Just when you think you’re never going to hear from her again, Vice President Kamala Harris popped up yesterday in a talk at Bowie State University in Maryland.
Then, after hearing what she said, most folks probably wish she hadn’t said it. Very much like her boss, Mr. Biden, Ms. Harris is incapable of telling the truth about the economy.
She said that the Biden administration has done a great job lowering heating and electricity bills and that it’s freeing up money for working folks to spend on things like school supplies or a new dishwasher or a family vacation.
The trouble is her facts are wrong. These are, to coin a phrase, “untruths.”
Over the past year, electricity is up 12%, fuel up 28%, natural gas up 27%. Gasoline prices are up a dollar a gallon since President Biden took office on Inauguration Day when it was $2.39 — that’s AAA — nationwide. Today, they’re $3.39.
The principal reason gas prices have come down from their peak is that the Bidens have destroyed the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, selling roughly one-third of the reserve for their adventures in pre-election political price-fixing.
Let’s hope there’s no OPEC+ oil embargo or some gigantic emergency storms in the southwest or other regions in the country. The Bidens willy-nilly just wacked SPR and damaged both our energy and national security. It’s the height of irresponsibility.
Ms. Harris undoubtedly neglected to mention any of that in her speech at Bowie State, so I’m obliged to remind her. Incidentally, although the overall inflation rate is gradually coming down, it is still about three times the Federal Reserve’s 2% target. Remember when the Bidens, and the Fed for that matter, told us there was no inflation? Then they told us it was transitory?
Then finally came Janet Yellen’s hostage video — truth-telling — yes, Mr. and Mrs. America, there was an inflation problem. Then her former colleagues at the Fed proceeded to freak out as they started jacking up interest rates at a pace not seen in many decades. Because of this inflation, some families are estimated to have lost as much as $2,250 paying higher energy costs since Biden took office.
I hate to flood you with numbers, but it’s really very simple. Overall energy, according to the Consumer Price Index, is up 32.8% since February 2021, fuel oil up 70%, electricity up 23% and utility services up 56%.
Sorry, Madam Vice President, but these are factoids. Then there’s food. Since February 2021, the food price component of the Consumer Price Index is up nearly 18%, groceries up over 19%. Food away from home at restaurants up 15%. Wait, there’s more!
New cars up 19%, used cars and trucks up 24% and speaking of travel, if you can get on a plane, airline fares are up 34%.
So, this whole inflation story is really very simple. For the past two years, Americans have been clobbered. Although they’re working hard and they’re getting paid, after inflation and taxes are factored in, take-home pay for typical families has been going down for two Biden years.
That is the soft underbelly of the Biden-Harris economy. That is why the economy in last year’s first half declined. It was an inflation attack. Now, inflation is easing down some, but it’s going to take another couple of years for the Fed to get back to 2%, and that assumes that the central bank gets some cooperation from the White House and Congress.
Overheated spending’s got to be stopped. While no one’s really talking much about it, the Trump tax cuts, which are slowly expiring and which have already been under siege from Joe Biden, who turned into Bernie Sanders, somebody’s got to renew and make those tax cuts permanent.
Low, marginal tax rates that will rejuvenate incentives to work and invest and that will help the economy grow out of Biden inflation, while the central bank continues to take excess cash out of the economy.
It’s called tax cuts and tighter money. That was the policy successfully pursued by JFK, the Democrat, and Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump, the Republicans. It’s a winner. Let’s do it.
Save America. Tell the truth, Biden, Harris, Sanders. Let’s restore prosperity and let’s make people happy.
This article is adapted from Larry Kudlow’s opening commentary on the February 23, 2023, edition of “Kudlow.”