March 28, 2022

There’s an old economic indicator called The Big Mac Index, which is a lighthearted analysis from The Economist that compares purchasing power parity via the price of a McDonalds Big Mac hamburger. The index compares the Big Mac price in different countries and whether you could buy more or less of it with the same money as last year.

In short, we get smaller Big Macs, despite President Biden lauding his first-year economic performance in a late 2021 tweet. With all due respect, his claim falls short and fails the Big Mac test. While the U.S. economy has rebounded strongly from the recession, saying it’s the strongest economy in the last 50 years is a stretch.

On the contrary, The Big Mac Index says we don’t get as many burgers for our buck as last year. And the government’s Consumer Price Index rose 7.5% in 2021, the biggest jump since 1982.

In other words, inflation is rampant and purchasing power is declining. And most Americans think President Biden isn’t doing enough.

In a CBS News poll, 65% of respondents said the Biden administration isn’t focused enough on inflation.

While the president inherited an economic crisis, his administration responded with a fiscal response on a scale commensurate with the nation’s needs. That was arguably his best first-year accomplishment because it protected many Americans and helped deliver a faster recovery than in other developed nations.

But inflation is a huge problem now and people don’t feel good about the response. They also don’t feel great about our future, with 72 percent of Americans saying the country is on the wrong track. That doesn’t bode well for Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections.