Issues & Insights

Things Really Are Looking Up Under Biden

Over the weekend, President Joe Biden claimed that some Republicans are hoping that the talks over raising the debt ceiling fail and the government defaults on its debt.

“I think there are some MAGA Republicans in the House who know the damage that it would do to the economy, and because I am president, and the president’s responsible for everything, Biden would take the blame,” he said.

What Biden is claiming assumes, of course, that things are going swimmingly right now, a point the president repeatedly makes, and how it’s all thanks to his policies.

Let’s ignore the fact that all the scaremongering about failure to raise the debt limit is just that. If the debt limit is not raised, the government won’t need to default on its debt. Every month, it raises far more in taxes than is needed to pay interest on existing debt. Despite what Biden says, any default would be entirely his fault.

How about his claim that things are going well and that only Republican malfeasance could hurt the economy?

Well, it’s true that things are looking up in America. The problem is that they are all the wrong things. Inflation, interest payments, debt, illegal immigration, labor force dropouts. Those are all way up under Biden.

To show this, we’ve put together a series of charts.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

During President Donald Trump’s entire four years in office, the Consumer Price Index climbed a total of 7.3%. In less than two-and-half-years under Biden, prices have shot up 16%. That’s not because of Putin’s war. It’s not because of greedy oil companies. It’s not because cattle farmers don’t have enough competition. Nor is it because of any of the other lame excuses Biden has peddled. The one and only reason prices are skyrocketing is Biden’s $5 trillion spending spree.

That inflation isn’t just costing families, it’s costing taxpayers. That’s because inflation has raised the cost of paying off Treasury debt. Federal interest payments have exploded under Biden, nearly doubling from the average quarter during Trump’s four years in office (which were roughly $532 billion per quarter).

Source: Department of Treasury

Biden also likes to brag about how he’s cut the deficit and brought the nation’s debt under control. Does the chart below indicate anything of the sort?

Daily count of national debt, starting on January 20, 2021 through May 21, 2023. Source: Department of Treasury, Debt to the Penny website

Biden’s open border policies have paid off handsomely. Since he took office, we’ve witnessed an unprecedented increase in the number of illegal immigrants crossing the border.

Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

For perspective, monthly “encounters” during Trump’s four years in office averaged 50,000.

Biden’s policies of paying people not to work have paid off as well. Take a look at the number of people “not in the labor force” during the Trump administration and the Biden administration. Three years after the COVID recession ended and the number who’ve given up looking for work is millions higher than it was before COVID.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

To be sure, not everything is going up under Biden. Real wages, for example, are down by more than 3%. (They’d climbed 7% under Trump.)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

So, too, is economic optimism.

Source: IBD/TIPP Poll

And, despite having the entirety of the corporate-media-industrial-complex covering for him, Biden’s approval ratings continue to sink. Just 33% approve of his handling of the economy, according to a new AP poll. And the public takes a dim view of his leadership overall.

Source: IBD/TIPP Poll

Biden’s real fear, we suspect, isn’t that Republicans will block a deal to raise the debt limit. It’s that they and the White House agree on a deal, and Biden loses his chance to blame somebody else for the economic fiasco he has unleashed.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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