The election is over, and the political dust in Washington is settling somewhat as the slim Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives captures the headlines. The election outcome exceeded the expectations of the media, as all indications beforehand forecast a large red wave that somehow didn’t materialize.
Sky-high inflation, the flood of illegal immigrants across the Mexican border, increasing fentanyl deaths, and rising crime could all be laid at the feet of the Biden administration and the Democratic Party in general, yet somehow the Republicans actually lost a U.S. Senate seat and only eked out a narrow majority in the House.
How did this happen? Much commentary over the past two months has already speculated on the many reasons. But legacy and social media and Big Tech suppression and control of the political narratives going into the election was probably the most important factor in shaping the outcome.
In particular, economic data was continually spun, obfuscated, or suppressed to the benefit of Democrats because polls showed that the economy and inflation were the top concerns of Americans going into the midterm elections. And reporting the true state of the economy would have been disastrous for the Democrats.
As but one example, in August 2022, President Joe Biden “tried to claim … that the US had ‘zero inflation’ in July hours after federal Consumer Price Index data showed annual inflation dipping only slightly to 8.5%,” as reported by the New York Post. The reality, of course, was that inflation continued to hover at a near four-decade high, but the legacy media let Biden slide. Had Biden been a Republican, the catcalls from the media would have been deafening.
Jobs reports, producers’ manufacturing indices, inflation predictions, and recession indicators were spun or suppressed by the media throughout 2022.
Now that the elections have been decided, news reports are seeping out that indicate that the wheels are coming off the Biden economy. Let’s examine some of the recent economic reports that reflect the problems that were hidden during the 2022 election campaign.
Biden Admin Misleads About the Economy
The Biden administration wants Americans to believe that the economy has never been better. In June 2022, Breitbart reported that Biden spokesman Karine Jean-Pierre claimed that the economy is “in a better place than it has been historically.” That was back when gasoline prices averaged $4.955 per gallon nationwide. Fast-forward to Jan. 12, and Biden claimed that “it’s clearer than ever” that his economic policies are working, according to CNBC.
Never mind that the economy had contracted for two consecutive quarters (a direct indication of a technical recession). But the White House redefined the definition of “recession,” and the legacy media parroted that new definition in July 2022, as reported by Fox News. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen claimed that a recession is instead a “broad-based contraction in the economy” based on a wide range of data, including jobs statistics. Hold that thought!
Jobs and Jobless Claims
On Jan. 6, Biden claimed that “real wages are up in recent months, gas prices are down, and we are seeing welcome signs that inflation is coming down as well. It’s a good time to be a worker in America,” as reported by Yahoo! Finance.
This was consistent with the Democratic narrative in 2022 about a “strong jobs market precluding any possibility of a recession.” Except the Philadelphia Federal Reserve reported that, based on its calculations, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) had overreported the second quarter 2022 jobs numbers by more than 1 million, according to the New York Post.
Conveniently, in the Biden administration, BLS Current Employment Statistics always seem to exaggerate job numbers because of incorrect assumptions and then correct the incorrect assumptions and statistics months later. There’s a big difference, politically speaking, in the original rosy report of 1.1 million jobs created to the actual number of just more than 10,000 jobs. Zero Hedge speculates that the BLS methodology used in the second quarter also overestimated job gains from April 2022 to September 2022 by as many as 2.7 million jobs.
Note that the “strong jobs reports” were used by the Fed to increase interest rates several times in 2022. Talk about manipulation of economic data! Inflating the jobs numbers was a twofer, as those inflated numbers played into Yellen’s claim that the economy wasn’t in a recession despite two consecutive quarters of shrinking gross domestic product.
Yet another horrible indicator of the jobs market was that weekly jobless claims rose to 230,000, with continuing jobless claims hitting an 11-month high in December 2022, as reported by investing.com.
Conveniently timed for the Democrats, their political allies in Big Tech and the legacy media waited until after the midterm elections to announce layoffs of large numbers of employees. As reported by AFP, the following media organizations have laid off hundreds of people since November 2022: CNN, NBC, MSNBC, The Washington Post, Vox Media (including the Vox and The Verge websites and New York Magazine), and BuzzFeed.
Meanwhile, CNN Business reported on Jan. 18 that Microsoft is laying off 10,000 employees, while Amazon is laying off 18,000 people, Salesforce roughly 8,000 (10 percent of its workers), and Meta 11,000 employees. And major Democratic Party donor Goldman Sachs is “planning to cut up to 8% of its workforce, or about 4,000 jobs,” as reported by Yahoo! Finance.
Do the Democrat employees in these companies feel betrayed after voting Democrat in November 2022? Do they feel gaslighted by the legacy media like many of the rest of us do?
Other Statistics that Were Obfuscated or Not Reported
Signs of economic distress in the United States are popping up all over:
- As reported by investing.com on Jan. 17, “The Empire State manufacturing index, compiled by the New York Federal Reserve, plunged from -11.2 in December to -32.9, its lowest since the early days of the pandemic.”
- The personal savings rate is near 17-year lows, according to the St. Louis Fed.
- Credit card debt is at record levels, according to the St. Louis Fed.
- The Consumer Price Index remained at more than 7 percent at the end of 2022, according to the BLS.
- Real wages in the United States fell, year-over-year from April 2021 to November 2022, according to the Mises Institute.
- “The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) suffered a significantly worse than expected drop in November, tumbling 1.0% month-on-month,” according to Zero Hedge. The expected fall was estimated to be 0.5 percent.
- U.S. durable goods orders fell by 2.1 percent month-on-month in November 2022, as reported by Zero Hedge.
- “Home sales declined 7.7% on a monthly basis in November” and “were down 35.4% year over year,” as reported by CNBC. November 2022 marked the 10th straight month of declining sales—for all practical purposes a “housing recession.”
There are many contributing factors to the ahistorical results of the midterm elections. Perhaps at the top of the list is the suppression and obfuscation of economic data by legacy and social media and Big Tech that masked the results of the disastrous policies of the Biden administration and the Democratic Party.
The flip side is that the inept Republican Party had no effective communications plan to correct the media’s misreporting and underreporting of the real economic statistics, as well as the direct impact on all Americans.
Now that the election is over, the reality of the slowing economy is trickling out in reports of layoffs, declining real wages, record personal credit card debt, and a continuing housing recession. Would the November 2022 election results have been different if the real state of the U.S. economy had been known and understood by the voters? Almost certainly.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.