing was bipartisan and ostensibly needed to handle COVID recovery. Biden’s 2021 spending binge, on the other hand, was just an effort to buy votes and reward special interests. He made your life more expensive and upended your family budget so that he could play Santa Claus to politically favored constituencies.

 

And while the worst of the inflation is behind us, inflation is still too high—and it’s still Biden’s fault.

More from Timothy Carney

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