Trump warns of ‘death of American dream’ as inflation persists

"High inflation means high prices, high interest rates, high mortgage rates, and death for the American Dream," President Trump said.

Former President Donald Trump speaks at the Minnesota GOP's Lincoln-Reagan Dinner May 17, 2024. (Alpha News)

While rallying in Minnesota, former President Donald Trump redoubled his focus on criticizing soaring inflation on President Joe Biden’s watch, claiming that the price hikes since his rival assumed office are costing the typical family an additional $1,165 each month compared to the Trump presidency.

“When I left office, we had NO INFLATION,” President Trump said in a Saturday morning post on Truth Social, his social media platform. “Yet in the past 3 years, the Biden Inflation Tax has cost the average Minnesota family a staggering $28,000 dollars — and the Biden Price Hikes are continuing to drain $1,165 dollars from the typical Minnesota family budget every single month!”

While President Trump didn’t explain the source of the $1,165 figure for extra costs due to rising prices under the Biden administration, the American Institute for Economic Research’s cost of living calculator shows that this number nationwide is roughly the same.

President Trump made the remarks following his keynote speech a day prior at the Minnesota Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Reagan Dinner in St. Paul, in which he repeatedly criticized President Biden, lamenting “Bidenomics” and joking he no longer eats bacon because it’s too expensive.

Prices have risen 19.9 percent since President Biden took office, according to the latest inflation data from the government’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) report. In some categories, the pace of inflation is even higher. For example, rent is up 20.8 percent, grocery prices are up 21.3 percent, and car repairs are up 30.2 percent.

One of the consequences of soaring inflation has been a sharp increase in interest rates, which were raised quickly from near zero in March 2022 to over 5 percent by the Federal Reserve in a bid to cool demand and take the sting out of price pressures. While inflation has fallen from its recent 9 percent peak, it remains above the Fed’s 2 percent target — and there are signs and warnings that it could stay elevated or make a raging comeback.

‘Death for the American Dream’

High interest rates have made borrowing more expensive and put home ownership out of reach for many Americans, especially first-time homebuyers. Prospective homebuyers need to earn nearly twice as much to afford a typical home today as they did around four years ago, according to a recent study by Redfin.

“One of the most vicious effects of the Biden Inflation Tax is how Crooked Joe has made it impossible for millions of Americans, especially YOUNG Americans, to buy a home, a car, or even make rent,” President Trump said in a separate post on Truth Social. “High inflation means high prices, high interest rates, high mortgage rates, and death for the American Dream.”

President Trump pointed out that the average 30-year mortgage is now around 8 percent compared to 2.6 percent in his final month in office.

“That means a typical Minnesota home mortgage that used to cost you $2,000 dollars a month now costs nearly $3,100 dollars a month. And because of the Biden Price Hikes, it is harder than ever to save for a downpayment!” he added.

President Biden, for his part, has argued that the inflationary pulse was initially mostly due to pandemic-related supply-chain disruptions and later fanned by the impact of the war in Ukraine on energy prices. He has also pointed to the fact that inflation is now considerably lower than the June 2022 peak of 9 percent and recently argued that Americans’ wages have gone up and so they “have money” to pay higher prices.

In his inflation-focused criticism of the incumbent, President Trump said that, despite what President Biden says, “the American People CANNOT afford his inflation nightmare — and we DEFINITELY cannot afford four more years of Crooked Joe Biden!”

Recent polling shows that the economy and inflation are the top two issues for voters ahead of the November presidential election, in which a Trump–Biden rematch appears certain.

As President Biden’s approval rating hovers in the mid-to-high 30s, most Americans say that the economy and inflation are the most important issues determining who they will support for president in November, with 88 percent pointing to the economy and 85 percent saying inflation is the top issue.

Larry Kudlow, who served as director of the National Economic Council under President Trump, remarked that the former president’s record on wages and inflation significantly outshines that of the incumbent.

“On the economy, Mr. Trump will have significant ammunition on two key points,” Mr. Kudlow, who’s now a Fox Business host, said in an appearance on the network on Friday. “First, real disposable income, an absolutely vital presidential-year indicator. On a cumulative basis, Trump was up over 12 percent during his term, while Joe Biden is only up 2.9 percent in his term. That’s one of the worst disposable income performances of any post-World War II presidency.”

Mr. Kudlow added that, while salaries have gone up under President Biden, a large part of the wage gains has been eroded by inflation.

“A key reason for Biden’s bad income growth is that, cumulatively, inflation under Mr. Trump was only up 8 percent — while it’s up 21 percent under Mr. Biden,” Mr. Kudlow said.

Susan Garland, 47, from Elkridge, Maryland, believes inflation is one of the top issues facing America ahead of the November election.

“We are definitely feeling it. We’re a two-person family. Our grocery bill is now over $100 a week,” she told The Epoch Times in an interview.

For more than 10 years, the Garland’s grocery bills used to be roughly $70 per week — before high inflation hit, she noted. She and her husband have had to cut back on spending on everything, from vacations to eating out.

Her husband, plumber Michael Garland, 53, says homeowners are also reducing their spending on services, which has a direct impact on his income.

“If they can’t afford services, they won’t call me, which affects my job,” he said.

Emel Akan contributed to this report.

This article was originally published at The Epoch Times


Tom Ozimek | The Epoch Times

Tom Ozimek is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times. He has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education.