ADVERTISEMENT

Grocery shop with me to check Biden’s nutty inflationary claims

By now, you’ve heard about President Joe Biden’s interview on “60 Minutes,” in which he declared the pandemic “over” and unequivocally said, “yes,” the United States will come to Taiwan’s defense if China attacks. He also made questionable statements about inflation.

As CBS interviewer Scott Pelley noted the dire state of the economy and noted that “people are shocked by their grocery bills,” Biden said that “the inflation rate is going up an inch every month.” To give you the rest of the flavor of the exchange:

Biden: [You guys] suddenly it’s like, “Oh my God, it’s 8.2 percent.”

Pelley: This is the highest rate of inflation in 40 years, Mr. President.

BIDEN: I understand that. But guess what we are. We are in a situation where it has not gone up for the past few months. It was barely there – it was even.

Here it is important to understand what Biden is demanding. The inflation rate was 8.3 percent in August, after being 8.5 percent in July and 9.1 percent in June. When the president says inflation “didn’t increase” and was “mostly flat,” he’s talking about these fractional changes — and he hopes you don’t know what they mean, and he hopes his dogs in the corporate media don’t explain them. to you.

But when we talk about inflation and how it affects prices, the baseline is not 8 percent or whatever the rate was last month. In other words, we do not expect August inflation to be 0.2 percentage points lower than July and 0.8 percentage points lower than June. These monthly numbers represent year-over-year changes, meaning each report describes how prices for that month compare to prices from the same time last year — and they’ve all increased significantly.

ADVERTISEMENT

To that end, I think it’s fair to say that month-to-month inflation “hasn’t gone up,” but that means inflation. always bad under this administration. But the goal is clearly not to keep inflation at “broadly flat” 40-year highs; it’s a radical takedown of it.

But even those gross figures of 8 and 9 percent are misleading—and by a significant margin—for essential needs like energy and food. As Pelley puts it, Americans are “shocked” every time they go to the grocery store.

But how bad is it? Is the increase in groceries really 8 percent or a few cents per item? Are prices, as Biden says, “not at all” rising?

I went to the grocery store and ran some numbers, and I was surprised at what I found.

Midterm to midterm

I stopped at one of the nearby grocery chains, not as cheap as Aldi, but not a rip-off on the highway at Harris Teeter. I’d say it’s comparable to a good Pick ‘N Save with multiple brand options for each item.

On individual purchases, I stocked up on staples (if the store had department store brands), some of which were “on sale.” I have documented the typical price of each item. Then, using data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), I compared those prices to food costs over a comparable period in recent memory: 2018, the last midterms under President Donald Trump, a year and a half into his presidency. and under strong political incentives to keep Americans happy.

I have avoided products, most of which the BLS does not keep consistent records of and have such a short shelf life that prices vary. However, I checked other essentials in different categories: baking like flour and sugar, meat, eggs, cheese and other staples like bread and pasta. After running the numbers, say an 8 percent increase would be welcome. The actual hikes were insane.

Milk, eggs and bacon

Let’s start with breakfast like you do. In September 2018 bacon It costs $5.50 per pound, according to BLS averages. Today, these delicious pork strips fetch about $7.99 per pound for your modern brand.

That’s a 45 percent increase in prices, almost all of which occurred after Biden took office.

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Milk even worse. In 2018, a gallon of skim milk costs $2.98. Grocery store milk now costs $4.89, an increase of nearly 70 percent.

Milk – cheese, cream, cream for morning coffee, etc. as an introduction to many other foods. So when the price of milk goes up, it has a big impact on the prices of many other edible products.

Bureau of Labor Statistics

The other two non-specialty brands available, specific to the Midwest, cost $4.99 and $5.39 per gallon. The latter was the last on the shelf, an all-too-familiar sight in Biden’s America.

Egg one of the worst criminals. Americans paid $1.65 for a dozen A large eggs in 2018. These eggs are now $3.49 for 12.

I’ll give you a math lesson. That’s an increase of about 112 percent, matching the current president’s time in office. The cost has more than doubled.

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Pasta, bread and baking

Bread and pasta were reliable inexpensive staples of the American diet. So meals for low-income families include PB&Js for lunch and spaghetti for dinner. But they are not so cheap anymore.

Wheat bread In 2018, it was $1.95 per pound. Now its price is 3.19 dollars, which has increased by 64 percent.

cost white bread skyrocketed. Four years ago, it shipped customers just $1.29 a pound. Today it is $2.79. This is a 116 percent spike

And when there is a price Spaghetti From $1.20 per pound in September 2018, American pasta now costs $1.84, more than doubling in price.

Speaking of going half off, that goes for the price as well sugar. Four years ago, it was only 58 cents a pound. Now it is 87.

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Flour Even worse with a 70 percent increase. In 2018, it averaged 47 cents per pound, but today it has reached 80.

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Meat and cheese

A constant complaint among Americans is the cost of meat, and it’s easy to see why. The price of some consumers’ most reliable sources of protein has risen significantly.

Chicken breast Averaged $2.90 per pound during Trump’s midterms. During the Biden midterms, they run $4.99 per pound. That’s a 72 percent increase for one of the most basic, versatile and affordable poultry proteins. The upward trend began when the Biden administration took over the reins of the US economy.

Ground beef, another staple, has risen from $3.74 per pound in 2018 to $6.29 per pound now. No, it’s not organic. It’s a good thing the summer season is coming to an end, because these foods have become very expensive – hamburgers are 68 percent more expensive than they were a few years ago.

The cheese because the top on these burgers has risen a bit too. Cheddar cheese was $5.13 per pound in 2018, but has now risen to about $6.00, an increase of about 17 percent.

Desire

Junk food isn’t exempt from Biden’s inflation either, so if you have a salty craving, expect to pay more to satisfy it — at least twice as much.

In September 2018 potato chips It was $4.43 for 16 oz. Now they cost even more for an 8oz bag.

That’s $9.18 for a 16-ounce serving of potato chips at my grocery store today, a 107 percent increase for the simple pleasure.

Bureau of Labor Statistics

So … “Barely”?

That’s a lot of numbers, but it’s safe to say that single-digit inflation isn’t keeping up, and you can’t describe prices as “inching up.” In fact, among these key items in my shopping survey, prices rose to the overall average 70 percent Since Trump’s midterms!

Of course, it goes without saying that groceries in some parts of the country are cheaper than in the Midwestern city where I live, and more expensive in others. And of course, consumers can sometimes find brands that are much more affordable than some of the above, as they can find brands that are much more expensive. But this is the 2018 BLS statistic “U.S. City Average[s],” meaning it’s fair and accurate to compare them to mid-tier brands in this American city in 2022 — and the comparison is scary.

The left-wing media and Biden’s apologists reply that the prices are the fault of the virus or Vladimir Putin or malicious corporations, but the administration’s reckless fiscal policies speak for themselves. Other presidents don’t seem to need to deal with geopolitical forces or crises beyond their control. Everything from airborne viruses to Twitter was his fault when Trump was in office. Now that Biden is commander-in-chief, it’s only right that the direct consequences of his policy failures be laid at his feet.

So consider this fact-checking. Biden’s claim that inflation has risen “almost completely” deserves “pants-on-fire” status and all the Pinocchios. But Americans don’t need a fact check. They had just come home from the grocery store and were shocked by what they saw.