By GREG BYRNES
Of all the impossible-to-believe things President Biden’s father is supposed to have said to him growing up, the one thing he never seemed to have said is the one thing every kid who played sports in his generation heard. “Joey, never alibi! Own up if you mess up!”
Alas, there is nothing new under the Democrat Sun. President Barack Obama spent his years in office blaming President George H. W. Bush for his own slow-growth, no-growth economy, which hovered around 2% growth — just as Biden’s has. According to Obama, Bush was also to blame for the declining standard of living of working Americans long after Bush had left office. The flip side of the excuse coin came when, after the Trump economy roared, team Obama lectured the world that the good economy was because of all the work Obama had done. The old heads-I-win, tails-you-lose Democrat playbook.
Democrats may not have much faith in God, but they have complete faith in low-information voters. This may explain why President Biden and other Democrats are crisscrossing the country in the closing days of the 2022 campaign season, falsely claiming that they inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression or some other disaster they want to pin on Republicans. Both the claims and the analogy to that truly horrendous era in American economic history are absurd.
Prior to the Wuhan Pandemic, the economy was strong. Then most U.S. states went on a prolonged, and perhaps foolish, medical quarantine. The Blue States especially liked having people not working for “health reasons.” When Biden was elected, these states decided it was finally safe to come out of hibernation and free up their chained economies. Pandemic risks coincidentally disappeared when both the White House and Congress were in Democrats’ hands.
The last quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022 were strong; the V-shaped recovery Trump talked about was well underway. And then the self-proclaimed Defender of Democracy set to work undoing everything Trump had put in place. Like a frenzied Dr. Quackenbush from an old Marx Brothers movie, Biden strutted into the White House saying if Trump was for, I’m against it. And as quickly as the wheels of the economy had begun to grind, they slowed down as if Brer Rabbit Blackstrap molasses had been poured into gears.
What exactly was the so-called worst economy in 90 years that Biden inherited? Inflation close to 1%, low interest rates, and GDP growth around 6.5%. Such was the first quarter of 2021. Unemployment had fallen from a pandemic high of 14.7% to about 6% and was dropping fast as the Blue States opened their economies. 13.9 million had gone back to work. “Help wanted” signs were everywhere as employers competed with state and federal unemployment benefits to lure workers back to their jobs.
Into this booming recovery the Democrats poured billions to “stimulate the economy,” aka to stimulate “transitory inflation,” as the Democrat euphemism goes. Today inflation now bounces around 8.2% and is briskly outpacing any wage growth average workers are experiencing. The labor participation rate is declining.
GDP growth went from around 6.5% in Trump’s last quarter in office to October’s anemic 2.6% or so growth, as in the old Obama years. To combat the inflation caused by out-of-control government spending, the Federal Reserve is jacking up interest rates in a too-little-too-late attempt to squeeze inflation out of the U.S. economy. Of course, if this doesn’t work to create a so-called “soft landing,” the old-fashioned economic colonoscopy of high unemployment stands ready to do the trick. There is nothing like putting people out of work by creating a recession to stop them from spending. Will that be the best they can do to stop inflation?
Joe Biden can stump all he wants for a candidate near you, claiming that he inherited a terrible economy. But voters should understand he inherited a wealthy and healthy economy in the middle of a V-shaped recovery, as former Trump advisor Larry Kudlow is fond of saying. Biden abandoned tried-and-true free market supply-side economic growth in favor of the tried-and-failed hybrid Marxist planned economy.
Biden has engaged in a massive transfer of wealth out of the hands of average Americans through inflation and a collapsing investment market. Beneficiaries include deep-pocket stock speculators who can afford to buy on the stock market’s steep decline and big government, with its unlimited power to print money. So much for the benefits of the so-called New Economic Theory.
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