Joe Biden walks away from inflation question

Joe Biden walks away from inflation question

By Monica Showalter
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If there’s anything out there to tell us about mind of Joe Biden with the mess he’s made in a mere 100 days, take a look at this story from the Daily Caller:

President Joe Biden ignored a question from a reporter about rising prices in the U.S. and simply walked away.

The 46th President spoke at a press conference Wednesday and was asked by a reporter, “should Americans be worried about inflation, sir?” Biden turned and walked away.

 

 

This, from the ass who said he’d been told by … someone … that he’s not supposed to answer questions, but does so, anyway. He didn’t this time.

Yet, to paraphrase Joe, it’s kind of a big … deal.

It’s a whopper of an issue, in fact, to be skipping out on, because it’s flaring up everywhere now — in fuel shortages, in fresh fruit and vegetable prices, in auto prices, in lumber prices — and in the 700-point plunge of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which happened precisely because of inflation.

Here’s The Week, citing Marketwatch on Yahoo! News:

A Labor Department report published Wednesday indicated that April’s inflation accelerated “at its fastest pace in more than 12 years,” reports CNBC — and car prices saw some of the most dramatic surges, with used vehicles reaching “new all-time highs,” writes MarketWatch.

The report showed a 4.2 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index from last year, overshooting initial Dow Jones estimates of 3.6 percent.

Think it’s going to stop there? Think again.

If Biden were decent, or even self-preserving, then inflation is the one thing he ought to be speaking out on and more importantly, fighting ferociously by changing course in his government spending hog wallow. It’s one thing that most certainly will grip the public’s attention once people notice the price hikes and it’s not a thing he can walk away from with no public fallout, as he can his scandals. Here’s a 1997 study on the horrors of inflation and the effects on the public from the then-nonpartisan Boston Fed:

Inflation is the most commonly used economic term in the popular media. A Nexis search in 1996 found 872,000 news stories over the past twenty years that used the word inflation. “Unemployment” ran a distant second. ¶ Public concern about inflation generally heats up in step with inflation itself. Though economists do not always agree about when inflation starts to interfere with market signals, the public tends to express serious alarm once the inflation rate rises above 5 or 6 percent. ¶ Public opinion polls show minimal concern about rising prices during the early 1960s, as inflation was low. Concern rose with inflation in the late 1960s and early 1970s. When inflation twice surged to double-digit levels in the mid and late 1970s, Americans named it public enemy number one. Since the late 1980s, public anxiety has abated along with inflation itself.

Yet even when inflation is low, Americans tend to perceive a morality tale in its effects. A recent survey by Yale economist Robert Shiller found that many Americans view differences in prices over time as a reflection of fundamental changes in the values of our society, rather than of purely economic forces.

It’s a soul-crushing tax on the public, one that Biden can’t escape consequences from given his government spending practices, even as he claims he’ll never raise taxes on the middle class. He just did with this one, and the little guy public is eventually going to know it. For Joe, whose spending is like a bus with no brakes, how convenient.

Inflation brought on by high government spending and money-printing, as well as low interest rates, is a corrosive destroyer of currency, savings, and value. If it’s accompanied by state price controls, it’s also accompanied by shortages. Just read the basics at the Khan Academy, since Joe won’t.

It’s a monster that eats at the soul of a nation, occupies its every moment, and feels like a smothering smog. It was conquered by the great Ronald Reagan after the failures of the Jimmy Carter presidency, yet now, it’s finally gotten loose again. What a coincidence that Biden was last seen meeting with Jimmy Carter as if the latter were his idol.

Elsewhere, inflation is the dread of presidents; the toppling of governments; the capitals on fire. Biden ought to be scared as hell of this.

I know — I’ve seen such inflation and currency devaluation effects myself as a foreign correspondent firsthand during the 1990s, in places such as Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Ecuador, and Argentina. I’ve seen real horror shows firsthand, around the time also when the Balkans, Russia, and Zimbabwe were also nightmares. I actually broke the story of the first bank runs in Russia in the mid-90s from a phone interview from Jersey City when I was with Dow Jones; a banker in Moscow describing the bank lines extending in real-time from his high-rise window.

But Biden isn’t, he’s just walking away, hoping it will go away if the press loses interest, and nobody will really notice. It’s the same as his border-surge response — “not a crisis.”

Maybe that’s because he’s the one who brought this new inflation monster not seen since the days of Jimmy Carter’s 1970s, through his gargantuan government spending, coupled with near-zero interest rates from his leftist Fed. It’s now worsened by his Middle Eastern failures, with the OPEC cartel springing into action with production cuts to raise prices, something that never happened under President Trump.

Leftist economist Paul Krugman, while drawing the wrong conclusions as usual (never take stock tips from Krugman), equivocates the Biden economic spending surge to the macroeconomic equivalent to a mid-sized war. See his charts here.

Theodore Dalrymple, writing in City Journal in 2011, put his finger, with eerie prescience, on why inflation running unchecked is a problem, yet also why Biden probably is all for it, indifferent to its depredations:

But asset inflation—ultimately, the debasement of the currency—as the principal source of wealth corrodes the character of people. It not only undermines the traditional bourgeois virtues but makes them ridiculous and even reverses them. Prudence becomes imprudence, thrift becomes improvidence, sobriety becomes mean-spiritedness, modesty becomes lack of ambition, self-control becomes betrayal of the inner self, patience becomes lack of foresight, steadiness becomes inflexibility: all that was wisdom becomes foolishness. And circumstances force almost everyone to join in the dance.

Except in one circumstance, that is: the possession of a salary and a pension that the government promises, implicitly or explicitly, to index against inflation. This is the situation of public-sector workers and is a pyramid scheme, too, perhaps the biggest of the lot, since events may require the government to renege on its obligations. But meantime, such employment will seem a safe haven, and the temptation will be for government to expand it, with the happy consequence—for itself—of increasing dependence. And dependence, too, undermines character.

It is no coincidence that the Western leader most worried about a new bout of inflation is German chancellor Angela Merkel. If there is one thing that Germans agree about, it is the necessity—social and political as much as economic—of a sound currency. The hyperinflation of the 1920s brought about a German change in mentality as great as, or greater than, the one caused by World War I, with what disastrous consequences 50 million dead might attest if they had voice. The solidity of the deutsche mark was the great German achievement of the second half of the twentieth century.

Inflation is not a bogey for everyone—not for those who wish to restructure society, for example, or for those who want government control of ever more aspects of people’s lives. But for the rest of us, the consequences of its full-blown return are not likely to be good: for inflation is not an economic problem only, or even mainly, but one that afflicts the human soul.

Sound like the ‘great reset’ to you? No wonder Biden is indifferent to the soul-corroding threat of inflation, it does so much for him that he actually wants done. The only thing that is standing in the way of his plan in fact is the bad publicity from it, the protests of the little guy, the inclination to put the blame where it belongs, on Biden’s massive failures in all of 100 days, which is why this election-fraudster is now trying to tamp the publicity down.

Based on what he’s doing and what his aims are, inflation sounds like exactly what Joe Biden wants.

Via:

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