Breitbart Business Digest: Joe Tries to Bidenboozle the Public on Inflation

President Joe Biden speaks at CS Wind, Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023, in Pueblo, Colo. (AP Phot
AP Photo/Jack Dempsey

Biden’s Inflation Lies Were Not an Innocent Slip

President Biden’s increasingly brazen attempts to bamboozle the American public on economic matters have more than a whiff of desperation.

Biden complained in a speech on Monday that businesses were not reducing their prices even though inflation has declined. Those that were not cutting prices were engaged in “price gouging,” the president claimed.

“Let me be clear: To any corporation that has not brought their prices back down — even as inflation has come down, even supply chains have been rebuilt — it’s time to stop the price gouging — giving the American consumer a break,” Biden said.

When Biden says things that are so clearly wrong, the temptation is to write it off as one of his many rhetorical stumbles. When he referred to his Oval Office predecessor as “Congressman Trump” in a speech in Colorado yesterday, for example, few thought he genuinely believed that Donald Trump was serving in the House of Representatives. Neither did fair observers think he was trying to bamboozle the public into thinking Trump was a member of Congress, one of the few parts of government with lower approval ratings than Biden himself.

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on his “Bidenomics” economic plan alongside workers at a wind tower manufacturer in Pueblo, Colorado, on November 29, 2023. (ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

It just seemed like the lack of verbal acuity we’ve become accustomed to from Biden. He says a lot of things that do not make sense or are just plain wrong. But no one takes those things literally or seriously because that’s just the kind of thing we’ve come to expect after Biden says “let me be clear.”

Monday’s inflation statement seemed like just another one of these Bidenisms. Everyone who has given a moment’s attention to inflation knows it is a rate of change in the price level. When the rate of inflation goes from nine percent to three percent, as it did from the summer of 2022 to the summer of 2023, this doesn’t mean that prices are falling. It means that prices are rising at a slower pace.

The trouble with shrugging off Biden’s statement as a verbal blunder is that it was part of his prepared remarks, published on the White House website. Because official remarks go through a cumbersome vetting process by high-level White administration officials, it’s clear Biden was expressing exactly what was intended. And because speeches on the economy get reviewed by high-level economic advisers, this was not an innocent error from a confused political speech writer. This was an intentional attempt to bamboozle—let’s call it Bidenboozle—the public.

Did the Atlanta Fed Rebuke Biden for the Bidenboozle?

This may have been what prompted Atlanta Fed Chief Raphael Bostic to include a clarification on this point in his recent essay on inflation:

Declining inflation doesn’t mean declining prices

Before I conclude, I want to clarify that a declining inflation rate does not mean prices actually fall. What we are experiencing is called disinflation. When prices on average decline, that’s deflation.

Deflation might sound appealing. After all, who wouldn’t want to pay less for groceries next week? But it can be economically destructive. Consumers may delay purchases because they expect prices will keep falling. That can curtail overall consumption, which can prompt businesses to cut production, which in turn can mean lower profits, cost cutting, and layoffs.

While this may not have been intended as a rebuke of the president, the timing of its publication—two days after the president’s remarks—meant it functioned as one.

Biden Takes the Bidenboozle on the Road and on to Twitter

Incredibly, Biden followed this up with an outburst on X (formerly Twitter) that repeated the Monday statement almost word-for-word.

This prompted gasps of horror from those who apparently missed the Monday remarks.

This Bidenboozle is now part of the president’s regular stump speech. Here he is in Colorado on Wednesday repeating the same claim, adding in a bit of rhetorical flourish with the phrase “greedflation.”

Behind this toxic turn against the facts on inflation is the Biden administration’s mounting distress over the president’s polling numbers. As we detailed this week, the president’s economic management is strikingly unpopular with younger Americans and women, key constituencies for Democrats.

In the latest Gallup poll, just 32 percent of Americans say they approve of the president on economic matters. Among 18- to 34-year-olds, Biden’s economic approval rating is just 28 percent. Among women, just 33 percent say they approve of Biden on the economy.

The trouble is that this particular Bidenboozle is so obviously wrong that it is likely to backfire. At best, it will convince Americans that the president does not understand inflation. At worst, it puts on display Biden’s willingness to say anything to maintain power.

COMMENTS

Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.