Biden’s ‘let me clear’ inflation blame game gets a humiliating reality check

You know President Biden is super serious about something when he starts his sentence with, “Let me be clear…”

The aging Democrat should, however, be certain that he’s got the facts straight before he asks users on X to acknowledge how clear he’s being, because the Community Notes army can instantly turn what is meant to be a forceful statement into a farcical joke.

“Let me be clear to any corporation that hasn’t brought their prices back down even as inflation has come down: It’s time to stop the price gouging,” the president — or someone posting for the president — warned businesses. “Give American consumers a break.”

Readers on X quickly added some much-needed context, leaving Biden sounding less like a leader and more like a grumpy old man trying to rid his lawn of visitors.

“As long as the inflation rate is positive, prices are increasing,” the Community Note slapped to the president’s post reads. “The fact that inflation has come down to 3.2% in October means that prices are still going up, albeit at a slower rate than before.”

Rated as “helpful” by X users, the note included links to four articles from reputable sources that explain to the president how inflation works.

One, from the International Monetary Fund, informs readers that “Inflation measures how much more expensive a set of goods and services has become over a certain period, usually a year.”

According to the IMF, “Inflation is the rate of increase in prices over a given period of time. Inflation is typically a broad measure, such as the overall increase in prices or the increase in the cost of living in a country. But it can also be more narrowly calculated—for certain goods, such as food, or for services, such as a haircut, for example.”

“Whatever the context,” the global organization states, “inflation represents how much more expensive the relevant set of goods and/or services has become over a certain period, most commonly a year.”

USA Today explains, “When it comes to prices during inflation, what goes up, doesn’t always come down.”

“When talking about inflation, it’s important to remember that inflation is a rate that measures how fast prices are rising,” the article reads. “If the consumer inflation rate drops from its 40-year high of 8.6% in May, prices are still rising – just not as fast.”

And, according to Statista, “In October 2023, prices had increased by 3.2 percent compared to October 2022 according to the 12-month percentage change in the consumer price index – the monthly inflation rate for goods and services in the United States.”

Finally, Community Notes reminded President Biden that the Federal Reserve is “aiming” for “inflation of 2 percent over the longer run.”

“It is understandable that higher prices for essential items, such as food, gasoline, and shelter, add to the burdens faced by many families, especially those struggling with lost jobs and incomes,” the Fed reasons. “At the same time, inflation that is too low can weaken the economy.”

“If inflation expectations fall, interest rates would decline too,” it states. “In turn, there would be less room to cut interest rates to boost employment during an economic downturn. Evidence from around the world suggests that once this problem sets in, it can be very difficult to overcome.”

If the added context didn’t humiliate the president, reactions to his post should.

“Wow. This might just be the dumbest post this WH has put out yet,” wrote one X user. “And that’s saying a lot.”

Melissa Fine


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