President Joe Biden and his administration often refer to the so-called Big Lie of former President Donald Trump. The punditry class can debate this subject, but there is very little doubt that a parade of big lies is emanating from the White House, from the economy to the border. When the United States slipped into a brief recession in the first half of 2022, and media outlets took their marching orders to redefine the term, it became clear that anyone possessing even a modicum of integrity would have to fight the tenet of the mendacious statist: The bigger the lie, the more people will believe it.
Joe Biden and Jobs
Biden and Democrats cannot help but tout the current labor market. One cannot blame the rulers: unemployment below 4%, persistent monthly job creation, and solid nominal wage growth. This is an exceptional record on the surface. However, grabbing even a spoon to dig underneath would yield an entirely different situation in the jobs arena. Liberty Nation has extensively reported the many facets of the monthly non-farm payrolls report, showcasing the innumerable challenges impacting the US economy.
For instance, it would be difficult to find the administration’s allies in the press reporting that the nation has been shedding full-time jobs over the past year. In February 2023, there were 133.23 million full-time positions. Today, there are roughly 133.13 million full-time jobs. At the same time, there has been a spike in part-time employment, rising more than 6% since June.
What about real (inflation-adjusted) wage and earnings growth? The former has dropped nearly 3% since February 2021, while the latter has declined more than 5% since the record in October 2020. The cost-of-living crisis is so severe in America that a near-record number of people work two or more jobs to survive. Even if White House officials are accurate when they say wages are climbing, inflation has been so bad over the last three years that the cumulative effect has eroded gains.
Many economists are skeptical of what the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports. The establishment survey, which fosters duplication in the figures, has some wondering if the numbers are manufactured. This suspicion about the federal agency’s methodology or integrity is amplified when the household portion of the monthly jobs data highlights lost employment.
Did you know that the local Walmart is why the consumer price index (CPI) hit 9.1% in June 2022, gasoline prices are above $3 a gallon, and cumulative inflation has been above 18% since 2021? This has been one of Biden’s many explanations for why inflation has been ubiquitous in the world’s largest economy. Call it corporate greed or greedflation. Whatever the case, the argument falls short of logic for several reasons.
First, the grievance has been that Corporate America is making record profits because businesses are squeezing their customers. This might sound accurate, but the reality is that supermarket chains, for example, are enduring tighter profit margins. It is estimated that for a customer’s $25 grocery basket, the chain is earning $1 in profit. Like everyone else, companies must deal with various higher costs, be it labor or energy.
Second, it is fascinating that businesses pick and choose when to be greedy and when to be altruistic. If mom-and-pop gas stations and Big Oil are odious thieves out to steal every nickel from motorists, why have there been such immense fluctuations in gas prices for the last half-century? Were they evil heading into the 1980s when the average price ventured toward $1? Did they stop being iniquitous when the typical cost slipped below $1 in the late 1990s? Were they being charitable when gas prices tanked during the Great Recession? Were they monstrous when prices topped $5 in June 2022?
Third, because the Federal Reserve inflated the money supply by 45% during the pandemic, Americans’ purchasing power significantly eroded, meaning it requires more units of currency to purchase the same amount of goods and services. Even Fed Governor Christopher Waller conceded that expansionary fiscal policy fueled the massive boost to the CPI.
In the end, Biden demanded that companies collude to decrease prices. What is fascinating about this call to action is that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) would typically have a fit if it is found corporations are conspiring to suppress prices because this would, according to bureaucrats’ longstanding belief, produce monopolies. Of course, when prices rise, businesses are accused of price gouging. If they stagnate, the private sector is told to have greater competition.
Is the border crisis an economic issue? Upon closer examination of what is transpiring at the US-Mexico line, it seems that governments incentivize illegal immigrants. For instance, New York City is launching a $53 million scheme, giving free credit cards to families staying at hotels to purchase food and necessities. It will start as a trial project, but officials say it could be expanded to more migrants across the city.
Democratic lawmakers purport that illegals are needed in the US economy because nobody else will pick produce, leaving fruits and vegetables to rot in the ground. It is a tactic to encourage more Americans to endorse the practice of sneaking into the country.
Perhaps the biggest whopper of all is the administration’s flip-flop. For years, Biden, his team, and their advocates in the Fourth Estate assured the public that there was no border crisis unfolding despite the flood of evidence.
In April 2021, the White House, including Press Secretary Jen Psaki, dismissed the idea that the country’s southern border was in a crisis. In July 2021, Politico asserted that “it’s not a border crisis. It’s a climate crisis.” In September 2022, Vice President Kamala Harris declared the “border is secure.” If celebrities’ opinions matter to you, Rob Reiner wrote in 2019 that “there is no crisis at the border.” Then he shifted his position to blame Trump and House Republicans for “our border problems” five years later. The latest punchline came from Biden on Feb. 6 when he said, “The only reason the border is not secure is Donald Trump.” Even if this were accurate, the incumbent has had three years to do something, including two years of controlling the House and Senate, choosing to instead abstain from the topic.
A Cavalcade of Falsehoods
X has showcased the great lengths the administration will go to espouse falsehoods heading into the 2024 election, from employment to the border. No matter how many Community Notes these social media posts receive, the Biden team likely hopes it will exhaust the authentic fact-checkers and continue to share incorrect information without being called on it. When the media outlets try desperately to prop up the incumbent as if this were a Weekend at Bernie’s film, it will be challenging for voters to separate truth from fiction. As the line in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof goes, “There ain’t nothin’ more powerful than the odor of mendacity!”