How to Refute the White House’s Thanksgiving ‘Talking Points’ Memo

The White House on Wednesday published a list of Thanksgiving “talking points” to be shared around the dinner table this holiday.

White House chief of staff Ron Klain tweeted the list of Biden administration “accomplishments” for his followers to have at the ready should “that Uncle”—meaning a Republican family member—come “at you” about Joe.

Below are ways to refute the White House’s talking points:

Inflation

Per Breitbart: A Thanksgiving meal for 10 will cost $64.05, a 20 percent increase from last year’s average of $53.31, the American Farm Bureau reports. The consumer price index for food consumed at home is up 12.4 percent compared with a year ago. The broad index of consumer prices is up 7.7 percent over the last 12 months.

  • 16-pound turkey: $28.96 or $1.81 per pound (up 21%)
  • 14-ounce bag of cubed stuffing mix: $3.88 (up 69%)
  • 2 frozen pie crusts: $3.68 (up 26%)
  • Half pint of whipping cream: $2.24 (up 26%)
  • 1 pound of frozen peas: $1.90 (up 23%)
  • 1 dozen dinner rolls: $3.73 (up 22%)
  • Misc. ingredients to prepare the meal: $4.13 (up 20%)
  • 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix: $4.28 (up 18%)
  • 1 gallon of whole milk: $3.84 (up 16%)
  • 3 pounds of sweet potatoes: $3.96 (up 11%)
  • 1-pound veggie tray (carrots & celery): 88 cents (up 8%)

Gas Prices

Per Forbes: Experts believe gas prices will hit a Thanksgiving Day record as millions of Americans get ready to hit the road. The price of gas is up 20 cents from a year ago, and $1 more than in 2019, according to AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross. They’re also 16 cents higher than the previous Thanksgiving Day record ($3.44 in 2012).

Big Pharma

Per Stat: The U.S. government has thus far paid Pfizer $30 per [COVID-19] shot, making the vaccines available to all Americans for free. But with government purchases ending, Pfizer has decided to implement a private-market price in the range of $110 to $130 per dose, starting in 2023. There may be no direct financial impact to insured Americans getting the Pfizer Covid shot, but the higher cost borne by insurers will be passed on in the form of higher premiums.

Infrastructure Bill

Per New York Post: Biden’s $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act only earmarks $110 billion for roads, bridges, and other construction projects “that the American people generally consider ‘infrastructure.’”

Read the congressional Republican Study Committee’s memo which refers to the bill as a “Trojan horse” for Democratic social spending and “Green New Deal” initiatives:

CHIPS and Science Act

Even socialist Bernie Sanders on his own website questioned whether companies that benefit from this bill “will work with the U.S. government on a solution to rebuild the U.S. microchip industry which is fair to the taxpayers of this country, or whether they will continue to demand a $53 billion bribe to stay here. That is the main issue involved in the debate over the Chip legislation which may be on the floor of the Senate as early as next week.”

“What I cannot understand is why so many in Congress are so eager to pay this bribe. When the government adopts an industrial policy that socializes all the risk and privatizes all the profits, that is crony capitalism. The five biggest semi-conductor companies that will likely receive the lion’s share of this taxpayer handout, Intel, Texas Instruments, Micron Technology, Global Foundries and Samsung, made $70 billion in profits last year. Does it sound like these companies really need corporate welfare?”

Gun Control

Biden signed a gun control bill in June that was critiqued by the Firearms Policy Coalition in the following way:

  • Red Flag Laws: Expands the definition of “engaged in the business” by striking “with the principal objective of livelihood and profit” in the current definition and replacing it with “to predominantly earn a profit.” This confusion could lead to new and successful prosecutions of private sellers who may fall under the broad and vague definition of “engaged in business” and therefore the need to be licensed.
  • Private Sales: By expanding the definition of a prohibiting misdemeanor domestic violence in such a vague, broad, and subjective way invites confusion and potential firearms prohibitions.
  • New Misdemeanor Firearms Prohibitions: By expanding the definition of a prohibiting misdemeanor domestic violence in such a vague, broad, and subjective way it invites confusion, and potential firearms prohibitions.
  • Transfers and Straw Purchases: Expanded definitions and dramatic penalty enhancements on individuals who illegally transfer firearms. Prohibits the government from arming drug cartels, unless the government exercises more oversight on said drug cartels, thus allowing the free flow of arms to these cartels to continue in perpetuity.

10 Million Jobs Created

From Washington Examiner: As they often do, the president and his administration omitted key context behind the “10 million jobs” figure. The most important is that nonpartisan experts predicted historic job creation even without any of the administration’s trillion-dollar spending plans, as the economy continued to recover from massive pandemic layoffs. As Politifact put it in an August report (“Joe Biden Exaggerates Job-Creation Impact of American Rescue Plan”):

The Congressional Budget Office analyzed the American Rescue Plan while it was being debated. Its analysts in February 2021 projected that even without the bill’s passage, employment would organically rise by 6.25 million jobs in 2021 and 1.74 million jobs in 2022.

Unemployment

Via CNET: When analysts at the Ludwig Institute for Shared Economic Prosperity, a nonprofit research center focused on lower- and middle-income families, measured what they call the “true rate of unemployment” in October, it was 23.6%, more than six times higher than the official number.

Relying exclusively on a flawed metric to measure the “health” of the economy is misleading. Individuals who’ve given up looking for work aren’t even counted as unemployed, while part-time employees or freelancers who might find only one hour of work per week — financially unsustainable by any standard — are treated as employed. Millions of others are actually “underemployed,” meaning their jobs pay poverty wages or don’t make use of their abilities. And then there are the faces behind the curtain: individuals with physical disabilities or restrictions that prevent them from rejoining the labor force, and low-income families, disproportionately Black and Latino, that are left struggling within the weakening social safety net.

U.S. Supporting Ukraine’s War with Russia

Per CNN: The US has few ways to track the substantial supply of anti-tank, anti-aircraft and other weaponry it has sent across the border into Ukraine, sources tell CNN, a blind spot that’s due in large part to the lack of US boots on the ground in the country – and the easy portability of many of the smaller systems now pouring across the border.

It’s a conscious risk the Biden administration is willing to take.

In the short term, the US sees the transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of equipment to be vital to the Ukrainians’ ability to hold off Moscow’s invasion. A senior defense official said Tuesday that it is “certainly the largest recent supply to a partner country in a conflict.” But the risk, both current US officials and defense analysts say, is that in the long term, some of those weapons may wind up in the hands of other militaries and militias that the US did not intend to arm.

“We have fidelity for a short time, but when it enters the fog of war, we have almost zero,” said one source briefed on US intelligence. “It drops into a big black hole, and you have almost no sense of it at all after a short period of time.”

In making the decision to send billions of dollars of weapons and equipment into Ukraine, the Biden administration factored in the risk that some of the shipments may ultimately end up in unexpected places, a defense official said.

“No” New Taxes for Individuals Making Less than $400,000

From CNBC: The Inflation Reduction Act would also implement a 15% corporate minimum tax, paid on the income large companies report to shareholders. This is where “indirect” taxes might come into play, experts said. For example, a corporation with a higher tax bill might pass on those additional costs to employees, perhaps in the form of a lower raise, or reduced corporate profits may hurt 401(k) and other investors who own a piece of the company in a mutual fund.

The current corporate tax rate is 21% but some companies are able to reduce their effective tax rate and therefore pare back their bill.

As a result of the policy, those with incomes below $200,000 would pay almost $17 billion in combined additional tax in 2023, according to a Joint Committee on Taxation analysis published July 29. That combined tax burden falls to about $2 billion by 2031, according to the JCT, an independent scorekeeper for Congress.

“The Democrats’ approach to tax reform means increasing taxes on low- and middle-income Americans,” Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, ranking member of the Finance Committee, said of the analysis.