by Mark Schwendau
Several mathematical measures show how well the American economy is doing. Let’s take a look at some of them. Since Biden took office, the Federal Reserve has increased interest rates at most of their last 14 consecutive meetings (June remained unchanged) by over five percentage points. That’s the steepest sequence of rate hikes in forty years. That is key to what follows.
College Loan Debt
College loan debt is also at a record high. More than 45 million Americans owe $1.7 trillion in federal student loan debt. Joe Biden is looking to give free taxpayer money away to “forgive” some of this debt (pandering for votes). Federal data suggest about one-third of these college graduates owe less than $10,000, which could explain why Biden wants to wipe out $10,000 in student debt for those making less than $125,000 .
Read here how loan forgiveness could impact the U.S. economy.
Credit Card Debt
Credit card debt is at a record high under Joe Biden, almost $1 trillion dollars, $986 billion. This is according to information provided by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York data released this spring. That’s a 17% increase from one year ago.
CBS News reports that Americans continue to pile up credit card debt, edging close to $1 trillion.
An article in Forbes offers that the price of a gallon of gasoline under Joe Biden’s presidency thus far averages $3.60, while under Donald Trump, it was $2.57.
Another good measure of how healthy the American economy is relates to home sales. The National Association of Realtors reported U.S. home sales were down 23% in first half of 2023. The problem here is the Federal Reserve’s relentless rising of interest rates to the point nobody can afford to take out a home loan. According to Freddie Mac, a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.96% as of July 13 which was up from 6.81% the previous week and up from 5.51% one year ago. In January 2021, the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 2.7 percent—a record low.
U.S. Home Sales Down 23 Percent in First Half of 2023 Says NAR on this link.
Social Security and Cost of Living Adjustments
Because so many baby boomers are now retired in America and on Social Security, some 70 million, it is important to look at how life is going for retirees. Retired Americans will see a COLA adjustment increase of 8.7% in 2023. The consumer price index shows prices for food alone rose 6.7 percent for the year ended May 2023. The problem is other things, such as gasoline still remains more than doubled since Biden took office.
The inflation breakdown for May 2023 is available in one chart here at CNBC.
One interesting measure is the average age of personal transportation vehicles. The U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports that the average age of passenger cars and light trucks has reached a 22-year high of 13 years for passenger cars and 11.75 years for light trucks.
That information is found here.
Forbes reports the projected average total salary increase for 2023 will be 4.6%.
But as House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (MO-08) released in a statement after the Bureau of Labor Statistics released their June 2023 jobs report:
“President Biden’s so-called ‘Bidenomics’ shows how out of touch he is with working Americans. Small businesses and workers are being harmed by weak economic growth and the Fed hiking interest rates to combat inflation created by Democrats’ reckless spending.
Even job growth is darkened by the fact that wages have not kept up with a 15.5 percent increase in prices since Joe Biden took the Oath of Office. For 26 straight months, wages have not kept up with inflation, shrinking the value of every paycheck bit by bit.
Meanwhile, rising interest rates have made the American Dream of buying a house or expanding a small business a fantasy for many; economists are expecting a recession before the end of Biden’s term – if we aren’t already in one; and America remains dependent on China for critical supply chains. The Ways and Means Committee is getting outside of Washington and listening to the concerns of working families and small businesses – the folks who have been directly harmed by President Biden’s economic agenda.
Our legislation, the American Families and Jobs Act, would provide crucial relief to working families and small businesses hammered by more than two years of ‘Bidenomics.’”
The only thing to add to this in the way of a conclusion is this; Under Trump, the average household realized $6,000 as a gain in income. Under Biden, that same household is now losing $10,000 a year.
Copyright © 2023 by Mark S. Schwendau
Mark S. Schwendau is a retired technology professor who has always had a sideline in news-editorial writing where his byline has been, “Bringing little known news to people who simply want to know the truth.” He is a Christian conservative who God cast to be a realist. His website is www.IDrawIWrite.Tech.