President Joe Biden derided inflation and the size of the federal government back in 1978, when he was a senator representing Delaware, according to an old newspaper advertisement obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The ad, which ran in a Wilmington News Journal in October 1978 ahead of Biden’s reelection to the Senate that year, touts Biden’s commitment to reducing the federal budget and government largesse as key steps in taming the inflation that had hampered the American economy for most of the 1970s. It also quotes Biden as saying that “the spiralling (sic) costs of inflation are ripping into the fabric of American society.”
“We must bring these problems under control and the first place to start is the cost of the government,” Biden said, according to the advertisement. “I plan to keep chopping away — cutting wherever I can — so that eventually, we’re going to bring the monstrous federal budget under control. It’ll take time, but I know we can do it. We must!”
While Biden talked tough on inflation and budgetary largesse back in 1978, both trends have accelerated since he ascended to the presidency. Inflation has run hot for his entire first term, with $1,000 in November of this year having equivalent purchasing power to approximately $850 in January 2021, when Biden took office, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ consumer price index inflation calculator.
Meanwhile, the federal government has spent massively on Biden’s watch, though former presidents Trump and Obama also oversaw enormous government spending. The federal government spent more than $1 trillion in October and November, the first two months of fiscal year 2024, running a deficit of more than $380 billion in the same time period, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement for November.
The Biden administration also granted federal employees the largest pay bump since 1980 earlier this month, agreeing to increase pay by more than 5%.
“How can we ask others to curb their wage demands, when the federal government can’t control the demands of its own employees?” Biden asked back in 1978, according to the advertisement.
The Inflation Reduction Act, Biden’s signature climate bill that he later said had nothing to do with reducing inflation, could ultimately cost taxpayers more than $1 trillion on its own by 2032, according to analysis conducted by Goldman Sachs.
Elevated energy prices have also troubled the American economy since Biden entered office, as his massive climate agenda and aggressive regulatory approach have generally disincentivized long-term investment in reliable and affordable fossil fuels while pouring vast sums into intermittent green energy generation via government subsidies.
An energy crisis contributed significantly to the economic malaise and inflationary pressures of the 1970s. Inflation was especially persistent during former President Jimmy Carter’s only term in office, which, coupled with foreign policy blunders, prompted the rise of former President Ronald Reagan, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article highlighting the parallels between the Carter and Biden administrations.
In the late 1970s, Carter sought to tame inflation and rein in government spending by devising a plan to set aside money for federal programs based on current levels of need rather than based on how much programs had been used in the past, while Biden promoted his legislation that would reduce the size of the federal government outright as a fix, according to the WSJ. Biden criticized Carter’s spending during his term in the White House, though the numbers were small compared to modern totals.
“It would be great if Senator Biden could have a chat with President Biden about all the damage being done to our economy,” Larry Behrens, the communications director for Power the Future, an energy advocacy group, told the DCNF. “What is most astonishing is to see that in 1978 Joe Biden understood high energy costs were a key drive or inflation, but his time in the White House is a non-stop attack on American oil and natural gas. In 1978, Joe Biden broke away from Jimmy Carter over failures in energy and the economy, but now he seems determined to copy every one of Carter’s failures.”
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
Nick Popeon December 31, 2023