Analysis

Here’s Why Biden’s ‘$0.16 Cookout’ Tweet Is Pure Propaganda

   DailyWire.com
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 02: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks about the June jobs report in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on July 02, 2021 in Washington, DC. Exceeding expectations, the U.S. economy added 850,000 jobs in June and the unemployment rate settled at 5.9%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

On Thursday afternoon, the White House boasted on social media that the average Fourth of July meal would be $0.16 cheaper since last year’s celebration.

The administration’s tweet included a GIF cycling through various barbecue staples and their price reductions — a 5% drop in prices for vanilla ice cream, a 2% drop in lemonade, and a 1% drop for sliced cheese.

The message is only the most recent artifact in a massive push to convince Americans that the recovering economy is attributable to the Biden administration’s massive social welfare agenda.

As glorious as saving four cents on sliced cheese may sound, the tweet intentionally omits the full story of rampant inflation and its effects on American pocketbooks. As Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) pointed out, the price of gasoline — which Americans will have to consume in order to purchase the pennies-cheaper groceries — has skyrocketed by 42% since last year.

Inflation — the erosion of a currency’s purchasing power over time — can be devastating to an economy if left unchecked. Indeed, because low-wage workers tend to hold a greater proportion of their wealth in cash than high-income earners, inflation has an added regressive effect.

Take, for example, the May 2021 inflation rate of 5%. If this rate holds, every dollar will be worth 5% less by May 2022. An item that costs $100 in May 2021 would cost $105 in May 2022, and — unless the typical worker sees wage increases from $40,000 to $42,000 — he will have to spend a higher proportion of next year’s income to enjoy the same item. 

However, the effect will not be nearly as noticeable for someone who earns $400,000 — especially because he has more options for investing liquid cash into retirement accounts, property, and other assets that are largely immune to inflation.

Despite their insistence that any coming tax increases will only affect wealthier Americans, the Biden administration is fully aware that inflation harms Americans across the board. In fact, they count on this reality to fund the American Jobs Plan, the American Families Plan, and other multitrillion-dollar spending proposals.

The President’s Fourth of July tweet therefore serves little purpose apart from propaganda

On its face, carefully-selected data may show that food prices — mind you, for very specific items — have remained flat. But the intentional misinformation lies in the “missing context,” as left-wing fact-checkers are fond of saying.

The President’s rhetorical tactic is by no means new. Those familiar with George Orwell’s dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four — which is required reading for understanding the modern Democratic Party — will see through Biden’s tweet and its broader messaging strategy. In essence, the Biden administration is asking Americans to believe that prices are decreasing and increasing at the same time — a classic example of “doublethink,” or the simultaneous acceptance of two mutually exclusive propositions.

For instance, “Big Brother” buries its reduction in chocolate rations in a flurry of positive news, while declaring that the ration has actually increased only hours later:

Bad news coming, thought Winston. And sure enough, following on a gory description of the annihilation of a Eurasian army, with stupendous figures of killed and prisoners, came the announcement that, as from next week, the chocolate ration would be reduced from thirty grammes to twenty. Winston belched again. The gin was wearing off, leaving a deflated feeling. The telescreen — perhaps to celebrate the victory, perhaps to drown the memory of the lost chocolate — crashed into ‘Oceania, ‘tis for thee’.

The next day:

The new ration did not start till tomorrow and he had only four cigarettes left. For the moment he had shut his ears to the remoter noises and was listening to the stuff that streamed out of the telescreen. It appeared that there had even been demonstrations to thank Big Brother for raising the chocolate ration to twenty grammes a week. And only yesterday, he reflected, it had been announced that the ration was to be REDUCED to twenty grammes a week. Was it possible that they could swallow that, after only twenty-four hours? Yes, they swallowed it.

For the Biden administration, ignorance is strength.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.