Tag Archives: inflation

How does POTUS tell his story?

Someone will have to explain to me why President Biden continues to struggle to win Americans’ approval over the way he is conducting himself in the office to which he was elected in 2020.

Maybe he just isn’t telling his story in a convincing fashion. Perhaps he is being outshouted by critics who continue to adhere to matters such as, oh, The Big Lie about the so-called theft of the presidential election.

I admit my bias. I want Biden to succeed and I want him to be able to sell his story to Americans who just aren’t buying into the Biden presidency. OK, so I have gotten that out of the way.

The economy continues to add hundreds of thousands of jobs each month; joblessness is less than 4%; we are winning the war against the COVID pandemic; we have restored our alliances around the world; the president is leading the worldwide response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and is crippling the Russian economy.

Life isn’t perfect. Inflation is hurting Americans. However, Joe Biden keeps reminding us that so much of the skyrocketing costs come from (a) supply issues created by the pandemic and (b) Vladimir Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine and the cutting off of Russian oil and natural gas to markets around the world.

The president needs to do a better job of securing our southern border. I acknowledge mistakes there. However, the border isn’t anything approaching an “open door” for anyone to walk into this country.

I am open to hearing from readers of this blog who has an idea of why Joe Biden continues to win the kind of approval from my fellow citizens that I believe he deserves.

So … with that I’ll sign off from this post.

Let’s discuss.


Keep it in perspective

I couldn’t resist sharing this item that showed up on my social media feed this evening. I never really know who comes up with these gems; I do learn something from them.

My lesson here? It is that the pain, suffering, bloodshed, misery, anxiety, mourning and grief that Ukrainians are feeling at this moment put every little petty annoyance we might have in their proper place.

Gas prices going up? I don’t like it any more than the next person. However, it is good to keep some matters in context — such as what this message suggests we do.

More than 1 million Ukrainians reportedly have fled their country ahead of the Russian military onslaught initiated by the madman Vladimir Putin. Those who have stayed behind to fight the Russians are putting their lives in dire peril.

I won’t like paying more for the fuel that goes into my truck. However, I don’t believe I should bitch about it.


What is the State of our Union?

President Biden is getting ready to deliver a speech that many of us have waited to hear. He will stand before a joint session of Congress and after a few opening remarks and perhaps a quip or two he will tell us about the State of our Union.

He is likely to make a declaration that starts out, “My fellow Americans, the State of our Union is … “

Is it “strong”? Is it “weak”? Is it “troubled”? Is it a mixed bag of all of the above and perhaps even something none of us can quantify?

Were I advising the president, I would urge him to offer a “strong” description of our Union’s current condition. Not because all is well and good. But because I cling to the hope that despite our trouble and anxiety that Americans’ collective strength will see us through it all.

Our political structure is roiling under The Big Lie that too many politicians continue to foster about the 2020 presidential election. Congress is examining whether a former POTUS incited an insurrection against our democratic process; I believe he did, but I am not in a position to make an official declaration.

We’re facing down in real time a serious threat by Russia against Ukraine. Our NATO allies stand ready to defend Ukraine if they deem it necessary.

Our economy, while it is exhibiting tangible strength, continues to struggle with raging inflation.

And yes, the pandemic is waning … at least for now.

President Biden will stand before a Congress divided by suspicion among its members toward each other and by those on one side of the great divide who continue to resist any effort on the president’s part to actually govern responsibly.

We’ll wait for the applause lines and we’ll watch the Democratic half of Congress cheer while Republicans sit on their hands. It will disgust many of us.

The Union’s strength lies in the people who are the real bosses. It isn’t the congressional leaders who seek to guide federal policy while ignoring the will of those they govern.

I don’t know what President Biden will declare about the strength of our nation at the State of the Union speech he will deliver in a few days. I just hope he tells us we are stronger than the forces that seek to divide us and tear at the fabric of our nation’s greatness.


POTUSes can’t always control inflation

Presidents never deserve all the credit they take for economic growth, nor do they deserve all the blame for when economic conditions head south. Thus, Joe Biden doesn’t deserve to be pilloried for the inflation that is ravaging our economy; for that matter, neither did Donald Trump deserve it when he was in office.

President Biden’s poll numbers continue to sag partly — or perhaps largely — because of inflationary pressure being felt in millions of American homes. Sure, there are other factors contributing to Biden’s falling poll numbers.

How can a president control some issues, such as the “supply chain” matter that has affected the economy in light of the coronavirus pandemic? I have no answer to that one, but it doesn’t seem to matter to Americans who today are blaming Joe Biden for all the fiscal ailments they are feeling.

I want to be clear: I have been highly critical of Donald Trump’s initial response to the pandemic, but my criticism of the former president had nothing to do with the economic pressure that mounted prior to the 2020 presidential election. Therefore, while presidents can take some credit for economic success and must accept some blame for economic failure, some matters are beyond even their control.

President Biden promises that inflation will relent by the end of this year. I hope he is right … although I do wonder if he has the power to make such a pledge.


You want inflation? Try this!

Once in a while I get reminded of how I remember life as a youngster and how the cost of doing routine business bears no resemblance to what I used know in the good ol’ days.

I went this morning to McDonald’s to buy some breakfast for my wife and me. I ordered an Egg McMuffin meal and a Sausage McMuffin meal. The cost of my order came to $15.98.

No big deal, right? Right!

Except that as I pulled away and drove back home, I recalled a transaction I made in 1968.

I was working at a McDonald’s in Portland, Ore. It was in late May of ’68. I was at the counter taking orders and a couple of young people with “Robert Kennedy for President” buttons on their shirts walked up to me and ordered 100 hamburgers.

Yep. One hundred hamburgers!

We served them the burgers and they paid $18 for all of ’em.

That order today would cost $109 … plus tax!

Just sayin’, man.




Brickbats go with the bouquets

The Financial Times believes President Biden must understand he needs to take responsibility for the inflation that has plaguing the nation.

The London-based publication wrote this: Biden has promised to “build back better” after the coronavirus pandemic. His big spending has already helped to deliver a historic recovery, with US national income back at a level above its pre-pandemic peak. The challenge will now become harder: to demonstrate he can deliver higher living standards without jeopardising his pledge to tackle climate change.

The Financial Times notes as well that President Carter will be marked indelibly by the inflation that consumed his single term in office. Yes, there was that and the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979-81. The Times is correct, though, to project that Biden faces potential defeat in 2024 if he doesn’t sidle up to the issue now before it gets totally out of control.

I am not sure how much of the inflation issue is a direct result of presidential policies. He did inherit that pandemic and the “supply chain” crisis that has developed while the nation seeks to subvert the coronavirus.

It’s happening on President Biden’s watch. He cannot forestall a solution simply by blaming his predecessor.

Let’s get busy, Mr. President.


Shut up, Rep./Dr. Jackson

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Ronny Jackson is making me very angry.

By all rights I shouldn’t really give a crap what this former physician and current congressman representing the Texas Panhandle thinks … except that I do. I used to live in the district this bozo now represents.

Jackson has adopted Twitter — in the mold of Donald J. Trump — as his primary bullhorn to spout nonsense. His most recent tweet now contends that because of inflation and rising fuel prices President Biden is marching this nation toward being a “Third World country.”

Good grief, dude.

The inflation is a result of pent up demand being released on shortened supply caused by the COVID pandemic. We are vaccinating more Americans than ever; infection rates are declining; so are death and hospitalization rates. Isn’t that cause for celebration … doc? Hmm?

Get the hell off the partisan clown car, Rep. Jackson and look more realistically at the big picture.

POTUS punished for good deeds?

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It really must be true that “no good deed goes unpunished.”

Consider the following:

President Biden took office in January as the nation was struggling to cope with the COVID pandemic. He promised tens of millions of vaccines in his first 100 days. He succeeded gloriously in outpacing that projection.

Then came a surge in consumer demand of supplies they couldn’t purchase because of restrictions caused by the pandemic. The worldwide supply chain has been strained as manufacturers struggle to meet the immense demand.

The punishment comes in the form of inflation that now has the White House troubled by the impact of that huge demand and the still-limited supply.

The Hill reports: All of those factors combined to push the consumer price index (CPI) up 0.8 percent in April and 4.2 percent over the past 12 months, the fastest annual rate since 2008, the Labor Department reported this past week. When stripping out the more volatile prices for food and energy, the index registered the biggest monthly increase since 1982.

While the ramped-up consumer spending is a sign of increased optimism, the Biden administration faces political risks as Americans find themselves dealing with inflation levels that the country hasn’t seen in more than a decade.

Inflation fears grow for White House (msn.com)

Joe Biden is a seasoned political hand. He knows he will get pilloried for the inflation. There is no way on God’s good Earth he is going to apologize for the accelerated vaccine distribution and vaccination rates that have contributed to the “crisis” resulting in the inflationary pressure.

Fed chairman feels POTUS’s wrath

Donald Trump has crumpled up yet another presidential custom and tossed it into the nearest crapper.

There once was a time when presidents didn’t criticize openly the chair of the Federal Reserve Board. Not this guy. Not this president.

Trump says he “maybe” regrets appointing Jerome Powell as Fed chairman. He gripes that “I’ve got a good economy going” and Powell is wrecking it by raising interest rates, causing the stock market to wobble and then crater.

You see, Trump yet again seems upset that his personal reward from serving in the highest office in the land is being diminished because an economic pro is taking measures commensurate with a healthy economy.

As for the president’s criticism of the Fed chairman, it flies directly in the face of a longstanding custom to shield the Fed from political criticism. Trump doesn’t recognize customs that historically lend dignity to the office.

To think, too, that the president is savaging a chairman who he appointed himself.

Weird, man.

Wealth measurement changes with times

Warren Buffett is now the world’s second-richest man.

The title used to belong to Carlos Slim. Both of these guys trail Bill Gates by a good bit. Several billions of dollars, I think.


I see these surveys measuring people’s wealth. Gates is worth tens of billions. Same with Buffett and Slim — and whoever else comprises the Top 10 list of richest people on the planet.

Inflation has done a lot of things to the way we measure these matters.

It all reminds me of how much the actual dollar has been devalued over the past, oh, 40 years.

Aristotle Onassis died in 1975. He was a shipping tycoon with merchants ships carrying cargo all around the world. At the time of his death, he was considered one of the world’s top two richest men. I seem to recall it was a see-saw contest between him and a rival Greek shipping magnate, a guy named Stavros Niarcos.

What was Onassis’s wealth at the time of his death? The figure I saw was $500 million.

Good heavens. He was a mere multimillionaire. Onassis’s portfolio amounted to mere chump change when compared to Gates, Buffett and Slim.