Select Page

Yellen hits campaign trail to peddle Biden’s rosy economy

Yellen hits campaign trail to peddle Biden’s rosy economy

It is all a matter of what issues the voters decide to decide upon.  Republicans will be pushing the border crisis, crime, inflation and Biden’s mental acuity – or lack thereof.  Democrats will be trying to get voters thinking about the economy (Democrat version), abortion and Trump as the Grinch who will steal democracy. 

In view of public opinion about the economy – and which candidate has done a better job – you would not expect Democrats to sail into that headwind.  But the perception of the economy has historically been the most significant issue in determining the vote.  So sayeth Democrat strategist James Carville.  Biden has no choice but to try to turn around public perception.  That is no small task since the public is not seeing the economy as some abstract issue.  Their opinions are based on what they see and suffer for real every day. 

In order to recast public opinion on the economy, Team Biden is sending out Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. That makes sense.  After all, she is the most senior spokesperson on economic issues.  The problem is that once she presses the campaign button, she is not as trustworthy as she might otherwise be.  Her job now is not to provide objective public information regarding the economy, but to sell the political narrative – and they are quite different things. 

We saw that in her recent foray into Detroit.  She spun the disappointing inflation numbers as “a tad higher” than the experts expected.  She was not a happy camper over the reaction in the markets – which suggested that those with skin (money) in the game saw the recent hike in inflation as more than a “tad” of a problem. 

Yellen complained to the Detroit Economic Club, saying it was “… a tremendous mistake to focus on minor fluctuations and to have failed to see the longer-term and bigger trends.”  Good advice, but the longer-term and bigger trends have shown a huge inflation increase in prices since her boss took office. 

She said that “inflation is moving decisively down.”  That is a strange analysis shortly after the rate of inflation went up more than predicted in the most recent report. 

She claimed that the inflation caused by the Covid Pandemic … whoa!  Did you get that snake oil pitch?  The inflation was not caused by the Pandemic, but by the folks in Washington flooding the market with too much money.  Trump’s final stimulus payment started the inflation ball rolling, but it was Biden’s subsequent – and unnecessary — stimulus packages and his trillion-dollar spending spree that blasted inflation into hyperspace. 

Back to Yellen’s comments.  She said that following the Pandemic, inflation subsided to a level consistent with the Central Bank’s annual target of 2 percent.  I have no idea what she is talking about.  In fact, inflation soared a year AFTER we were unmasking and kids were going back to school – and has not yet settled at the 2 percent rate.  At 3 percent in the most recent report, the rate of inflation was 50 percent higher than the Central Bank target.   

In her multi-state tour, Yellen offered up Biden’s same old talking points about infrastructure spending, clean energy investments and low unemployment rates. The Biden administration has been sending out that message for months without much luck.  Those silly folks back home keep insisting on focusing on the economy that is battering them. 

Her most head-scratching claim was that workers earning the medium income today, could buy the same basket of goods and services as in 2019, but with $1,400 left over for the savings account.  That bit of statistical prestidigitation confirms that old adage that figures do not lie, but liars figure. Today’s dollar will not purchase as much as a 2019 dollar … period.

When asked who she would like to have lunch with, she chose 20th Century economist John Maynard Keynes — the man who proffered tax and spend policies regardless of the debt.  Anyone who knows economic philosophy would immediately see the problem – and she confirmed it.  She said, “He changed the way all of us understand business cycles, public policy and financial markets.”  Yes, he did – and we can all see how well that has turned out. 

When asked the same question, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer – in a butt bussing moment – picked Yellen.  Calling her a “badass” who “eats, breathes and sleeps economics.”  Not without a big helping of politics, I might add. 

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.

23 Comments

  1. FRANK STETSON

    There is nothing legally wrong with Biden’s secretary of the treasury campaigning for him. Depending on how she does it, it may be nothing more than an explanaition of past, present, and future status and expections.

    That said, it seems that Team Biden is not very good at messaging, marketing, or branding. They have issues with even naming stuff like the IRA name debacle. IMO, Yellen may be a competent SoT, but she’s not a great speaker, must less spokesperson on the economy.

    To Horist’s early point, the main problem with the economy is that the benefits are uneven and some folks are not feeling the recovery yet, matter of fact they feel worse off than four years ago. You can’t talk someone out of that. You can show them the stats, the averages, but if it’s not their kitchen table, it’s not. No one is going to feel better about that with a few happy words.

    We live in a world where a meaningful portion of America, both sides, can not face reality and believe in things not true. Overs 62% of SC Republicans in the exit polls said Trump should be President even when convicted of crimes. 62% of SC voters beleive that Joe Biden did not win the 2020 election, 87% of Trump voters think so. 60% were evangelicals, so godly disbelief in reality, 73% did not have college degrees, so you can see the schism between college and not demographics forming sides. And 80% want a national abortion ban, with 50% downright angry about life in America. This is not the average American voter, nor the average American and their grasp on reality is tenuous in a number of areas where Trump has continually and consistently lied through his teeth, sometimes for years. And they still beleive.

    Somehow I don’t see Janet Yellen putting much of a dent in those lines of thinking. IF Trump were Jaws, Biden gonna need a much bigger boat than Yellen to make beleivers out of those with a major focus in a sureality.

  2. Rob

    When I saw Yellen bowing to Xi it showed the pathetic weakness of the Biden Administration. I don’t need anyone to tell me how good this economy is when I feel how bad it is every day.

    • larry Horist

      Rob … You make the point from which Biden — and his devotees — duck, dodge and distract. The American people know what they see at the grocery store no matter how many time Biden & Co. tries to tell them otherwise. It is not only tone deaf, it is an insult to the intelligence of the American people. Biden’s problem is not with messaging — as they claim — but with the facts.

  3. Darren

    Yellen is a Prehistoric person who only looks young compared to Biden!
    Her mind is just a broke as Biden’s and the Dem Party.
    Again, another YES person to blow smoke up everyone’s asses.
    My, is the public getting smarter, or is it the short coming of food at the dinner table making
    everyone realize this man is a fool.
    Maybe Biden can go to everyone’s home and bring chicken.
    Or do only Black people get to eat Biden’s chicken?

    • FRANK STETSON

      Janet Yellen says Darren “is a Prehistoric person who only looks young compared to Biden! Her mind is just a broke as Biden’s and the Dem Party. Again, another YES person to blow smoke up everyone’s asses.”

      Wiki says:
      Brown University, summa cum laude, economics
      Yale Masters in Economics
      Yale Phd in Economics

      Mentors: Borts, Grossman, Stiglitz, Tobin, Brainard.

      About a dozen honorary degrees, another dozen for awards, married a leading economist, professor, have many papers and books together. Jobs include:
      Federal Reserve Board of Governors from 1994 to 1997
      chair of the Council of Economic Advisers from 1997 to 1999
      president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco from 2004 until 2010.
      vice chair of the Federal Reserve from 2010 to 2014
      chair of the Federal Reserve three years later 2017
      Donald Trump declined to renominate her for a second term.
      Brookings Institution distinguished fellow in residence from 2018 until 2020
      secretary of the treasury 2021

      What’s in your wallet Darren to make the conclusions that you did? Sure look stupid to me based on the actual evidence. Or is being older a shortcoming? She’s about 78. Does age make her stupid, does it make everyone stupid?

  4. Mike f

    Larry, Do you ever study world affairs or do you just bloviate on what you think might sound good to the readers of the windbag post? I choose the later. You continue to beat the dead horse that Biden is responsible for the inflation that we have seen in the US, without looking at what has transpired in the rest of the world. We have consistently had lower inflation than other first world countries. Is that because the provided more stimulus to their people. Emphatically no is the answer. So we need to look further at the causes which were shutdowns caused by the pandemic and people unable to go out and spend their hard earned dollars during lockdown. Your ignorance on this topic is astounding. Then you try to put words in Yellen’s mouth by saying “today’s dollar will not purchase as much as 2019 dollar”. Of course that’s not what she said, her point was that people are making more, so even with inflation people have some money leftover due to salary increases. You can argue that point, but you didn’t and statistics are showing that wages are increasing more than inflation. You are old, so I know you can remember that a 3% level of inflation is not particularly high (or perhaps you can’t remember more than a few years ago?). Bottom line, your tome represents more Biden bashing than facts and those of us with a larger worldview understand that..

    • larry Horist

      Mike f … You ignorance of economics is apparent. Served up with your usual childish insults and fact-challenged rebuttals. You use the same “Biden Slant” (BS) about the economy. And what does the economic situation in Liechtenstein have to do with the impact Americans are suffering from the Biden inflation in the United States when they go to the grocery store? There is a reason most Americans give Biden low marks — lower than Trump — on handling the economy. Your self-proclaimed world view appears to be coming from the Biden political bunker.

      • Mike F

        Larry you are well deserving of your preferred title of ignoramus. The economy of the US does not operate in a vacuum, despite what your many ignorant readers (and yourself) believe. What happens in the rest of the world does impact what happens to us. The most common number for the effect that the stimulus packages (both Biden’s and Trump’s) is 2.6%. The rest of our inflation has been due to the pandemic and the resulting reduced supply of goods that people want to buy. I know this is beyond your intelligence to understand, but those are the facts. Yes, people are upset about inflation, and yes, the man at the top (Biden) is always going to be blamed for such things (much as Nixon was blamed for elevated inflation in the 70’s-remember those nonsensical wage and price controls that he implemented that did absolutely nothing?) Please spare the thinking public your BS and return to the tennis courts where you can possibly have a successful retirement….

      • FRANK STETSON

        Inflation: beating a dead Horist again….. Inflation peaked in June of 22 at 9.1% and has been fallling since then. It has been at 3.x for the past eight months and currently is at 3.1% as of 1/24. That’s within spitting distance of the 2.0 target. I don’t know where Horist shops to see rising prices at the current time. Only an idiot would pay more now. Horist even seems to get fooled by smaller packaging ploys.

        Yes, price stickiness portends that prices actually fall slower than the tracking on the rate, but prices based on inflation expectations should fall as did the price of gas which is just over $3 now after rising to over $5 in June of 22. Yes, people are still feeling, still remembering the pain, but that does not mean it’s real. It may just be a memory and that still counts —– and that’s the point. Yellen won’t change that with messaging. Not Yellen at least. Even in the messge is correct.

        Yes, fear of inflation fanned by fanatics like Horist, rages on. Memories of rising prices, less money, are prevalent. So while the statistics may tell you one thing, many people are feeling something way different from the recent past. Horist does not help that by spinning the economic truths.

        Again, I agree with Horist that sending Yellen out is stupid, for many reasons, but the top one is she can’t convince, she is not convincing. And she goes off the reservation a lot. And no amount of messaging will convince you that the less money you see is more money on average. No one likes to feel left behind, that just amplifies the pain. The recovery, like many recoveries, is uneven. Just like the Trump tax cuts were uneven. I felt pain, others loved their results. Biden does need better messaging, you can’t just say “look at the stats, they tell you that you are OK.” That will never fly. He is supposed to be compassionate. Lean into your strength Joe, and be compassionate to what people are feeling, what they are telling you, and then craft your message of how it will get better. Because IF we escape the recession for a couple of more months, Spring will be glorious and portend a beatiful summer. I may even invest in a few equities again.

    • lyin biden

      Mike F you are wrong. you are the one who does not knwo what happened with inflation and our economy.

      Our economy failed because biden signed off his initial 52 EO’s that stopped our energy independence. we went from an energy exporter to an energy importer over night due to biden(obama). This drove energy costs up world wide and created higher demand for coal and wood energy sources.

      energy and resources drive all inflation. so along with creating huge inflation in the USA Biden created inflation in all energy importing countries.

      I addition to inflation biden’s “green new deal” policies immediately failed because of the increased use of coal and wood energy world wide. not only did biden create world wide inflation but also world wide pollution. hence biden failed on all levels.

      Who gained from bidens failure? russia and china.

      • Mike F

        Lyin-you need to check the facts before you write (I know, Republicans prefer to base their ideology on emotions rather than facts). However, the facts regarding oil situation is that in 2023 the US produced more oil than ever before-period. A significant amount of oil and natural gas was exported to Europe to help them weather the shortages that those countries are experiencing due to reduced shipments from Russia due to sanctions. Unfortunately, the growth in the burning of coal worldwide is not something that Biden (or anyone else in the US) can control. While the green new deal is not law in the US, coal use here has been reduced, which is the only place where Biden’s policies have any effect.

      • FRANK STETSON

        LB said: “we went from an energy exporter to an energy importer over night due to biden(obama).”

        BUSTED based on reality…..

        Folks, we keep telling you to check your facts before you spew. LyinBiden did not check. LyinBiden was unwise. He is a liar, and a stupid one for not checking. If you call Biden a liar, it’s best to be right versus looking double stupid for being wrong and not knowing to check.

        From the EIA: “In 2020, the United States became a net exporter of petroleum for the first time since at least 1949.1 In 2022, total petroleum exports were about 9.52 million barrels per day (b/d) and total petroleum imports were about 8.33 million b/d, making the United States an annual net total petroleum exporter for the third year in a row. Total petroleum net exports were about 1.19 million b/d in 2022. Also in 2022, the United States produced2 about 20.08 million b/d of petroleum and consumed3 about 20.01 million b/d. Although U.S. annual total petroleum exports were greater than total petroleum imports in 2020, 2021, and 2022, the United States still imported some crude oil and petroleum products from other countries to help to supply domestic demand for petroleum and to supply international markets.”

        Three years in a row, dude. And you can look it up. Plus, gas, oil, all at the highest production levels ever. Under Biden you liar. Levels Trump never acheieved. And what they didn’t mention, but have often in the past and you can look it up, is that the 2020 net exporter status was pandemic based because we all just stopped driving. Including a lot of trucks, planes, and other haulers of goods. We didn’t export more as much as we used a whole lot less so did not need foreign oil, or any oil much at all. That’s right, Trump got net exporter status by giving us all covid. Biden did it the old fashioned way —– he drilled for it and sold it outright.

        • larry Horist

          Frank Stetson … You forgot — or chose not — to mention Biden dipping deeply into America’s strategic oil reserves. The fact is …because of Biden anti-fossil fuel policies we had to import oil and pay higher costs at the pump. And thems the facts. You can respond with one of your long specious rants — or your shorter personal insults — but I am done on this subject. You lose.

          • FRANK STETSON

            Ah, Horist humor again. I am wrong, he is right is the conclusion. He says “You lose” and “I am done on the subject.” Dismissed? Sorry buddy, extreme free speech does not work that way. You cannot call off the discussion. Then again, it’s not like you were participating anyway.

            The great debator. The master debator. Can only win when he plays with himself.

            FACT is Mr. Horist, we have been a net importer for three years under Biden and your great claim to fame of TRUMP net exporation of oil was solely due to the pandemic and a crushing drop in demand. If you are still paying too much at the pump, I suggest widening your horizons. Come to NJ, we pay $3.18 and don’t have to pump it ourselves. You paya $3.30 in DeSantistan Florida and have to do your own pumping. I bet you like pumping it yourself :>)

            BUSTED for lack of evidence.

          • Mike F

            Yet again the all knowing Larry shows his extreme ignorance and failure to check the facts before opening his mouth (in this case typing a response). As I pointed out to LB above, in 2023 the US produced more oil than ever before-that is the end of the story Larry. Yet again you are lying and refuse to accept the facts. Disgusting (sure sign you are an ignoramus)…

          • FRANK STETSON

            Mr Horist:
            The US private oil inventory reached it’s highest level EVER under Biden in 2021. *https://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&s=W_EPC0_VSD_NUS_DAYS&f=W*

            US oil exports reached it’s highest level EVER under Biden in 2021 *https://www.eia.gov/petroleum/weekly/archive/2023/230315/includes/analysis_print.php*

            The U.S. Department of Energy has run seven sales since 2017, selling more than 132 million barrels, or about 18.2% of what had been in the reserve. That’s right, Trump lowered the SPR.

            In November 2021, the White House announced the release of 50 million barrels (7,900,000 m3) to address high gasoline prices. On March 1, 2022, President Biden announced the release of 30 million barrels of oil from the reserve in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. On March 31, 2022, President Biden announced that his administration would release 1 million barrels of oil per day from the reserve for the next 180 days. At that time, Republicans lamented “too little, too late.” Now Horist says it’s too much……

            Trump sold about 76M barrels during his reign. Larry missed it. Biden has sold about 245M barrels or three times Trump. The SPR max is over 700M barrels. Currently there is about 360M barrels or about 50% capacity. It has been at 50% many times over the decades. Biden is refilling adding 3M in January. It’s a slow rebuild. But who cares, conservatives don’t. The Heritage Foundation calls the SPR a political tool and wants to abolish.

            Private companies hold about 500M B in inventory. So, we are not at a great risk and refilling slowly makes sense to not unduly effect supply and demand.

            The US uses about 20M Bs a day. So, the business of oil says 25 days is sufficient to reach equillibreum in the market and stability in the supply chain. The SPR has a max of 35 days and currently is at 18 days. However, there is a rub. The SPR is harder to get to than tanked inventory so the 18 days turns into 80 days of less use. Point is the slower rate stipulates it will be 80 days before you run out, but you will NEVER have enough to fufill daily US needsb because of the slower rate. It is never a replacement to our private business oil supply.

            Biden’s “dipping” was a good thing that did not put us at extreme risk given how much oil we pump and the rate we can get it out of the SPR. He is refilling at a proper rate that should not disrupt the market like Republicans are apt to do. That’s why I did not mention it; it’s a red herring.

            Biden’s “policies” have us with the most exports ever. Three years of net-positive oil exportation. Horist is barking at the moon. Facts are our friends. Horist has said “You lose” and will not respond further.

            YOU BETCHA.

            wait for it……..

            BUSTED.

  5. Darren

    The Answers are Obvious! Do the opposite of what Biden did.
    You know, like Trump had it!
    But Wait, Biden had payback to give in the rest of the word as we all eat crap!

  6. Tom

    I have no idea what Yellen said so I cannot comment on how truthful Larry is being with his words.

    But I do think that these folks like Biden, Yellen, and others, are not the ones gassing up their cars and paying at the pump. They are not in the food store buying food. They are not the ones paying auto insurance and home insurance that has increase significantly due to inflation. These people are in a bubbly talking “theoretically” and giving it spin to make is sound like reality. Prices at the pump are back up. Food has not decreased and continues to rise while product packages are getting smaller.

    Many people in the USA are on fixed incomes, or simply have jobs that do not keep up with inflation. Biden and Yellen are not trying to convince these people. They are targeting folks with jobs that keep up with inflation and can afford increases. Biden, Yellon and others are hopelessly in a protective bubble.

  7. lyin biden

    Yellen knows nothing about economics or finance, she is so uneducated that she said inflation is transitory.

    Inflation is never transitory. inflation is always cumulative. there is no other process. She also said bidenonomics was workign right before it took another very public up tick in inflation.

    Yellen is literately incompetent . why would anyone listen to her?

    • Tom

      I can feel your frustration but the facts are that inflation can be structural OR transitory. It depends on what is driving the inflation. Yellen has one of the best economics educations of anyone in the country. SEE FRANK STETSON’S SUMMARY ABOVE.

      Driving this inflation has been some structural and many transitory assignable causes. Large scale wage increases, significant rising of minimum wage, mandatory government rules such as medical coverage rules or FDA rules can all contribute to structural inflation.

      Temporary rises in ppb of oil due to world economy situations, or temporary disruptions in supply like when the US refiners transition every fall to heating oil which requires shutting down a refinery and retooling; wars and violence like the Houthi missiles and Middle East struggles, Ukraine war, supply line interruptions which tend to have many temporary causes, shortages such as like baby formula which has come down in price now that the FDA has removed the block on the one manufacturer’s factory, these all cause temporary inflation.

      What has been confounding is that this time, structural and temporary have both been involved but did not have an accompanying decrease in labor, nor the stock market tailspin. People are still getting jobs, labor rates in some areas are still rising and tech stocks are the latest thrill holding up the market. This puts a structural component to temporary inflation – which makes Yellen look inaccurate. She is the first one in her position to ever have to deal with all of this, e.g. inflation without corresponding negative job creation stats. This situation is not in any economics book. What Yellen did do was to initiate fed interest rate rises too slow owing to her belief that it was much more transitory and less stubborn – she was wrong on this. But this is not enough to disqualify her from her job since no Sec of the Treasury has ever had to deal with this unique situation.

      Look at the price per barrel (ppb) of oil over the past 50 years. Notice the highs and lows. IF it were as you say, structural inflations, then the ppb would only rise. The chart refutes your conclusion that inflation “is always cumulative”. The ppb drives inflation after about three months. Check this out for yourself at *https://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=pet&s=f000000__3&f=m*

      I hope this post has helped increase your knowledge of inflation. :>)

    • FRANK STETSON

      lyinbiden. saying Yellen is uneducated or incompetent is a lie according to the facts. See the bio I posted above.

      BUSTED for being surreal.

      • larry Horist

        Frank Stetson … You and Tom must have the Wizard of Oz view of education. Remember? You do not have to be smart, you only need to have a diploma. In that speech, Yellen indicated that she is educated as a Keynesian –not a free market economist. Just because she has a degree from a liberal institutions does not mean she is on the right side of the economic debate. One can concede she has a degree in economics (and so do …LOL) and still challenge her views as to how it all works. And also call her out for spreading political bs. that was my point. She poses as an economist, but talks like a partisan hack politician. But then, you rarely get the point of anything on PBP. Too obsessed with being Mr. Contrarian. Carry on.

        • Tom

          Larry, not sure why you called me out in your wizard of oz comment about education or Yellen. I started my comment with an omission that I did not know what Yellen said. I simply pointed out that many of these famous top notch figures in government are in a protective bubble and many of them most likely do not gas up a car or go to the grocery store which is where most of us feel the economy. I even said to “LB”, “What Yellen did do was to initiate fed interest rate rises too slow owing to her belief that it was much more transitory and less stubborn – she was wrong on this. ” I personally think that she did this because she puts more weight on low unemployment than she puts on high inflation.

          Yellen is undeniably highly educated and very accomplished as can be seen in a summary of her resume at *https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/101613/janet-yellen-background-and-philosophy.asp*

          All I did was reference Frank’s work on summarizing Yellen’s degrees. So Larry, why are you so fixated on lumping me in with Frank?

          Larry, I did like your statement, “You do not have to be smart, you only need to have a diploma. “. It is very befitting of you dear friend!!