Select Page

Inflation is Baaaack … and Biden is Still Fibbing

Inflation is Baaaack … and Biden is Still Fibbing

The inflation President Biden said would not happen … happened.  He then said it would be mild and short lived.  It turned out to be neither.  More recently he claims inflation is declining.

It is not.  Actually, inflation is not back.  It never left us.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released the July figures in the form of the Consumer Price Index.  The inflation rate across the board was 0.2 percent.  That does not sound like much, but when looking at the impact over the past 12 months, you get a 3.2 percent rise. That us 50 percent higher than the top acceptable rate, according to the Federal Reserve. Putting aside all the partisan analyses and explanations from the so-called media experts, it means that prices are going up — including gas, food and housing. Gas has already surged to over $4.00 per gallon in many parts of the country.  It is up 40 cents in the past three weeks at my local service station – to $3.85 a gallon. 

Gas prices are important because they impact on us directly – and indirectly because they impact on the prices of everything we purchase.Inflation continues to outpace wage gains.  That means the dollar buys less.  You have less purchasing power.  Some say inflation is like a tax on our income.  Not really.  When Uncle Sam takes our money, as taxes, we have an expectation of some benefit – dubious as it may be. 

Inflation simply robs us of our wealth without any benefit.The latest numbers fly in the face of Biden’s claims about winning the war against inflation – and all that conjecture about a “soft landing.”  It suggests that all those increases in the interest rate are not working as promised – and we may need another round or two. We also need to keep in mind that when Biden says he is reducing inflation – as in the misnamed Inflation Reduction Act – he means reducing the RATE of month-to-month INCREASES. 

Reducing the rate of inflation does not reduce prices.  It keeps them moving up.  

In a moment of candor, Biden admitted to a group of donors that the Inflation Reduction Act was not designed primarily to reduce inflation. It a spending bill to address climate change and healthcare.  Or worse.  New York Times columnist Bret Stephens wrote:”I agree that the bill is misnamed. It probably would have been better called the West Virginia Special Perks Act, after all the goodies Joe Manchin stuffed into it for his home state, or the Elon Musk Additional Enrichment Act, given all the tax rebates for buying electric vehicles.

“The Wharton Business budget model and the Congressional Budget Office both determined that the Inflation Reduction Act will not actually reduce inflation.  Biden has been consistently lying about inflation because it goes against his rose-colored glasses Bidenomics narrative.  The title of that bill was a Bidn lie from the get-go.The July figures are not the worst inflationary increases the American consumer has experienced in recent years, but it IS an increase in the rate of inflation.  It represents one more month that the fight against inflation has gone the wrong way.  And one more time that Biden’s claims about inflation have been egregiously wrong.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

11 Comments

  1. frank stetson

    Dashed hopes that Horist waits until closer to the election before unleashing his spin-dogs of war with unhinged warnings that the sky is falling. This time he’s thrashing about inflation using voodoo economics and magic math to prove points that don’t yet exist based on his analysis of a single datapoint. Where’s Hunter?

    What has happened is that the latest inflation report came in at 3.2%, the previous one was 3.0%, so a 0.2% increase. Leading economists guessed 3.3% so this is a 0.1% bluebird of happiness in regard to forecasts, a point lost on Horist. Of course, a single datapoint does not a trend make. Never has. Especially after experiencing 12 months of steady decline, a trend that took us from 9.1% to 3.0%, a 6.1%-point drop which greater than a 60% decrease or 5% per month or 1.25% per week.

    A 0.2% increase is worthy of increased monitoring, but not the unmitigated disaster to consumer consumption or as created by Biden lies as hyped by Horist. Nor is it foreshadowing giant Fed interest increases, there are other factors at play so we really just don’t know

    Horist then offers some “interesting” statistics saying: “The inflation rate across the board was 0.2 percent.” Cool, mission accomplished, vote Biden :>). Or typo? The inflation rate did INCREASE by 0.2%. Horist continues: “That does not sound like much, but when looking at the impact over the past 12 months, you get a 3.2 percent rise.” Inflation a year ago was 9.1%, the rise was 0.2% to a total current inflation rate of 3.2%, what Horist wrote seems is just wrong, another typo perhaps.

    This some weird stuff.

    • larry Horist

      Frank Stetson …. you are just offering more spin … dubious narratives … misapplication of data … and your usual obsessive contrarian desire to attack me with snarky jabs. I bet you stay up at night thinking about how you can outflank me. I am flattered that you have made me your reason for being. If attacking me gives you a sense of self satisfaction … enjoy.

      As to the issue, you are just peddling Biden’s garbage that a reduction in the rate of inflation is a reduction in inflation .. or a reduction in costs. Not sure if you made up the part about “leading economists” predicting a 3.3 percent increase. I find that leading economists tend to have differing prognostications. And their opinion is less important than the fact that inflation went up … period.

      I find your closing sentence an excellent summary of you posting.

  2. frank stetson

    Mr Horist. I could care less about attacking you. I like to research, to think out loud by writing, and PBP — not Horist — allows me to do that on the issues of the day and to try to keep you fine folks in check. No, I don’t stay up late although sometimes I do store for publication at a later time. I do this in between other pc activities which are a bit heavy right now. It’s a break, not an obsession.

    ” That’s a touch milder than the 3.3% inflation rate economists expected to see and down sharply from last summer’s peak above 9%” or something like that is in almost every piece of coverage sans yours. Yes, it’s an average I am sure.

    I am still having issues with your numbers, the only one you addressed, albeit poorly, was the 3.3. This time you added: “Biden’s garbage that a reduction in the rate of inflation is a reduction in inflation .. or a reduction in costs.” A reduction in the rate in inflation is a reduction in inflation. AH, yes it is. Reduction in costs —- not sure where you dredged that up from, no mention of costs in my comment.

    You refuted my entire piece using generalities, personal attacks and the only fact or number you note is the 3.3% which is spot on and can be sourced from multiple places. You have not refuted any other fact which is weird since a number pointed out errors I think you made.

    It’s getting weirder.

    But I will take your lack of factual pushback to be confirmation of my comment. Thanks.

    • larry Horist

      Frank Stetson … You need to take a look at yourself. What makes you think you I have the time or the desire to refute your every erroneous statement? I am not your debating partner as you seem to see me. That is YOUR obsession. You crave my responses to your every bit of misinformation and baseless spin. You seem to crave bickering over your childish and senseless insults and snarky comments. Frankly, I do not feel the need to correct your every comment. I trust readers to see them for what they are. I suppose I should blame myself for feeding your distorted really and obsessive behavior by responding as much as do … I shall try to improve.

      • frank stetson

        Of course you can’t respond. You made simple errors and can’t own up.

        “The inflation rate across the board was 0.2 percent.” BUSTED
        “That does not sound like much, but when looking at the impact over the past 12 months, you get a 3.2 percent rise.” BUSTED
        “Biden’s garbage that a reduction in the rate of inflation is a reduction in inflation” UH, what?

        Respond? You can’t respond. Cuz you can’t fix wrong.

        • larry Horist

          Fran Stetson … In your obsession, you have created some sort of contest between you and me in which I am required (in you mind) to respond to your every insult and nonsense. And you make your self the judge of the results with “busted” or claims of victory when I refuse to play your head game. I am not in your game — and I refuse to play because I consider you an obsessive idiot. You are just not that intelligent or knowledgeable. In terms of your fantasy game, you are playing with yourself. If that makes you feel good … carry on.

    • Dan tyree

      Frank you and I know that Larry must remind people that Biden is a failure and a criminal. Don’t be afraid to embrace the truth Frank. I’m tired of people being afraid to speak up. Biden and his idiot son are crooks and disgrace to America

  3. frank stetson

    Horist says inflation means higher prices, wow, and then showing us how gas is up “in many parts of the country” because “it is up 40 cents in the past three weeks at my local service station – to $3.85 a gallon.” That’s his personal datapoint or anecdotal data point unique to the Horist experience in South Florida by an old man driving some specific make and model. Pretty much meaningless as a barometer of the US price of gas. In NJ, I don’t even care about the current gas price, my hybrid gets 50 mpg. In NJ, we pay $3.71 because of Biden and being a Democratic state. Kidding, but sure that’s true: wink-wink, nudge-nudge. More important, it’s up $.06 from a month ago. Inflation alert: I still don’t care, it’s six cents. Horist pays half the gas tax I do, and NJ still pays less, DeSantis.

    Prices are always worse somewhere. Fact of life. If you wanted to know inflation rates for sub components like gas in the CPI, the folks who generation the inflation report always provide them for anyone who wants to know. Horist does not have to guess. The FED says: “In July 2023, energy cost fell 12.5%, less than a 16.7% drop in June, with prices declining at a smaller pace for fuel oil (-26.5% vs -36.6%), gasoline (-19.9% vs -26.5%) and utility gas service (-13.7% vs -18.6%). Also, cost of apparel (3.2% vs 3.1%), and transportation services (9% vs 8.2%) increased more. (ooops, that one will affect NJ, FL does not have many so they’re only bothered by not having them: DeSantis :>). On the other hand, electricity prices rose 3%, below 5.4% in June and inflation slowed for food (4.9% vs 5.7%), shelter (7.7% vs 7.8%) and new vehicles (3.5% vs 4.1%). The cost of medical services was down 1.5% (vs -0.8%) and prices of used cars and trucks declined 5.6% (vs -5.2%). Meanwhile, core inflation which excludes food and energy eased to 4.7% from 4.8% in June, below expectations of 4.8%.” That’s a lot of variation in a lot of different markets and a national gas story far different than the story from Mr. Horist’s neighborhood where he is getting screwed right up the gas DeSantistan. Read any good banned books lately? Found beneficiaries of slavery all around you?

    Fact is, inflation hits differently for different markets and geographic locations; timing of changes is different by market too. Always has been. And there is the economic concept of price stickiness that says price increases and decreases are resistant to change and not entirely fluid to expected shifts towards optimal pricing. My own experience notes prices are more “sticky” against downwards pressures like lowering inflation, but that’s just me.

    Bottom line: after a year’s decline in the annualized inflation rate, we’ve got an uptick, a datapoint, a blip. The sky is not falling but attention must be paid. The trend is still an impressive solid decline. The next datapoint will be very important to assess whether a blip or a change in direction calling for additional interest-hikes. Horist is jumping the gun while simultaneously jumping the shark too. Wait until the next report.

    A 2% inflation target is the goal and we have 1.2% more to go. It’s a goal, not a mandate, the economy does not die if we are not quite there. There may not even be pain. It depends on a lot of variables and which market(s) inflation hits. One can also expect price declines to lag inflation rate declines. Same with increases. One can expect blips and maybe even set-backs to our attempts to lower inflation. Using interest rates to affect money supply is not a direct cause and effect. Rather than cutting to the chase and affecting the actual money supply, it’s more like steering an outboard motorboat by affecting the cost of money, not money itself. Turn the boat left, bring it back a bit right, now a bit left…. Not quite a straight line, but we can get there with a number of course corrections emulating a straight line. No one would call this report a major call-to-arms. Inflation is never good, but at 3.2%, not quite the election issue of the sky is falling scenario. Overall, it’s a mixed results economy with a number of highlights and not so high of lights. However, as part of a “are you better off than four years ago” strategy, any inflation is certainly is not a Biden positive for a lot of folks still hurting in this economy of mixed results. My anecdote is “that’s not me Larry, I drive a hybrid and I am fine” which matters didley if you are not. And many still are not recovered and no amount of positive stories, or long-winded explanations, gonna change that feeling.

    As far as the IRA — yeah, dumb name, not targeting inflation, fodder for sure for political fun —- but still a good package and I am 100% for incenting EV’s even if Musk is a horse’s ass of a human. IMO :>)

    Finally, as an election issue, it looks like two choices: Biden or Trump. Also known as “borrow” and “borrow more.” Republicans can continue to blame covid and the evil empire of China for Trump’s economic disaster of extreme borrowing, but he was in deep debt kimchee well before covid, resulting in Trump owing the most current debt of any US President. Biden pales in comparison, but still needs to prune more spending. Trump borrowed a lot in year one, his tax cuts were total debt for year two and three since they did not return the GDP growth projected by Trump, and then covid for year four. He sucked, debt-wise, in every year, in every way. More important, do you really believe he will change? Or just do it all over again, harder and faster? Again, worthy of notice, not worthy of fear over a single datapoint, part of the economic mix resulting in “do you feel better than four years ago” which, given all the free money, will always be tougher for someone who borrows less, invests more, and looking to solid gains versus the quick fix, little gains, other guy.

    All of us need to pitch in, to do more to lower the debt, and Biden is trying. Trump borrowed more than any other President in history, Trump is on record for believing he can write-down the debt with a wink of an eye, promised you the world for tax cuts to the rich and you got a fist full of dollars, more debt than ever, and very little long-term economic benefits. And he will do it again, harder and faster. Biden is spending less than Trump, he is tapering the deficits, but as Horist notes, Biden is still spending too much compared to any President except Trump. Not exactly a high bar comparison.

    • larry Horist

      Reader Alert: Frank Stetson is again padding disinformation as the obsessed Horist contrarian. He says gas is up 6 cents a gallon. That is not true. Here is south Florida it is up 50 cents a gallon in the past couple weeks. The rise in gas prices has been a news story as of late. Anyone with a car knows that Frank is full of it. He says gas prices were down in July. He should be remined that this is August and gas prices are UP significantly. The rest of his comments are just his repetitious bullcrap and not worth responding to..

      • frank stetson

        READER ALERT: Horist can’t get laid in a whorehouse with a pocket full of hundreds. This time he whines “He says gas is up 6 cents a gallon. That is not true. Here is south Florida it is up 50 cents a gallon in the past couple weeks.” What a dumb shit thing to say in a dumb shit manner. I said: “In NJ, we pay $3.71……More important, it’s up $.06 from a month ago.” So, in his brilliance he says I am “padding disinformation as the obsessed Horist contrarian.” Hard to tell, but I think he means “peddling” not “padding” but hard to tell given his command of the language as he proves that my personal experience at a particular gas station in NW NJ is a lie based on his personal experience at a gas station in South Florida covering a couple of weeks. They are anecdotes’, Larry, as such, they are both correct and valid for us, but meaningless to assess gas prices across the nation. It’s a logic failure, not an observational failure.

        His research methods are entirely adequate.

        Yesterday, AAA provided a readout on the national prices, as shown below. As expected, both Horist’s and my anecdotes are wrong against the nation’s average. No shit Sherlock.

        BUSTED —- anecdotes are personal observations, not statistics.

  4. frank stetson

    UPDATE:
    Horist is right on his anecdotal gas price increase as being an increase across the nation. AAA reported yesterday, average US gas prices rising to $3.85; with 11 States over 4. Over a 28 cent rise in past month, 32 cents since July 4th, and the highest price since last October. Reasons are Russian and the Saudi’s cutting supply PLUS a few US refineries shutting down because of the heat caused by climate change: ironic — ain’t that? Saudi’s claim they will cut at least until September, happy Labor Day, not. NJ gas prices spiked last week also with gas rising by over a dime after I penned my first gas comment to Horist. At 50 mpg, I still give it little notice….but my truck feels the pain at the pump for a $60 fill up not seen for a long time where I noticed my anecdotal price was up over ten cents in a week.