We were promised an end to the malarkey. It was the cornerstone of then-candidate Joe Biden’s folksy charm. He even drove around the country during the 2020 presidential election in a bus with the words “No Malarkey” plastered across the sides. During a time of overwhelming political one-upmanship and obfuscation, Joe was supposed to give it to us straight.
Fast forward to today, one could easily argue that the malarkey never stopped. The Council of Economic Advisors released a blog post last week attempting to redefine the common definition of recession. U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen was then promptly deployed to reaffirm this talking point on NBC’s Meet the Press. This attempt at nakedly self-serving doublespeak is so brazen that White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was called out directly for it by reporters.
Many lawmakers and reporters are justifiably frustrated that the administration appears to be more concerned about the negative PR of a recession, rather than the recession itself.
This foolishness isn’t new behavior from the Biden team. The White House Twitter account falsely suggested that Covid-19 vaccines weren’t delivered until the Biden administration. Biden himself has accidentally insinuated that the United States supports the assassination of Russian president Vladimir Putin. If we take a generous reading of these statements, we might chalk them up to the standard utterances of a gaffe-prone Commander-in-Chief. But the administration’s redefinition of the word “recession” is a step too far.
Americans deserve transparency from their elected officials, particularly when it concerns their economic well being. For months, the U.S. economy has been pummeled by rising inflation. Last quarter’s GDP numbers showed a decline of 1.6%. And this quarter, the GDP shrank by 0.9%. That’s the ballgame–America is in a recession. Instead of being clear about what a recession means for American families and what steps are being taken to fix such a scenario, the White House’s malarkey machine has kicked into overdrive to pretend it isn’t happening.
This sort of economic illiteracy and dedication to political theatre has become standard for the Biden administration and Democrats on Capitol Hill. Just this week, progressive staffers staged a sit-in protest in the office of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, calling for passage of the Green New Deal. Similarly ruinous policies have been championed by progressive Senators. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren have championed legislation that would give Biden officials broad authority over the economy. Lina Khan at the FTC has vigorously pursued an anti-business agenda, seeking to break up companies to further vague goals of social, racial, and climate “justice.” Additionally, progressives have begun to warm to ESG–a type of investment strategy that demands financial institutions invest in leftist environmental and social causes and ignore the financial well-being of their clients.
Rather than being America’s straight talker, Biden has decided to make his the Malarkey Administration. Hopefully, during the midterms, the American public will take their opportunity to limit his influence over our economic lives and elect officials who will put us back on a sound fiscal track.