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MICHAEL FAULKENDER: Americans Are Crushed Economically While Biden Lives In Fantasyland

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Michael Faulkender Michael Faulkender is the Chief Economist at the America First Policy Institute and former Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the Department of the Treasury.
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In the lead-up to the State of the Union Address, former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said her old boss, President Joe Biden, needed to tell the American people a story. Tuesday night, he did tell a story, but it was one of pure fiction.

Since taking office, the Biden administration’s policies have resulted in crisis after crisis — the most urgent one being the state of our economy. Despite the president’s attempts to emphasize his “record-breaking” economic numbers, the truth is that his administration’s policies have led to poor results. (RELATED: DANIEL OLIVER: The Simply Terrible, Unimaginably Awful Biden Speech To The Nation)

Unfortunately, the Biden administration is breaking the wrong kinds of economic records. The administration is the first ever in history to see gas prices reach $5 per gallon, and inflation soared to its highest level in 40 years under its watch. This means hard-working Americans have seen their paychecks fail to keep up with price increases for the last 21 consecutive months, and gas prices have been higher every day than when the Biden administration began its tenure.

The American people are now suffering on nearly every economic front. The year 2022 was the worst for the stock market since the global financial crisis in 2008. Additionally, inflation-adjusted paychecks and incomes are both way down since the start of the administration.

And although the Biden administration has claimed it is a champion of deficit reduction, its policies have been responsible for adding nearly $5 trillion to the debt.

The lead-up to the State of the Union Address also featured attempts to tell a different story about the state of our economy. Yesterday morning, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed wages had gone up and gas prices had gone down. But this remark is just another example of misleading distortions.

Although it is true that paychecks have grown in dollar terms, the price of goods and services has risen even more — leading to reduced purchasing power, which is what actually matters for measuring family prosperity. In addition, while gas prices are down from their peak in summer 2022, they are currently 44% above January 2021 levels.

Whether or not they are aware of the official statistics, the American people know the reality based on their lived experience. A new ABC poll reveals a record high of Americans saying they are worse off since the start of the Biden Administration. More than 70% of Americans say the country is on the wrong track.

Three years ago, we had record-year low unemployment rates for women and minorities and some of the lowest gas prices in recent history. As a result of America First economic policies that reduced the tax burden on families and businesses, streamlined regulations, and encouraged widespread energy production, the American people enjoyed the luxury of affordable everyday goods, cheap gas, increased wages, and a thriving economy.

Less than one year later, the Biden administration inherited a booming economy and proceeded to get to work dismantling these America First policies. In their place, the administration favored a mix of the old big government playbook and new forms of leftist radicalism that actively sought to discourage work, undermine energy production and push unwanted change on the American public, especially through the educational establishment.

The results, which include the highest inflation in 40 years, plummeting test scores in K-12 schools, and increased instability on the global stage, speak for themselves.

Sadly, things may get worse before they get better. More than two-thirds of economists are predicting a recession this year. The Biden administration needs to reverse course if the country has any hope of economic recovery, but based on Tuesday’s address, the administration appears ready to double down on its policies.

While discussing issue after issue, the president glossed over the reality that our country now faces. The southern border is wide open, and record levels of illegal immigrants and deadly fentanyl are flooding our country. The world is less safe because of a war in Ukraine, and China befuddled this administration with a simple balloon.

Crime is out of control in our cities. Parents wonder what their children are being taught in school. Each of these issues has occurred on the Biden Administration’s watch. Tuesday’s speech failed to lay out plans to fix these problems; it just papered over them like they didn’t even happen.

The American people are clamoring for policies that work. The America First Agenda has the solutions to solve inflation and get our economy booming again. Yelling at the American people won’t make them believe our country is headed in the wrong direction. Only a change in policies will accomplish that and restore prosperity, security, freedom and opportunity in our Nation.

Michael Faulkender is the Chief Economist at the America First Policy Institute and previously served as the Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the US Department of Treasury.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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