Cookie Monster Has a Clearer Grasp on the Economy than President Joe Biden

President Biden’s 2024 State of the Union address, a shouting speech comprised of straight-up lies and gaslighting, was a continuation of shoving economic nonsense down Americans’ throats.

During his entire term, the president and his mouthpieces have tried to blame just about everything for inflation except the real culprits, including his fiscal policy and damaging Federal monetary policy.

We were told there wouldn’t be inflation; it would be ‘transitory,’ that it only hurts the wealthy and is good for you, that it was Vladimir Putin’s fault, that it was business’s fault, and that it was backward-looking—along with other nonsense that tries to justify the erosion of the working and middle classes’ purchasing power.

President Biden has returned to attempting to single out corporations as inflation’s cause. When Cookie Monster, from the beloved Sesame Street, tweeted his frustration with inflation in the form of shrinkflation, leading to smaller cookies, Joe Biden’s team jumped on it — yes, they responded to a talking puppet.

Biden blamed greed and corporate America for this outcome.

However, shrinkflation is the effect of inflation. Corporations first attempt to raise prices to keep pace when inflation takes hold because of irresponsible fiscal and monetary policy.

However, at a certain point, consumers aren’t going to pay more for a frozen pizza, a bag of candy, or a bag of pretzels.

Eventually, instead of increasing the purchase price, price increases are taken based on per ounce (or a similar metric). If headline prices are kept the same, then you’ll receive less of a product per dollar. You might find an $8 pizza is now one-third smaller.

When trying to blame corporations, President Biden is talking from both sides of his mouth. When the president claims the GDP is growing and the economy is doing better, corporations are growing well.

When Biden highlights that wages are growing, it creates increased costs for businesses that they pass on to consumers. It is all related, and he cannot claim economics and then scold businesses for their growth.

But corporate profits aren’t increasing more than during other times. When prices rise, that will increase sales growth. Keeping constant margins, corporations will have more nominal earnings. Once again, these are outcomes of inflation.

According to Factset, Q3 2023 marked the seventh consecutive quarter the S&P 500 reported decreased profit margins. Simultaneously, YCharts shows lower U.S. corporate profits after tax as a percentage of GDP than when Joe Biden took office. Gurofocus, using data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, shows a decreasing corporate profit margin during the period inflation was raging under the president.

The idea that corporations suddenly become greedy is always a ridiculous talking point. If someone is charging too much, a different company would come in and sell at a reduced price with the same quality to take market share if they could.

Why would they become greedy now, especially in the last few years, as consumers’ purchasing power has dwindled due to inflation? As President Biden likes to say, it’s malarkey.

However, that doesn’t stop the authoritarian ways of Joe Biden. Instead of taking ownership of the chaos he created, he uses his gaslighting as an excuse to move us further away from free markets.

President Biden announced last week that the Justice Department and FTC will lead a task force on corporate pricing (absent is any focus on government pricing and spending). The endeavor’s focus is to clamp down not only on illegal pricing but also on “unfair” pricing—whatever that is.

The concept of “unfair” is subjective. In terms of the government, “unfair” is a word that allows them to pick further winners and losers and do more dumb things that eventually hurt the economy, like institute price controls (which always lead to negative outcomes, like rationing, etc.).

Consumers are savvy, and gaslighting them adds insult to injury. We all know what inflation is, what caused it, and who is to blame—it doesn’t matter if we are on Wall Street or Sesame Street.