When he signed the “American Rescue Plan” into law in March 2021, President Joe Biden bragged about how it would put “$1,400 checks into the pockets of millions of Americans; help to keep folks in their homes; help to put food on the table.” A family of four was in line to get $5,600, he said.
What he didn’t tell the public was that the rampant inflation his “rescue” plan would unleash would cost Americans more than the $1,400 Biden was handing out. Much more.
Biden’s $2 trillion “rescue” came after the Trump administration had already rushed through two massive COVID relief bills and at a time when the economy was already roaring back from the COVID lockdowns. Which is why many economists, including liberal economists like Larry Summers, warned that Biden’s “rescue” would spark runaway inflation.
And, despite repeated promises from the White House that such a thing would never happen, the Consumer Price Index shot up 8.3% in the first half of this year. (Going back to 1986, the average inflation rate for the first half of the year is 2.6%.) June’s reading had year-over-year inflation at 9.1%.
Under Biden, prices have been climbing much faster than wages, which means that Americans started losing ground almost the moment Biden signed his “rescue” plan into law.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics finds that real average hourly earnings plunged 3.6% from June 2021 to June 2022. There’s also been a 0.9% drop in the average work week, meaning workers have seen their real income drop 4.4%.
The combination means the average worker has now lost $3,400, according to Heritage research fellow EJ Antoni. The combined total of all the COVID stimulus checks passed under Donald Trump and Biden was $3,200.
“This is catastrophic, $3,400 is some people’s food budgets for a year,” Antoni told the Daily Caller.
And, unlike a once-and-done government check, the cost of Biden’s inflation will keep growing.
A separate analysis by Moody’s Analytics senior economist Ryan Sweet says that inflation is now costing the average American household an extra $460 per month. Sweet compared what families would have spent had inflation remained at the 2% level it was before Biden’s “rescue” to what families have had to spend. That works out to $5,520 a year. (Sweet’s calculation came out before the even-higher June inflation number had been released.)
The situation is likely far worse than that. TIPP, which conducts the monthly I&I/TIPP Poll, has built a new price index, the TIPP CPI, which compares current prices to those of February 2021, Biden’s first month in office. It finds that prices have shot up 12.7% since Biden took office.
And remember how Biden said his $1,400 checks would “help put food on the table.”
Well, Bidenflation is causing one in five Americans to skip meals and rely on food banks to make ends meet. More than one in three say they are eating less. That’s according to a separate TIPP poll conducted with James Golden.
The Golden/TIPP Poll found that Americans report spending 15% more for food today than they did a year ago.
Biden’s response to all this? He dismissed the 9.1% price hike in June as “old news,” and has repeatedly tried to blame Putin’s invasion of Ukraine for the inflation spike.
The public isn’t buying it. A previous I&I/TIPP poll found that most Americans – including a majority of Democrats –blame Biden’s economic policies for the spike in prices.
They are right about that.
We can only hope that the public will learn its lesson from this terrible experience and tell the next politician who promises to pass out “free” checks where he can stuff them.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board