CNN’s Avlon Declares It ‘Objectively True’ Economy Is Better Under Biden

News & Politics

CNN senior political analyst John Avlon, with his signature “reality check” segments, fancies himself as someone who calls out political spin and misinformation, but on Friday’s edition of Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO it was Avlon who needed and got a much needed reality check on the Biden economy after he said the country was “objectively” better off than in 2020.

PBS NewsHour special correspondent Jane Ferguson noted that, “the average person is, kind of, like, getting told by billionaires all the time and then going to the grocery store and finding things are way more expensive.”

Avlon responded by wasting no time in getting eye-raising claims, “And it’s utterly screwed up and look, politics is perception, but the cost of living issue is real and we did take low inflation for granted for a long time. You know, you know, you don’t hear a lot from the MMT crowd on the far-left, ‘none of this matters you can keep spending all the money you want.’ It does have an impact.” 

Huh? People on the left have constantly denied that their spending hand anything to do with inflation.

Still, Avlon insisted that, “Biden’s got a good story to tell about the economy. It is objectively true that our country is better off economically than we were certainly three years ago and it’s not just because of the pandemic.”

Avlon then proceeded to list off a series of stats that very much were impacted by the pandemic, “I mean, you know, we’ve had 14 million jobs grown, we’ve got wages outpacing inflation, inflation is going down, unemployment rate is under 4 percent.”

For Avlon the problem for Biden is one of messaging, “Main Street is actually doing well compared to Wall Street and we’ve got manufacturing coming back a lot of big bipartisan bills are starting to take effect including the infrastructure bill and the CHIPS Act. Those are good stories to tell. Democrats and Biden aren’t telling them well but those are– that kind of reality matters.”

An unconvinced Maher then recalled, “Well, actually, what I read is that since 2020, prices are basically up 20 percent, but so are wages, so it’s a complete draw. So, it doesn’t it doesn’t look like you won anything.”

Probably not realizing that Maher just undermined his entire argument, Avlon agreed, “That’s a problem.”

That would mean that the economy is not objectively doing better under Biden, but what else do you expect from a CNN reality checker?

Here is a transcript for the December 8 show:

HBO Real Time with Bill Maher

12/8/2023

10:38 PM ET

JANE FERGUSON: Whatever you feel about that, the average person is, kind of, like, getting told by billionaires all the time and then going to the grocery store and finding things are way more expensive. 

JOHN AVLON: And it’s utterly screwed up and look, politics is perception, but the cost of living issue is real and we did take low inflation for granted for a long time. You know, you know, you don’t hear a lot from the MMT crowd on the far-left, “none of this matters you can keep spending all the money you want.” It does have an impact. 

That said, Biden’s got a good story to tell about the economy. It is objectively true that our country is better off economically than we were certainly three years ago and it’s not just because of the pandemic. 

I mean, you know, we’ve had 14 million jobs grown, we’ve got wages outpacing inflation, inflation is going down, unemployment rate is under 4 percent, Main Street is actually doing well compared to Wall Street and we’ve got manufacturing coming back a lot of big bipartisan bills are starting to take effect including the infrastructure bill and the CHIPS Act. Those are good stories to tell. Democrats and Biden aren’t telling them well but those are– that kind of reality matters. 

MAHER: Well, actually, what I read is that since 2020, prices are basically up 20 percent, but so are wages, so it’s a complete draw. 

FERGUSON: But, wages where? 

MAHER: So, it doesn’t it doesn’t look like you won anything.

FERGUSON: But wages where?

AVLON: That’s a problem.

FERGUSON: Like, what’s an average in this country? I mean, are wages up, you know, for people who work in the tech sector—and banking in cities.

MAHER: But, again, it’s the things that people buy all the time–

AVLON: Yeah.

MAHER: –like eggs and gas and bullets.

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