Joe Biden’s Cook Out Stop Gives Critics Ammunition for Attacks


Published January 19, 2024

President Joe Biden has been hit with criticism after a photo of him at a Cook Out appeared to lay bare the impact of inflation over the last four years.

The Democrat visited the battleground state of North Carolina on Thursday, where he spoke at Abbotts Creek Community Center in Raleigh to drum up support for his economic policies. Among these, Biden announced investment in high-speed internet for rural communities in the state.

Inflation continues to hammer away at people’s wallets. A widely seen January report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics said that consumer prices rose 3.4 percent in December, compared to a year ago, up from 3.1 percent in the previous month.

Food inflation rose 0.2 percent in December, and menu prices at restaurants and cafes increased faster than prices on store shelves. While inflation is below last summer’s peak of over 9 percent, it is more than a percentage point higher than the Federal Reserve’s target rate of 2 percent.

After his Raleigh speech, the president visited a branch of the fast-food chain Cook Out, where he was photographed by onlookers.


One photo showed Biden in front of a menu, which listed the price of a Cook Out tray as $7.69. The menu says that a tray includes a main meal with two sides and a drink. Critics have said the photo shows the rate of inflation. Newsweek has contacted a Biden representative by email and Cook Out by website form to comment on this story.

North Carolina Senator Phil Berger posted an image of Biden visiting the fast-food restaurant when the same meal was cheaper. On 18 October, 2020, Biden went to Durham, North Carolina, ahead of the 2020 presidential election. The cost of a Cook Out tray then was $5.99, according to the photo of Biden in front of a similar menu.



RELATED: OP-ED: The Struggling US Economy

Published January 18, 2024

The Washington Post recently published an article titled, “The economy is improving under Biden. But many voters aren’t giving him credit.” The Post credited six writers on the story’s byline. Six writers to compose an article that hypothesizes the economy is doing great, but voters are too stupid to realize how well things are?

This is what happens when people whose entire world revolves around the dinner parties of the Washington elite try to understand working-class Americans.

An examination of the data below the headlines shows that Americans continue to struggle under America’s economy and Biden’s self-named Bidenomics.

In December 2023, the inflation rate was 3.4%, as measured by the consumer price index. Television pundits and government spokespeople celebrated, pointing out that in December 2022, the inflation rate was at 6.4%, and thus inflation is under control.

This is a flawed argument that only holds water in the Washington, D.C. bubble.  Inflation is not decreasing; the rate of increase is slowing.


Washington bureaucrats make the same false argument when discussing budget cuts, citing the reduction in the growth of spending as cost reductions, which they are not.

The fact is that compared to December 2021, inflation is up nearly 10%. And, while the rate of inflation growth has fallen significantly since its high of 9.1% in June 2022, compared to January 2021, prices are up more than 17.5%.

When one examines the “basket of needs,” those household expenses that must be incurred in order to live: food, shelter, and energy, inflation is not just bad, it is devastating.

This is especially true for low-income Americans for whom these expenses represent a greater percentage of income than for those who are more financially secure.



RELATED:Consumer prices rose 0.3% in December, higher than expected, pushing the annual rate to 3.4%

Published January 11, 2024
  • The consumer price index increased 0.3% in December and 3.4% from a year ago, compared with respective estimates of 0.2% and 3.2%
  • Excluding volatile food and energy prices, the so-called core CPI also rose 0.3% for the month and 3.9% from a year ago, compared with respective estimates of 0.3% and 3.8%.
  • Much of the increase came due to rising shelter costs. The category rose 0.5% for the month and accounted for more than half the core CPI increase.
  • Wages adjusted for inflation posted a 0.2% gain on the month, while rising a modest 0.8% from a year ago.

Prices that consumers pay for a variety of goods and services rose more than expected in December, according to a Labor Department measure Thursday that shows inflation still holding a grip on the U.S. economy.

The consumer price index increased 0.3% for the month, higher than the 0.2% estimate at a time when most economists and policymakers see inflationary pressures easing. On a 12-month basis, the CPI closed 2023 up 3.4%. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for a year-over-year reading of 3.2%.

By comparison, the annual CPI gain in December 2022 was about 6.4%.

Excluding volatile food and energy prices, the so-called core CPI also rose 0.3% for the month and 3.9% from a year ago, compared with respective estimates of 0.3% and 3.8%. The year-over-year core reading was the lowest since May 2021.

Much of the increase came due to rising shelter costs. The category rose 0.5% for the month and accounted for more than half the core CPI increase. On annual basis, shelter costs increased 6.2%, or about two-thirds of the rise in inflation.

Fed officials largely expect shelter costs to decline through the year as renewed leases reflect lower rents.





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Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter
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