#HEADDESK: No, Matthew Yglesias, ‘Biden’s Economy’ Is NOT ‘Great Everywhere’

October 23rd, 2023 3:25 PM

Liberal journos like Vox co-founder Matthew Yglesias continue to treat struggling Americans as stupid for not giving President Joe Biden kudos on his so-called “great” economy.

Yglesias published a ludicrous Oct. 22 op-ed for Bloomberg Opinion with a headline that was nothing short of comical: “Biden’s Economy Is Great Everywhere Except in the Polls.” In Yglesias’s condescending, escapist worldview, those darn average Americans just don’t know what’s good for them: “Like a lot of world leaders, the US president must contend with voters who remain unhappy even as economic conditions improve.”

Yglesias even outrageously attempted to make Biden out to be a victim of unfair public perception, despite his administration’s policies largely contributing to the inflation crisis that crippled the U.S. economy: “This is undoubtedly a frustrating situation for the president, his campaign and Democrats overall.” 

Utterly “silly,” Heritage economist EJ Antoni told MRC Business of Yglesias’ argument. “It is reminiscent of when football commentators say an NFL team is better than its record,” Antoni added. “That may be true in the initial weeks of the season, but at some point, your record is your record, and it is indicative of the team’s performance. The American people have judged Bidenomics and found it wanting.” 

The good news, supposedly, is that “inflation is improving,” according to Yglesias. That’s a funny way of characterizing the fact that prices are now more than 17 percent higher on average than when Biden first took office. The bad news was allegedly that voters are still ticked off. But Yglesias suggested that telling voters to be more appreciative “is not a great campaign message” for Biden, except that is exactly what Yglesias is doing for him with his condescending op-ed.

In one sense, voter disapproval is just “crazy,” cried Yglesias. “Fresh data released by the Federal Reserve last week confirms that Americans’ inflation-adjusted net worth surged between 2019 and 2022, and real incomes are up as well,” he argued, before he descended into pure nonsense: 

There’s plenty of room to debate and even second-guess the stimulative policies enacted during Covid, but it’s just not the case that inflation has left people worse off than they were before, [emphasis added].

Yglesias must have missed the memo that the lowest quintile of Americans, despite experiencing pay increases, are currently spending 80% of their incomes on essential goods like food and housing to survive, according to Business Insider Oct. 17.

Across the board, just purchases of essential goods are making up 65 percent of consumers' household expenditures. “The rising cost of food, housing, transportation, and other essentials is impacting low-to-middle income Americans the hardest,” Insider summarized. 

Antoni wasn’t having it and ripped apart Yglesias’ fallacies. “Measuring the inflation-adjusted change in net-wealth from the beginning of 2019 to the end of 2022 is meaningless in terms of people’s opinion on Bidenomics because half of that period preceded the Biden administration,” Antoni stated. In fact, as Antoni pointed out, the economic situation was a lot worse than the rosy picture Yglesias plastered on his op-ed:

If we look just at the change during the Biden administration, almost all the increase in net wealth has been inflation, not a real increase. Most of the inflation-adjusted increase in net-wealth from the beginning of 2019 to the end of 2022 occurred during the Trump administration. The assertion that real incomes are up during the Biden administration is demonstrably untrue. Real weekly earnings are about 5 percent below their January 2021 level and at no point during the Biden administration have they ever been as high as in that month when President Joe Biden took office.

Conservatives are under attack. Contact Bloomberg News at letters@bloomberg.net and tell it to distance itself from Yglesias’ nonsense take on Bidenomics.