I assumed the “Bidenomics is working” headline in Friday’s November 24 News Leader was parody and was prepared for a few chuckles. They never materialized.
For older News Leader readers, “Bidenomics” probably brings back memories of the Jimmy Carter years that featured escalating gasoline prices, massive inflation, high interest rates and hostages in the Middle East. The only things missing today are Billy Beer, killer rabbits, and a whiney national address from the Oval Office about a nonexistent “crisis of confidence” or as the national media labeled it a “national malaise.”
Tomes praises vast government spending programs, “increased tax revenues”, and a more aggressive IRS “going after wealthy tax cheats.” Nowhere does he provide examples of how any of that is helping the average American.
His thinking makes it obvious why we don’t see him in in the aisles of local grocery stores, at gas station pumps, shopping for a car, eating at local restaurants, or perusing storefront ads of downtown realtors. Based on his commentary he doesn’t get out much and has no idea how the average citizen is suffering economically.
Tomes says that Bidenomics is “fostering a bustling economy.” News Leader readers aren’t stupid. They know when they are being spun. Tomes fails to mention that the Biden administration’s economic programs have led to price increases from everything from housing to gas to groceries escalating well above where they were three years ago and that real medium household income continues to drop.
There’s a total disconnect between what Tomes writes and what everyday residents are experiencing. The average cost of dining out has increased by 5.4% from October 2022 to October 2023. According to industry trade publications the average price of a cheeseburger has increased 63% from $9.74 to $15.88.
I keep a stack of local restaurant menus on hand to give to our out-of-town visitors. Some are three and four years old, others more recent. They verify the increases. A burger I used to pay $9.50 for three years ago with a side of fries or at one of my favorite eateries is now $15 with no sides. At a popular downtown restaurant a cheeseburger that also came with a choice of one of seven sides went from $11 in 2020 to $16 today with a side but an upcharge of $2.00 for certain sides. Forget the days of a dozen wings for 10-12 bucks and a ½ pound of peel and eat shrimp for $10. Those prices were devoured by Bidenomic along with two dollar happy hour beers.
Borrowers shopping for mortgages or car loans are experiencing sticker shock. A 30-year fixed rate mortgage carries a rate close to 8%, the highest in more than 20 years. Rates were 3% just three years ago. Buying a car is completely unaffordable because borrowers are mixing higher borrowing costs with higher prices.
Moody’s Analytic estimates that it now takes 42 weeks of income to buy a new car and the National Association of Realtors calculates that the typical American can’t afford to buy a medium-priced home.
If you carry a credit card balance you are experiencing the financial pain of a 20.7% interest rate, up from 14.6% in February 2022. Some are as high as 28%. According to the Fed American’s collective credit card debt surpassed the $1 trillion mark for the first time.
Sure inflation has dropped from a Biden-generated high of almost 9% to 3.5% but that doesn’t mean prices are dropping. They aren’t. Folks realize that every time they go grocery shopping. As long as the inflation rate is going up so are prices. The fact that inflation has come down to 3.5% means that prices are still going up, just at a slower rate.
Tomes’s end-of-column biography says he originally hails from Florida but spent large chunks of his life living in the progressive socialist republics of California, New York, Oregon, and Hawaii, which may explain his thought process.
Apparently this guy is unaware that during his absence Florida has become notorious for silly things involving a mysterious swamp Yeti, giant pythons, Mickey Mouse versus the governor, and bewildered liberals floundering in a rising red sea of conservatives. Welcome back, Mr. Tomes, the local conservative majority of locals is delighting in mocking your misleading, inaccurate leftist commentaries.
Like the Carter years Biden’s tenure will be remembered as: “The not so good old days.”
(An abridged version of the above commentary appears in today’s News Leader’s letters-to-the-editor.)
“Hello, My Name Is _____ And I’m An Alcoholic”: Over lunch earlier this week at Coastal Pizza my friend and the local News Leader’s only conservative columnist, Steve Nicklas, told me that the City Commission session last Tuesday resembled an AA meeting.
Steve was referencing the silliness that occurred at the meeting following new City Manager Ty Ross’s apology for falling off his bicycle after an evening of drinking downtown on October 29. Ross, who had been on the job less than two weeks, attributed his excessive boozing to the fact that he was lonely and misses his wife who has yet to join him here. Interesting, as I know a few guys hereabouts who blame their boozing on the fact that their wives ARE here.
Following Ross’s apology City Consigliere Tammie Back chimed in and turned the session into an AA confessional when she admitted she at times drank too much and offered Mr. Ross encouragement. I have no idea why she added that other than to fend off the usual disgruntled onlookers who she may have assumed would shake a finger at her proclaiming: “Well, what about her?”
There has been a rash of the usual loudmouth locals clamoring for Ross to resign. I don’t know all the details of what’s going on or if following adjournment they all met at Ross’s or Bach’s house for cocktails to hash it out. However, it does appear to me that the professional search firm that tax payer’s shelled out $60,000 to for recruiting this guy, should provide an explanation, a fix, or a replacement.
Did he come with a warranty guaranteeing our money back or a replacement? Maybe the Commission could body-surf him down the dais to Commissioner and chiropractor James Antun for an adjustment. Or, after Christmas do they plan on plopping him down on the agency’s return counter?
Pompous loudmouth and constant irritant, City Commissioner Chip Ross, requested a special meeting be held next week following the release of police body camera footage. That should be entertaining for everybody but the City Manager.
No matter what, we can always count on the City Commission sessions to provide a constant stream of amusing, albeit, pricey entertainment.
To assure similar issues don’t reoccur the city and voters may want to ignore any future employees and candidates named “Ross”, a name that should sound loud warning bells hereabouts.
What It’s Like To Be A Hostage: Local author, national columnist, broadcast pundit, and former Time Magazine reporter, Ken Timmerman, is someone who knows what it’s like being taken hostage. He was one, held by the same brutal terrorists that kidnapped 230 in Israel October 7.
Ken recently returned from Israel where he is working on a film project and explained what those recently released experienced to a group of us last Wednesday evening at a gathering at PJD’s Beer & Wine Garden.
After hearing firsthand stories from released hostages about their treatment he explained: “As someone who has been held hostage, they touched me to my core, because that is exactly what liberation felt like, being dragged out of darkness into the light.”
“The long war to secure Israel’s borders and eradicate Hamas as an organized force has begun. Many will seek to tie Israel’s hands, but they will not be restrained. Should the Prime Minister or anyone in his cabinet suggest that Israel should enter ceasefire talks – not the temporary pauses of the hostage exchanges, but an actual, lasting ceasefire that allows Hamas to fight another day – they would face a mutiny among the ranks of the IDF.
“Israelis have only just begun to mourn their dead and their wounded. And they have only just begun to fight. Hamas unleashed the hounds of Hell on October 7. Now they will pay the price.”
Poison Ivy: The appalling Congressional testimony by presidents of Ivy League universities, Harvard, MIT, and Penn should sound alarm bells for any parent considering sending a kid to one of those terribly misguided indoctrination centers.
Not a single one of the three women who head those universities would condemn genocide against Jews and they paid the price for their appalling stances following their inexplicable comments. Nationwide calls for their resignations or firings are pouring in.
Ben Shapiro, a graduate of Harvard Law School, host of “The Ben Shapiro Show”, and editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com thinks these three should suffer the consequences for their outrageous positions.
“Now, imagine that instead of antisemitism, there had been a radical uptick in anti-black racism on campus: calls for genocide, celebration of terror attacks against black Americans, physical threats. Does anyone think the respective university presidents would have sat, grinning at the lawmakers quizzing them on their actions?”, asked Shapiro.
“But that’s precisely what happened. Here was Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York questioning the presidents of University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University and MIT about genocidal language chanted on campus. None of the three was willing to say directly that calls for genocide against Jews violated university policy. All three said that context was required to answer the question.”
Shapiro suggests three remedies: First, donors ought to pull their money.
Second, businesses ought to start hiring directly out of high school and stop treating the bizarre credentialing process of major universities as worthwhile. It isn’t. Chances are better that you’ll get a great employee by selecting a high school graduate with 1500 SAT and a 4.0 GPA than by selecting a Harvard graduate with the same statistics.
Finally, parents ought to stop subsidizing this nonsense with their own children.
A chorus of calls for the three Poison Ivy Leaguers to resign or get canned is rising and I expect they will continue.
We are fortunate in Florida to have no-nonsense former Republican Senator from Nebraska, Ben Sasse, to head the University of Florida. He was unequivocal in his response to Hamas terrorism saying: “I will not tiptoe around this simple fact: What Hamas did was evil and there is no defense for terrorism. This shouldn’t be hard.”
Good friend, Tampa Plant High School pal and writer for the American Spectator, Larry Thornberry, sent me the above with the following explanation: “That must be some magical ring, promising to do something that translators, Cray super computers, military code breakers, sophisticated algorithms, Talmudic scholars, psychological profilers, distinguished gerontologists, professors of rhetoric, focus groups, mood rings, and Jill Biden working as a team can’t unpack. These worthies are badly overmatched against a voluble and rampant President Magoo in full garble. He demonstrates with certainty that artificial intelligence has no chance against authentic stupidity.”
Larry is 100% correct. It’s obvious from watching his public appearances that Biden will read whatever is placed in front of him; or at least make an attempt. Once other people decide what he thinks, he will mumble and slur a few conflicting and confusing statements.
Here’s how Louisiana Senator John Kennedy explains it: “The American people may be poorer under President Biden, but they’re not stupid,” Senator Kennedy said. “They see an open border, they experience inflation, they see the rampant crime. The American people look around and see the world on fire, the war in Ukraine, the war in the Middle East, the embers smoldering in China and they have concluded that fair or unfair, Martha, I’m not saying this is accurate but I can read a poll and the American people have concluded that President Biden is old and he needs soup and an early bedtime and they have concluded that Vice President Harris is not capable, that when her IQ gets to 75, she should sell.”
The Democrat Gift To Republicans That Just Keeps On Giving: Former bartender and New York Democratic “Squad” Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said that “all” underage girls would be subject to “genital examinations” if biological males were excluded from women’s sports.
Ocasio-Cortez presented her argument during the House Oversight Subcommittee on Health hearing on Tuesday, which also included Riley Gaines, an advocate for women’s athletics and an NCAA swimming legend.
The New York Democrat twit said that several proposals aim to “marginalize” transgender Americans before alleging that women would be required to have their pants checked if their stated gender is disproven.
How did AOC qualify to get a job tending bar and how did this nitwit handle ladies’ night — buy a drink and get a free gynecological exam?