Who are you going to believe, Joe Biden or your lying eyes?
That’s the effective choice presented to anyone who has gone to the supermarket or who has filled up at a gas station in recent months, and then later heard the White House’s pronouncements on inflation. The official line, of course, is that inflation isn’t really such a big deal, as it’s actually limited to certain goods that are in short supply because of a complex set of circumstances that aren’t likely to last. And real people living in the real world just roll their eyes. Because they know that they’ve been paying more for groceries, more for gasoline, more for pretty much everything. When what they want is even available, that is.
A month back, the official inflation reading showed that overall prices had increased by the highest level in nearly three decades. This was what anyone who is thinking at all clearly would call troubling news. Then, on Friday came news that prices had jumped at a level not seen in nearly four decades.
Sensing a trend? Surely, and not a good one.
But not if you listen to reports from those in the Biden administration, who repeatedly demonstrate with their comments on prices that they aren’t living in the same world as the rest of us.
Friday’s report from the Labor Department was grim in the extreme. The consumer price index, the broadest measure of what people pay for all manner of goods and services, rose a whopping 6.8% in November when compared to the prior 12 months. Another measure of inflation, the so-called core rate, which removes often-volatile food and energy prices from the mix, jumped by an annual rate of 4.9% in November.
On Thursday, a day before the bad inflation news, White House economic adviser Brian Deese said the inflation report would be “backward looking” and wouldn’t include recent declines in the price of gasoline, natural gas and other commodities.
You could call this looking on the bright side. Or just plain being out of touch. The Biden administration needs to stop living in fantasy land and must acknowledge reality. Because inflation is here, it’s real, and people are feeling it. Telling them that it’s just not so — focusing on a less-than-expected surge in the price of natural gas, for example — is insulting.
©2021 Advance Local Media LLC. Visit masslive.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
This content is published through a licensing agreement with Acquire Media using its NewsEdge technology.