Commentary

A gasoline price sign in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, on Friday shows the price of gas at $4.59 a gallon.

A gasoline price sign in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, on Friday shows the price of gas at $4.59 a gallon. Gas isn’t the only thing that’s more expensive in the Biden economy, as inflation eats away at American earnings. (Nam Y. Huh / AP)

 By C. Douglas Golden  April 6, 2022 at 7:44am

As far as The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin is concerned, President Joe Biden’s economy is doing superbly — except, of course, for that pesky inflation that’s hitting the average American’s wallet.

In a widely derided column published Sunday, Rubin wrote that “Biden’s economy is extraordinary” while acknowledging “inflation is still the Achilles’ heel of the Democrats.” Which is a bit like saying the performance of “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theatre in Washington on April 14, 1865, was generally well-received apart from a bit of violence from President Lincoln’s box toward the end of the third act.

(Rubin has long been one of the most out-of-touch members of Washington punditry class, but she’s got competition — and here at The Western Journal, we shine a light on all of the opinion-makers so ensconced in their bubble that they think these takes are good. We’ll keep bringing America the truth. You can help us by subscribing.)

The Post’s tweet doesn’t do Rubin’s piece justice, but it’s a good place to start:

Opinion by Jennifer Rubin: If it weren’t for inflation, this president’s economic performance would be unmatched. https://t.co/XljJpsVTpl

— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) April 4, 2022

“For the 11th-straight month, the U.S. economy in March added at least 400,000 jobs. That’s simply extraordinary. And job growth shows little sign of slowing anytime soon,” Rubin’s piece began.

“In a remarkably short period of time — far sooner than virtually all respected prognosticators expected — the United States has recaptured nearly all (93 percent) of jobs lost during the coronavirus pandemic. President Biden on Friday touted the ‘fastest decline in unemployment to start a president’s term ever recorded.’ In addition, wages went up an impressive 5.6 percent in the last year, allowing Biden to declared that ‘we’re the only country in the world that’s comes out of crises stronger than we went into them. That’s what we’re doing here.’”

That already raises a lot of good questions. For instance, what “prognosticators,” where? And the number of times the administration has missed Wall Street jobs forecasts is never mentioned. Also, what political party is responsible for the jobs that evaporated during the pandemic thanks to lockdowns that didn’t really stop the virus? Inquiring minds want to know.

Do you think Biden is responsible for soaring inflation?

And it’s worth noting we don’t see an explanation from Rubin for the fact that, as Fox News pointed out Monday, the economy has been adding jobs since May of 2020 with the exception of only one month — December 2020.

But never mind, because we’re shortly in thank-you-Captain-Obvious territory: “Not all is rosy, however. Wages have surged, but inflation is rising faster,” Rubin wrote.

“In February, prices were 7.9 percent higher than a year prior. That means the vast majority of Americans who never lost their jobs during the pandemic may be in a worse position now than before the economy tanked,” she continued.

“Couple that with an almost daily reminder that the cost of food, gas, housing and most everything else has gone up, and it’s easy to understand why so many people think the state of the economy is poor despite record-level job creation.”

Yes, read that last sentence again. Now take “it’s easy to understand why so many people think” out of it and notice how it reads so much better, and without a hint of equivocation:

“Couple that with an almost daily reminder that the cost of food, gas, housing and most everything else has gone up, and … the state of the economy is poor despite record-level job creation.”

But don’t blame record government spending for this, Rubin says. Instead: “If we want to play the blame game, we should start with the Federal Reserve, whose mandate is to control inflation.”

Blame an unelected body most Americans only vaguely understand! That’s the ticket.

However, Rubin acknowledges that “a president cannot claim to have rescued the economy but bear little responsibility for inflation.” So she’ll do the claiming for him, arguing that thanks to Biden, there wasn’t “extended high unemployment,” businesses remained solvent, children “were kept out of poverty” and schools kept their doors open.

But, Rubin says, “it is hard to get voters to appreciate” this. Assumedly exempted from this are Washington Post readers, the kind of liberal cognoscenti who realize just how much Uncle Joe has done for his flock.

Even the excuses Rubin gives Biden aren’t exculpatory; for the most part, these things happened because once America finally reached the point of lockdown exhaustion and resumed acting in a way that somewhat resembled pre-pandemic life, the economy predictably followed. To the extent that Biden’s party held us back from returning to normalcy and he’s the captain of the ship, he shares in the blame.

Which brings us back to the premise: The economy isn’t extraordinary for ordinary people if the cost of living is outpacing wage growth due to inflation. Period. And Twitter users let Rubin know just how preposterous the argument was:

If only it wasn’t for that very big thing that impacts everyone and particularly low and middle income earners most… https://t.co/pfNPkgo5Ma

— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) April 4, 2022

If it wasn’t for a bad economy Carter would have been reelected. The ONE thing the government has almost absolute control over is monetary policy which is where inflation comes from. Can’t wait to see Jen’s take on trillion dollar deficits.

— Texas Garabedian (@TexasGarabedian) April 4, 2022

If it weren’t for the assassination of her husband, Mary Todd Lincoln would have enjoyed the play…

— Andrew Follett (@AndrewCFollett) April 4, 2022

If it weren’t for the cost, I could afford to fly private.

— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) April 4, 2022

This isn’t the first time Rubin has managed to make a fool of herself for going out of her way to defend Biden when she shouldn’t have. She’s notoriously defended the administration during the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan.

On one occasion, she penned a column titled “Let’s hear it for the deep state,” tweeting out this gem whilst promoting it: “Often reviled by an ignorant public, smeared as the ‘deep state’ by right-ring, they saved untold lives and alleviated a good deal of human suffering.”

the work of Americans charged with executing the evacuation is noble, selfless and deeply patriotic. Often reviled by an ignorant public, smeared as the “deep state” by right-ring, they saved untold lives and alleviated a good deal of human suffering https://t.co/L11XeUQj9U

— Jennifer ‘I stand with Ukraine’ Rubin 🇺🇦🇺🇦 (@JRubinBlogger) August 22, 2021

The column itself was no better, with Rubin claiming that “the story that the media resisted telling” about the withdrawal “was less visible and far more positive — inspiring, even. It was the story of men and women running into the fray to save as many as possible from death and misery that a lost war entails.”

I’m not sure whether the fact that this was written just before the United States’ final evacuation from Afghanistan makes it better or worse. And as for Biden’s speech about the withdrawal, Rubin tweeted this: “Brutally honest. Accepts responsibility. The best speech under the circumstances. Now better damn well get those people out.”

That we damn well didn’t was as predictable as the plot to an episode of “Gilligan’s Island.”

It’s good to know, however, that the Beltway punditry class will never cease trying to make it look as if nothing that happens to this president is ever the president’s fault, that we’re simply not giving him enough credit for the job he’s doing.

It’s even better to know that Americans know pundits like Rubin are wrong.

C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he’s written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.

C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he’s written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).

Birthplace

Morristown, New Jersey

Education

Catholic University of America

Languages Spoken

English, Spanish

Topics of Expertise

American Politics, World Politics, Culture

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