Originally published By Tyler O’Neil on The Daily Signal
ATLANTA—Sen. Tim Scott exposed President Joe Biden’s economic record Friday, explaining why the president’s celebration of “Bidenomics” is an illusion.
“The average American family has lost $10,000 of spending power because of Bidenomics,” the South Carolina Republican, a candidate for the 2024 presidential nomination, said at The Gathering, an event at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead organized by radio host Erick Erickson.
“When your gas is 40% higher and your food is 20% higher, and your electricity costs you an extra $2,000 a year, a single mom [like the one who] raised me, or a senior on a fixed income, that’s called a crisis,” Scott said.
EJ Antoni, a research fellow in regional economics at The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis, told The Daily Signal on Friday that the average American family has lost $6,800 in spending power due to inflation and higher interest rates. (The Daily Signal is The Heritage Foundation’s media outlet.)
“Washington doesn’t understand that. They’re so insulated,” Scott told the Atlanta audience.
“When the government under President Biden sets its budget to spend 40% more than they take in, it tells you that you’re living in an unreal place. It’s an illusion,” he said.
Scott turned to the audience and asked, “If you made $50,000 a year, would you spend $70,000 a year and send that bill to your kids?”
Erickson jokingly responded that he would, and Scott said he’d resolve the issue with the radio host offstage.
“In America we bring in $4.8 trillion of revenues and President Biden has decided this year he’s going to spend $7 trillion,” the senator explained. “That’s immoral, it’s unethical, it’s just wrong.”
“We have to have a president who understands you don’t spend trillions of dollars leading to 16% inflation and then do a tour of the nation talking about how good your economic policies have been,” Scott said.
In a written statement Aug. 10, Biden said the latest consumer price index “shows that our economy remains strong.”
“Annual inflation has fallen by around two-thirds since last summer, and inflation outside of food and energy has fallen to its lowest level in any three-month period since September 2021,” Biden said, touting Bidenomics.
“We’ve made this progress while maintaining the broad strength of our economy: Unemployment remains near record lows, a higher share of working-age Americans are working now than in 20 years, real wages for the average American worker are growing and are higher than they were before the pandemic—with lower-wage workers seeing the largest gains,” the president added.
Scott told his audience that the average mortgage rate has reached a 20-year high, breaking 7%. This price is “devastating first-time homeowners, devastating our economy,” he said.
“The Federal Reserve had 12 consecutive rate increases, trying to push down the inflationary effects in our economy, leading to some instability in our banking system,” Scott added, noting that Fitch Ratings downgraded the United States’ credit rating earlier this month.
Inflation prompted the Federal Reserve to increase rates, leading banks to place more money on the sidelines, making it harder for small businesses to access capital, the South Carolina Republican said. He warned that the full effects of this trend will not be felt until later this year, if not in 2024 and 2025.
“We’re not even seeing the worst of it all yet,” Scott warned.
Although Scott slammed Biden’s economic record and lamented the state of the economy, he began his remarks with hope.
Scott, 57, noted that in winning a Republican congressional primary in 2010, he defeated the son of the powerful segregationist Strom Thurmond, who was South Carolina’s governor before serving 49 years in the U.S. Senate.
“I won against Strom Thurmond’s son. I’m a black guy, by the way,” Scott quipped.
“I won because of the evolution of the American heart,” he said. “People judged me because of the content of my character, not the color of my skin.”
“The truth of my life disproves the lies of the radical Left,” Scott declared.
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