Americans Don't Believe Joe Biden's Data

Peter St. Onge Peter St. Onge

Peter St. Onge

February 16th, 2024 Comments

Why are Americans so down on the economy when Joe Biden's own statisticians say their boss is doing a fine job?

Recently the Wall Street Journal published a 3000 word essay on that very question – that's 10 pages paperback. Note the Journal has been among Joe Biden's most loyal cheerleaders, so one might read this as almost an apology.

They kick off noting that Americans are spending briskly, inflation has come down from the Biden highs – although new numbers say it's rising again. And GDP just turned in a solid 3.1% for the year. Official unemployment has been below 4% for 24 straight months, the longest stretch since the 1960's.

Americans Aren’t Liking Bidenomics

And yet in opinion surveys Americans almost universally think Biden's doing a crap job, with just one in 7 Americans saying they're better off since Joe was installed. Indeed, Biden has the worst approval ratings for a third-year president in history – suck on that, Jimmy Carter.

Since Joe Biden has become president, would you say that you are financially... (Chart)

The Journal ventures some guesses. Including that a college degree is no longer a golden ticket to the middle class, the endless wars, and the "Uninspiring" leadership and a government "widely seen as dysfunctional" – the border and America's crime-ravaged urban hell-holes being exhibit A.

Of course, they miss the big one, which is that all those numbers are fake.

Not necessarily fake as in they made up the numbers, although there's a fair amount of that lurking in things like seasonal adjustment or hedonic adjustment for inflation.

No, more like fake as in the statistical series are cherry-picked, ignoring the many elephants in Joe Biden's economy.

Lies and Statistics: Jobs

Take unemployment. 3.7% is stellar until you recall that unemployment doesn't count people who have dropped out of the workforce. It only counts people actively looking for work.

So all those fentanyl addicts sleeping on the streets of Philadelphia are, statistically, retired. They're not unemployed, officially.

Neither are the 6 million plus Americans who dropped out of the labor force since Covid, likely forever.

Count them and you're closer to 7% unemployment. Which is actually pretty bad – comparable to the lead-in to 2008.

It's similar to GDP – the other big economic number. That impressive GDP is driven by federal deficits buying growth and soaring social spending. Both of which are bankrupting -- they're not making us rich like GDP is supposed. Without them, we’re stagnant.

US Consumer Debt Climbs to $17.3 Trillion (Chart)

Again with consumer spending, fueled by soaring levels of personal debt, rampant doom spending, and now jumps in defaults.

Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (Chart)

The CPI has skyrocketed since 2021.

And, finally, the big one: inflation.

I've mentioned in recent videos how the progress in inflation has entirely been one-offs from supply chains and energy, while underlying inflation kept marching almost twice the Fed's target and now rising.

So, yes, gas has come down since Ukraine kicked off and you can actually get a washing machine delivered, but underlying prices have kept on marching in the dark.

Put it together, and Americans aren't spending because they're optimistic for the future. They're borrowing to keep their head above water.

What’s Next

Granting that Americans are discouraged partly because they're led by a moron who starts wars in between drools while importing every welfare case who might vote democrat, it’s more than that.

It’s that they can see with their own eyes that the “Everything is Fine” narrative is built on lies. Built on statistics that are very carefully crafted to hide, not to inform.

It's progress for mainstream media to even consider the possibility that Americans might have a point when they say things are tough. Still, we've got a ways to go until the media fully understands how much it has been gaslit by a regime that's given up on serving the people.

Peter St. Onge

About the Author:

Peter St. Onge writes articles about Economics and Freedom. He's an economist at the Heritage Foundation, a Fellow at the Mises Institute, and a former professor at Taiwan’s Feng Chia University. His website is