Conservative National Review writer calls out Trump and DeSantis for downplaying 'inflation and the economy'

Conservative National Review writer calls out Trump and DeSantis for downplaying 'inflation and the economy'
Janet Yellen in 2015 (Creative Commons)

When the Wall Street Journal's conservative editorial board used the term "Bidenomics" in 2021, it wasn't meant in a good way but rather, as a criticism of President Joe Biden's economic policies. Biden, however, has recently been using the term "Bidenomics" as a badge of honor, arguing that the United States has had record-low unemployment during his presidency.

Nonetheless, many Americans are still sore about inflation. A CBS News/YouGov poll released in late July found that only 29 percent of Americans considered the economy "good" to some degree.

In an article published by the conservative National Review on July 31, journalist Jim Geraghty stresses that inflation is still a source of angst for many Americans —despite what "professional economists" are saying. And Geraghty is critical of some Republicans, including presidential hopefuls Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis, for not paying more attention to the issue.

READ MORE: Regime change now has a name: 'Bidenomics'

Geraghty argues, "Take a look at Donald Trump's Truth Social feed. Take a look at Ron DeSantis' Twitter feed…. Trump is talking a lot about special counsel 'Deranged Jack Smith,' his own poll numbers, the Mar-a-Lago security tapes, and his threat to primary Republicans who refuse to impeach President Biden. Trump's favorite issue is always himself."

The conservative writer adds, "DeSantis is talking about Biden's border crisis, Kamala Harris' inaccurate attack on Florida's history-education standards, government colluding 'with big corporations to censor information from the public,' and 'elites who wanted to plunge society into lockdown dystopia'…. Do you see a lot of discussion of inflation and the economy in either of those feeds from Trump and DeSantis? And if not, why not?"

Geraghty poses the question: "How many Americans' financial circumstances have taken a hit by some home damage or repair that required a much higher payment than they ever expected, because their insurance company won't cover as much?"

Homeowner stress is the focus of a Wall Street Journal report published on July 30. Insurers, the Journal reports, are charging more but insuring less. The Journal reports "double-digit premium hikes, higher deductibles, new coverage limits, drones to check the state of roofs and yards."

READ MORE: 'Numbers don’t lie, Republicans do': Analyst urges Democrats to champion Bidenomics

Lauren Menuey, managing director at Goosehead Insurance, told the Journal, "We're seeing moves to put more of the risk back onto the homeowner, tougher underwriting restrictions and big rate increases…. I don't think anywhere is safe from this right now."

Geraghty argues that there is a disconnect between how economists talk about inflation and what Americans are feeling when they buy groceries and other necessities.

"I think there's a sizable gap between inflation as it is discussed by the professional economists and the way average Americans think about it," Geraghty explains. "The most recent U.S. CPI numbers indicated that the all-items index increased 3 percent over the last 12 months, the smallest 12-month increase since the period ending March 2021. Most economists would look at that and cheer, focusing on the change in the inflation rate since last year."

Geraghty adds, "But that still means that the prices for all goods combined in May 2023 were 3 percent higher than in May 2022, when Americans were reeling from skyrocketing prices. And once you dig deeper into the numbers, the good news is that energy is cheaper than it was in May 2022 — fuel oil is 36.6 percent lower, gasoline is 26.5 percent lower, and used-car prices are 5.2 percent lower. But food consumed at home costs 4.7 percent more in May 2023 than May 2022, food consumed away from home is 7.7 percent higher, new vehicles are 4.1 percent higher, shelter is 7.8 percent higher, and transportation services are 8.2 percent higher."

This is the type of economic issue that Trump and DeSantis — as well as "professional economists" — need to draw attention to.

"In other words, people go about their economic lives and accurately perceive that a lot of stuff — food, shelter, new cars and other transportation services in particular — is still considerably more expensive than it was last year, which was in turn a lot more expensive than it was the year before that," Geraghty notes. "Economists measure inflation by the change in the rate of increase of prices, while most consumers measure inflation by the change in the prices."

READ MORE: 'A middle-class problem': Why Biden’s 2024 challenge is overcoming feelings of 'economic angst'

Read The National Review's full article at this link and the Wall Street Journal's report here (subscription required).

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ }}
@2023 - AlterNet Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. - "Poynter" fonts provided by