MAKE IT MAKE SENSE: NYT Ridiculously Claims Biden Economy ‘Looks Sunny’

February 5th, 2024 4:40 PM

The New York Times kicked its pro-Bidenomics Pravda into overdrive as the U.S. gears up for a contentious presidential election this year.

“The Economy Looks Sunny, a Potential Gain for Biden,” read the latest headline spin from Times economics reporter Jim Tankersley, whose record of ridiculous fanboying for President Joe Biden is a feat in and of itself. Tankersley wasted no time in throwing confetti on the Bidenomics trash heap. “A run of strong economic data appears to have finally punctured consumers’ sour mood about the U.S. economy, blasting away recession fears and potentially aiding President Biden in his re-election campaign,” a giddy Tankersley praised. [Emphasis added.]

Business leaders like Adrian Day, CEO of Adrian Day Asset Management, are sounding alarm bells that a recession is “all but inevitable” at this point. But Tankersley bemoaned how Biden wasn’t getting credit for “the positive signs in the economy under his watch, including rapid job gains, low unemployment and the fastest rebound in economic growth from the pandemic recession of any wealthy country.” There was so much spin in Tankersley’s so-called “News Analysis” item that it could give readers dizzy spells.

Adrian Day tells The David Lin Report that a recession is "all but inevitable" (January 22, 2024).

Tankersley deceptively left out major context that undercut his entire premise. Mises Institute Executive Editor Ryan McMaken cut through the media gaslighting in a Jan. 15 blog: “[T]he job growth we do see in the government sector does not represent the result of private investment, saving, or demand.” In essence, much of the “growth” is not organic. “Rather,” McMaken continued, “these government positions are positions that only exist as the result of wealth transferred from the private sector to the government sector.” McMaken also noted the percentage of government sector jobs to overall monthly payroll growth vacillated anywhere from 21 percent and a whopping 58 percent between July and December 2023.

(Source: Mises Institute)

McMaken concluded that this reality was a significant recession signal — you know — the fears of which Tankersley praised as being blasted “away.” In fact, said McMaken, “[t]he job growth we do see is increasingly being driven by government spending, and not by private investment. Even worse, the government spending we see is largely deficit spending, meaning the economic ‘good news’ is reliant on massive amounts of new government debt.” Go figure. The national debt skyrocketed past $34 trillion for the first time in history last month.

Heritage Foundation economist EJ Antoni, repudiating the media embellishment of the recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report showing a 353,000 job gain, confirmed McMaken’s argument in a post on X by concluding that jobs have “overwhelmingly been created in gov't and gov't dominated/funded healthcare sector.” But it gets worse as Antoni continued: “[E]ven after adjusting for seasonal changes which are huge in Jan, [the] economy still lost full-time jobs and only gained part-time jobs.” 

Tankersley also misled readers by sensationalizing how “[a]fter lagging price growth early in Mr. Biden’s term, wages are now rising faster than inflation.” But this is just the short-term data outlook that is devoid of the long-term impact, as Winston Group President and congressional Republican adviser David Winston argued in a Jan. 31 Roll Call op-ed. “Overall, since Biden’s inaugural, hourly wages have cumulatively increased 14.5 percent, while inflation has gone up 17.3 percent,” Winston wrote. “This means inflation has outpaced hourly wages by 2.8 percent so far in Biden’s term.” But that didn’t stop Tankersley from mindlessly regurgitating a blatant falsehood from White House Council of Economic Advisers chairman Jared Bernstein, who erroneously claimed that “‘with easing inflation, we’ve got wages handily beating prices, meaning more buying power.’”

In fact, the only criticism Tankersley included of the pro-Bidenomics narrative was buried in the 13th paragraph and was premised with an editorialized smear to make it seem like Biden’s critics were just being petty:

The narrative shift is also evident in the way Mr. Biden’s critics talk about the economy. Some have resorted to scouring recent data for any sign of weakness.

However, Tankersley then undercut his own argument when conceding in the 19th paragraph that the “hangover” from high inflation was contributing to American voters’ souring on Bidenomics, but he still tried to sugarcoat the data anyway. “Gasoline prices have fallen, for example. But grocery prices remain elevated after a huge leap in 2022 and 2023, though their rate of increase has drastically slowed,” Tankersley downplayed. But here are the raw facts that Tankersley glossed over, as Winston analyzed: Gas prices are “35.1 percent higher” than they were since Biden took office; groceries are “20.1 percent” higher and electricity prices are “25.1 percent” higher.

Tankersley’s depiction of a “sunny” day in Biden-land is actually nothing more than a cloudy, stormy mess.

Conservatives are under attack. Contact The New York Times and demand it stop behaving like the Biden campaign’s PR arm on the economy.