HILL: Biden inflation mind games

(Patrick Semansky / AP Photo)

If a registered voter listens to the Biden spokespeople long enough, they will be led to believe if we just ignore the cost of everything, the U.S. inflation rate would be zero.

Forget the fact that the cost of everything you buy at the grocery store is double, triple or quadruple the cost of what it was before Biden was sworn into office on Jan. 20, 2021. The Biden team will swear there is absolutely no correlation between him getting elected president and the exorbitant prices everyone has to pay for milk, eggs, butter, fruit, vegetables and gasoline today.

There’s not a nice way to say it except they are flat-out lying. Some political “lies” are almost acceptable if they are related to overpromises made during a campaign. But “lies” that result in direct pain to the American consumer and voter through their pocketbook are unforgivable ― and presidents who presided over high inflation have not been reelected for a second term.

Inflation started to rear its ugly head during the OPEC oil embargo in October 1973, right about the same time President Richard Nixon started to become overwhelmed by the Watergate fiasco. By the time he was forced to resign in August 1974, inflation got as high as 12.3%. Nixon’s VP Gerald Ford inherited the hot potato of inflation and proceeded to campaign on a platform to Whip Inflation Now (WIN) in the 1976 election.

The only thing that got whipped was his presidency.

His successor, Jimmy Carter, apparently didn’t learn anything from his predecessor. He and the Democrat-dominated Congress proceeded to pass almost as much wrong-headed legislation at precisely the wrong time as President Herbert Hoover and the Republican Congress did in 1929-30, which turned a market crash into The Great Depression.

By the end of Carter’s term, Democrats had achieved what had previously been thought humanly impossible ― they pulled off the Misery Index Trifecta of 12.5% inflation, federal funds interest rate of 18% and an unemployment rate of 8.5% by the time Carter left office in 1981.

In 1980, Ronald Reagan annihilated Carter in the Electoral College 489 to 49, the largest electoral defeat of any incumbent president in U.S. history.

American voters can forgive almost every other foible in a president and their elected leaders. The one thing they cannot forgive is when their pocketbooks and bank accounts are devastated ― and they have been ravaged by virtually every economic policy the Biden administration has enacted.

On top of all that, due to changes made in the way the government measures CPI, the consumer price index, several conservative economists say the “official” inflation rate today is vastly understated relative to what it would be if calculated using previous formulas. Using the CPI formula from 1980, such analysts say the peak rate of inflation in 2023 would have registered at 18% instead of the “official” inflation rate of only 8% reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

To point out one glaring difference, BLS reports “core inflation” today which excludes any changes in cost for energy or food prices.

Has anyone ever “excluded” the cost of food or gasoline from their monthly budget? The federal government assumes you did so they can report lower inflation rates.

Another problem has to do with housing costs. In the 1980s, BLS officials decided to take out the cost of buying a house — current mortgage rates, property taxes and home insurance — from their inflation- estimation formulas. In their place, they substituted a convoluted concept called “owner’s equivalent rent” which somehow divined what everyone’s housing costs would be if they were paying rent to a landlord instead of owning a home.

Have you recently thought about buying a home but decided not to because home prices were way too high and high interest rates made monthly payments impossible? Or decided against refinancing for the same reason?

The government doesn’t count those costs in their monthly reports on inflation. It is like they are just “not real.”

The totality of the past 42 months of the Biden administration does not seem real either. It is like they are playing mind games on the American public trying to make them believe everything they have done, from flooding the border with illegal immigrants to inflating the value of our money, has been “good” for us.

It has not been good at all. Joe Biden deserves to be retired to the scrap heap of history just as his hero, Jimmy Carter, was summarily sent in 1980 because everything they touch turns into lead, not gold.