At a press briefing on Tuesday that was ostensibly about the unfolding disaster in Afghanistan, President Joe Biden opened his remarks by touting the $3.5 trillion spending disaster that Democrats are trying to ram through in Washington. Biden has spun a web of lies to defend both.
“Today, the House of Representatives has taken a significant step toward making a historic investment that’s going to transform America, cut taxes for working families, and position the American economy for long-term – long-term growth,” he began.
That phrase – “transform America” – ought to scare Americans. After all, what exactly does Biden want to transform the world’s biggest, most prosperous, most free nation into? An inflation-riddled, welfare-dependent, socialist basket case? That’s what the $3.5 trillion plan, which includes a massive expansion in federal entitlements and government meddling, is trying to achieve.
Then Biden went on to repeat the biggest of his Big Lies about the economy, one that media fact-checkers – too exhausted, apparently, from years spent fact-checking every utterance of President Donald Trump’s – keep missing.
“When I became president,” he said, “it was clear that we had to confront an immediate economic crisis – the most significant recession we’ve had since the Depression, or at least since Johnson.”
Biden knows that’s not true. Reporters covering the White House ought to know that’s not true. The public deserves to know that it is a bald-faced lie.
‘Immediate economic crisis’?
As we now know, the “immediate economic crisis” Biden supposedly inherited had ended nine months before he took office. The National Bureau of Economic Research, which is the official judge of when recessions begin and end, says that the COVID recession ended in April. That’s April of 2020. After that date, Trump passed two huge economic stimulus bills, cleared away regulations, and spurred the amazingly fast development of three COVID vaccines.
In short, there was no crisis when Biden took office, much less an immediate one. Saying anything else is lying to the public.
Most significant recession since the Depression?
In the wake of the Afghanistan crisis, many have realized that Biden appears disconnected from reality. That is definitely the case with his claim that the COVID recession was the worst since the Depression.
To be sure, Democrats always make that claim. Bill Clinton claimed the very mild recession in 1992 was the worst since the Depression. Obama said the 2008 recession was the worst since the Depression and took to calling it the Great Recession.
But in this case, the only relationship the COVID recession has to the Great Depression is that while the depression was the longest in U.S. history, the COVID recession was the shortest in history.
It lasted just two months.
By the time Biden was sworn in, the nation’s economy had almost fully recovered. And at end of the first quarter of 2021 – just days after Biden signed his $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan” into law – real GDP was up to $19.2 trillion, or $200 billion higher than it was in the first quarter of 2020.
While the job market hasn’t recovered quite as fast, well over half of the people who’d been laid off during the shutdown were back at work on the day Biden got the keys to the White House. Unemployment, which economists had forecast would still be in double digits at the start of 2021, had dropped to 6.3% – lower than it had been for the bulk of the eight years of the Obama-Biden administration.
Like Biden’s delusions about a smooth and successful withdrawal from Afghanistan, the “economic crisis” is a figment of his imagination. In this case, it’s a convenient one, since he needed that “crisis” to justify his $1.9 trillion “rescue” plan, and now his $3.5 trillion “families” plan.
Meanwhile, Biden Is Creating Crises
Also like Afghanistan, Biden is creating a crisis where none existed and never needed to happen.
Thanks to Biden’s “big f-ing deal” spending agenda, inflation has suddenly reared its ugly head again. After being told repeatedly that the rise in prices this year was “transitory,” we learn that, as Reuters reports, “Fed officials now readily acknowledge inflation may be more persistent than they thought.”
Wages are failing to keep pace with these price hikes, and real average hourly wages are below where they were at the start of the year – $9.82 in January 2021 vs. $9.68 in July 2021. (By the way, in 2020, despite the COVID recession, real wages increased over the year, going from $9.47 in January to $9.85 by December.)
What’s more, despite Biden’s “American Rescue Plan” and its handouts, people are feeling more financially stressed than they were at the start of the year. The Investor’s Business Daily/TIPP Financial Stress Index has increased four months in a row. The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment index plunged in August. The New York Fed’s survey finds that consumer expectations for inflation over the medium term rose to an eight-year high in July.
Over the past two weeks, the left-wing media have shown a willingness to challenge Biden’s false claims about Afghanistan. Will they do the same when it comes to the economy?
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board