• It’s the Economy Again, Stupid

    January 26, 2024

    Tags: , , ,
    Posted in: #99Percent, Biden, Economy, Trump

    One of the most succinct campaign slogans of the modern era came out of the 1992 Clinton campaign: “It’s the Economy, Stupid” picking up on feeling Americans were less concerned with the incumbent’s apparent foreign policy success (remember Desert Storm?) than the nation’s changing economy. Clinton spun  his personal concern for voters’ well-being off this, with the catchphrase “I feel your pain.”

    Things seem headed for some sort of through-the-looking glass style repeat in 2024, as the incumbent is hoping to sell voters on the strength of the economy when they are more than skeptical. Bidenomics’ thrust seems to be “The Economy is OK Unless You’re Too Stupid to Notice.”

    Bidenomics, the word itself the meddling of two of the incumbent’s vulnerabilities: he is Joe Biden, age “the crypt keeper” and the economy is just fine if  you don’t look at it. Not much can be done with the first liability, but the second opens the door for Donald Trump to run on a populist version of the economy that could leave Biden looking uninformed and out of touch.

    The economic world of Joe Biden is best characterized by the New York Times, acting nearly as his spokesperson that things are bright if only you were not so stupid as to be looking at the wrong numbers. So Bidenomics calls out how in 2020 the average wage of workers who still had a job shot up, without talking about how those who laid off, disproportionately service workers. Growth in wages for everyone was then held down because those low-wage workers were being rehired. Biden fanboy Paul Krugman actually went as far as writing in the Times “Until recently I thought everyone — well, everyone following economic issues — knew this.” Stupid voters, not keeping up with the Times. “There are two big questions right now about the U.S. economy,” says Krugman. “One is why it’s doing so well. The other is why so many Americans insist that it’s terrible.”

    A dumb line of reasoning seems to attract progressives. One coined the term “vibe-cession” last year to describe the gap between the common perception and cherry-picked economic indicators. Others insist it’s poor perception and political polarization that are mostly to blame. Then there is good old social media and its whack misinformation, reinforcing the “bad economy belief.” A former Federal Reserve economist quoted by, of course, the Times, wrote that a “toxic brew” of human bias for negative information and the attention economy lead to consumer pessimism. If only those rednecks who don’t subscribe to the New York Times could see the view from up there.

    The problem down here is economic reality, off limits in Bidenomics. Start with inflation. Things cost more, with some of the highest jumps in inflation-driven prices in decades (excepting the pandemic, there hasn’t been a year with average annual inflation above four percent since 1991.) But even after years of the Fed raising interest rates (see mortgages, below) inflation coming down does not fix the everyday problems of Americans. “Inflation” as economists define the term is nearly meaningless to most voters, because it excludes food and energy prices, two significant parts of any household budget. To include those parts of most voters’ lives, you’re looking for the Consumer Price Index, which includes everything but which rarely appears in feel-good tales of the Biden economy. Even then watch the magician’s hands closely; prices at the pump are down more than 30 percent since their peak last year but still up considerably since Biden took office. Some 74 percent today say they’re at least somewhat worried that the cost of living will climb so high that they will be unable to remain in their community.

    Now about those mortgages. As the Fed raised interest rates to buffet inflation, loan costs rose in kind. Average monthly payments on a new home jumped to $3,322 in the third quarter of the year, data from real estate investment firm CBRE shows. It means it has risen 90 percent since the final quarter of 2020 — just before Biden took office in January 2021 — when it was $1,746. Home ownership is becoming a unattainable dream to many Americans as average monthly mortgage payments are now nearly double what they were when Biden took office. Interest rates above seven percent and soaring house prices mean buyers are facing one of the least affordable markets in recent memory.

    The low unemployment Biden touts does mean more Americans are working but says nothing about mediocre wages, underemployment, and those forced into two or more jobs to make ends meet. A  Blueprint/YouGov poll on the economy found just seven percent of respondents were principally concerned about the availability of jobs, while 64 percent were most worried about prices. Bidenomics, of course, famously focuses on jobs created. Even then the numbers are slippery; the vast majority of this touted job growth comes from restoring job losses from the pandemic. Check instead the broader unemployment rate that includes underemployed and discouraged workers, nearly twice as high at seven percent as Bidenomics claims. And watch claims of rising wages — most rises have been negated by inflation growing at an even faster pace.

    Perhaps most significantly among economic perceptions is voters’ view of the future. A poll from March found that just 21 percent of respondents felt confident life for their children’s generation will be better, matching the record low since this question was first asked. In 1990, 50 percent of those asked felt life would be better for their kids. The national debt, which was $5.7 trillion when Bill Clinton was in office, has reached $33 trillion. This constitutes a form of intergenerational theft; rising interest costs will eventually require higher taxes or cuts in federal programs or both.

    Food prices are up almost six percent under Bidenomics. Some 59 percent of parents will spend more than $18,000 per child on child care in 2023. The overall average manufacturer’s suggested retail price of  new vehicles in the 2023 is $34,876, 4.7 percent higher than last year. Average annual health insurance premiums increased seven percent in 2023. The average family premium has increased 22 percent since 2018.

    The Biden people have it just 180 degrees wrong; perception does matter and is not “wrong.” And it does not matter that some of the economic effects listed here are not Joe’s “fault.” Past experience shows the guy in the Oval Office takes credit or accepts fault for what happened on his watch, at least in most voters’ minds. This is because while a few economists are voters, very few voters are economists. What the economy feels like at the checkout, at the end of the month, at the pump, matters most and will drive voting choices. So a recent poll found just two percent of registered voters said economic conditions are “excellent,” with only 16 percent saying they were “good.”  A majority of voters already trust Trump more than Biden on the economy. You just can’t tell the voters they are wrong, all is actually well, when it is not. Bill Clinton called it in 1992, Donald Trump will surely emphasize it this year but Joe Biden hasn’t heard it yet in 2024 with the election only about ten months away: it’s the economy stupid.

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    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Peter would make a good living as a Three Card Monte guy on Times Square. Focusing on the Trump Card the rubes will lose money every day. Donnie Diapers shit his pants in the New York City courthouse yesterday by refusing to play by the rules. The rubes are getting wise to the Big Con. The majority of voters do not trust Donnie Diapers to be alone with their daughters or their 401k.

      01/27/24 9:39 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Bauer: It appears to me that Trump doesn’t know when to drop something. He has to keep at it way past any hope of garnering a gain. Such stubbornness is seen as holy conviction by his supporters but it might be seen as foolishness eventually by some fence sitters.

      01/27/24 2:30 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      It’s the stupids again, stupid.

      One of the most succinct slogans of human history “It’s the stupids, Stupid” depicts the eternal one-sided struggle of the weak minds preyed upon by grifters. Most Americans(you know, morons) are no different than the gullible Nazi Germans or Emperial Japanese who were less concerned with the apparent foreign policy success than their changing economy. The Great Depression was not just a term of economic failure but described the psychological rejection of the higher levels of thinking for the lower-level lizard emotional brain. Fuhrer Trump is just the latest grifter who spins his personal concern for weak-minded voters’ well-being off this, with the catchphrase “make America Germany again”.

      Folks, seventy years is a blink of an eye in the history books. Humans are still very flawed creatures at this stage of our evolution. The weak minds (read: stupids) will continue to be exploited by grifters like Trump for their personal gain. Will the human race survive long enough for our higher-brain functions to develop so we can see the grifters for what they are?

      If Trump is elected by a minority popular vote, you know who to blame:

      It’s the stupids, stupid.

      01/27/24 8:19 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Morons is everywhere

      So Peter says the majority of voters trust Trump more than Biden on the economy. You just can’t tell the voters they are wrong, all is actually well, when it is not. Yeah, like the election was rigged, when it was not. But facts, who needs them?

      Is Trump really the guy you want to trust with the economy? I mean the guy trusted his money to the biggest moron who passed the bar. His dimwit attorney kept saying ‘no objection’ as exhibits were entered into evidence, saying that because she that’s something she had heard real lawyers say before. Unfortunately for moron Trump, what she was doing over and over was waiving his ability to appeal over those evidentiary issues. Because she is a moron who would rather *play* lawyer than do the research to *be* a lawyer.”

      So Peter should maybe give it another think. Only a stupid person wouldn’t.

      01/27/24 9:54 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Yes, Virginia, there is a Big Conspiracy

      Trying to make sense out of the Trump nonsense of the past eight years, MAGA has to realize the OC is a plant of the Deep State. He has systematically destroyed the Republican Party, entrapped the resistance (Proud Boys, Oaf Keepers etc) in the doomed attack on Mike Pence, turned off women voters by attacking their freedom to choose and their genitals, befriending sex fiends like WWE McMahon and Epstein, not to mention criticizing Nikki Haley’s dress.

      While Virginia’s Youngkin sits back and dreams of running in 2028, expecting the OC to be in his grave or the Big House, MAGA will be left to rue the day it fell for the biggest conspiracy in history. The Deep State lives in Virginia.

      01/28/24 9:04 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      MAGA— make aliens go away

      Trump is failing miserably in trying to stoke fears about the economy. So he is falling back on the old fears of them aliens in our midst. This explains why South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is headed to the U.S. southern border amid speculation she could be picked as former President Trump’s 2024 running mate.

      “I am on my way to the warzone at the Southern Border to stand with Texas, @gregabbott_tx, and the National Guard,” Noem said.

      No way no them are heading to South Dakota, Noem. If you are concerned about an invasion of your bodily fluids, worry about Trump invading yours. See Ms Carroll.

      01/28/24 10:44 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Bauer: Strange times. A woman who has had a very lucrative and long career advising women on the male/female dynamic is asked by a known lecher to try on some lingerie purposed for his wife in a private changing room at a super upscale department store. She was of course vain and smitten with Trump’s celebrityhood but also inexplicably uninformed about the male libido. Trump is stupid hitting on someone who is definitely not “into” men.

      01/29/24 11:38 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...



      Strange news that Donnie Diapers gets screwed in the end for something he really thought women let famous people do in the front.

      The real strange news today is the DD tax info leaker got five years in prison. If that is the standard punishment, then DD should be facing the death penalty for leaking top secret classified info. If DD did that in Russia, Putin would hang him by the balls.

      01/29/24 9:16 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      While Peter points out potentials that predict the race to the White House, he curiously omits the Deep State psyop: the race is to the (Taylor) Swift. Trump will lose the race in the homestretch.

      01/30/24 9:15 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      “The problem down here is economic reality, off limits in Bidenomics.”

      Trumponomics resulted in the explosive rise in the national debt. The national debt has risen by almost $7.8 trillion during Trump’s time in office. But that’s off limits in MAGA reality.

      01/31/24 9:24 AM | Comment Link

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