The new Veracity Report series that focuses on fact-checking claims made by government officials, media outlets, and politically biased media platforms that claim to be ‘fact-checkers.’
In this inaugural episode of VR Fact or Fiction, we will examine the claim made by President Joe Biden at the conclusion of the climate summit in Madrid, Spain on June 30th.
In a brief address to reporters from the stage in Madrid, Biden was quick to condemn the recent decision made by the US Supreme Court in Dobbs vs The Women’s Health Organization – the new benchmark case which essentially negated the 50+-year-old former Supreme Court decision in Roe vs. Wade. That decision had just come down the day before.
Shortly after that speech, while fielding a few questions by reporters by reporters in attendance, The President was asked about the current economy and inflation as it stands, but it was his response to the inflation question which is the subject of this investigation.
In his response, President Biden made the claim that “inflation is higher in almost every other country.” This quote initiated only a brief snicker from mainstream media outlets – that is, the few who bothered to even mention it. For those of you who might have missed it, which is pretty much everyone in the world that wasn’t watching the speech live, here it is:
The subject of this investigation then is simple: is this claim by the President of the United States, made while standing on a foreign stage and issuing a statement that is being viewed by several dozen nations across Europe and around the world, true?
We turned first to PEW research to get a feel for their take on global inflation. The following chart is their latest statistical data on the current state of inflation in a total of 44 countries around the world.
As we can see by the chart, the current level of inflation in the US sits pretty much in the middle of this list. But, what’s also important, though only peripherally related, is this quote about the state of America’s inflation as reported by SHRM (The Society For Human Resource Management):
Hourly wages have been rising faster than salaries, with annual wage growth reaching 6.1 percent in May, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s wage tracker.
Higher inflation, however, means the buying power of workers’ take-home pay is shrinking. Real (inflation-adjusted) average hourly earnings, seasonally adjusted, fell 3 percent from May 2021 to May 2022, the BLS separately reported in June.
“For the past 10 years, very low inflation has provided real wage growth for U.S. workers,” said Tom McMullen, senior client partner with organizational consulting firm Korn Ferry in Chicago. “Wages are up, the highest rate of change in the past decade, but inflation is the highest in 40 years.”
He observed, “you don’t hear much angst when wage growth exceeds inflation, but we’re hearing it now, especially given the large gap between the two.”
While employers are offering higher wages to attract talent, the gap between job openings and available workers remained at 5.5 million in April, or about two jobs for every unemployed worker, the BLS said in its June 1 jobs report.
Based on all of this information, there is only one possible conclusion to this investigation. After reviewing the available statistics, we determine that the June 30th statement made by Joe Biden, in which he declared “inflation is higher in almost every other country” [than it is in America]. is false.
As an additional fact-check, Biden also claims in his speech that “Prices at the pump are higher in almost every other country” as well. Since it was part of the same utterance, we felt it imperative to determine if maybe that stated fact were actually true, and if the President simply might have gotten the two statements confused–a simple mistake rather than an outright deception.
Our top researchers took to the global fuel indexes and this is what they found.
There are many sources of fuel costs around the globe, but we found this article by Kiplinger to be the easiest to understand and evaluate. As you can see in the chart below, on the day this report was compiled, the average price for a gallon of gas in the US was $4.79. A price that is remarkably close to where it is at the time of this writing.
The chart below displays the per-gallon cost of regular unleaded gasoline, in American dollars, of 40 different countries displayed here (there are many more than that in the world). Just in this short list, we can see that at the time the chart was compiled, 10 of the countries enumerated here have gasoline prices lower than the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the US — some of them (like Russia) dramatically lower.
|Country||Price as of May 30 in USD per gallon|
Becasue of these facts, we must come to the conclusion that this second of Mr. Biden’s, that “Prices at the pump are higher in almost every other country,” is also false.
4 thoughts on “VR Fact or Fiction – Joe Biden Claims The US Has a Better Inflation Rate Than Most Other Countries”
Regarding the gas claim. I guess you need to define the word, “most” now don’t you.? Is 75% high enough to claim “most”? Or does it need to be 80%, 90%, 95%, or 99%? its also interesting to note which countries are lower – not your typical G7 nations. Then look at what prices are in other western countries.
It would have been nice if this article gave you a similar list showing the inflation rates of these countries as well.
I’m not a Biden fan, but this seems a bit silly, especially when you look at it against the prior four years.
We would agree, accept Joe didn’t use the word “most”, he used the term “almost all”, which inherently means with very few – as in only one or two exceptions. In truth, we could have even gotten grittier in our critique since almost all of the nations that partook in the summit that he was just then attending, are among the nations with lower gas prices than we have.
In fact, even with the recently modest declines in gas prices, we in America still pay more per gallon than about 1/3 of the world. Not good when we were energy independent just 2 years ago. Being energy independent makes us completely impervious to foreign influences on oil, gasoline and refining prices.
This is why there isn’t even a debate among economists that this administration is 100% responsible for the pain we feel at the pump each day, not to mention about 90% of our total inflationary woes are directly related to the amok spending and absurd policies and executive orders this adminsitration has put in place since January of 2021.
Please re-sort that list by the $$ amount so that we can easily see what you are talking about.
Many thanks for your efforts.
Hi Doug, and thank you for reading and commenting.
Unfortunately, we are just too short staffed to have someone take the time to do that, however, if you copy and paste all those amounts into an Excel Spreadsheet or Google Sheet, you can easily sort them in order from highest to lowest. As it turns out, at the time that article was written, the average price of a gallon of gas in the US was more than about 1/3 of the rest of the world.
I hope that helps you, and thanks again for reading and commenting.