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EDITORIAL: Biden condemns himself in attack on shrinkflation

Chip bags aren’t the only thing inflation is shrinking. It’s also diminishing President Joe Biden’s re-election prospects.

Traditionally, the sitting president gives a pre-Super Bowl interview. The president gets to address a large audience and softball questions. The network gets the prestige of interviewing the president. But for the second year in a row, Mr. Biden declined the invitation.

Politically, this is understandable. Special counsel Robert Hur’s recent report described the president as “a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.” Mr. Hur said the president didn’t remember when his term as vice president began and ended. He even forgot when his son Beau died. Mr. Biden then held a disastrous news conference demonstrating his memory lapses to the country.

But Mr. Biden — or at least his political team — couldn’t let the Super Bowl pass without comment.

“When buying snacks for the game, you might have noticed one thing: Sports drink bottles are smaller, a bag of chips has fewer chips, but they’re still charging you just as much,” Mr. Biden said in a heavily edited video.

Shrinkflation is a real problem. It’s all over the grocery store. But see if you can spot the problem with where Mr. Biden places the blame for this phenomenon.

“Some companies are trying to pull a fast one by shrinking the products,” he said. He continued, “The American public is tired of being played for suckers. I’m calling on companies to put a stop to this.”

This is a common belief on the left. Greedy companies are trying to rip off people who desperately need Democrats to protect them. If so, why didn’t these “greedy” companies shrink their products while Donald Trump was president? Surely, that would have been an even better time to do so.

But blaming Big Snack for smaller portions is simply an attempt to deflect attention from the real culprit. Companies didn’t shrink their products previously because they feared consumers would turn to their competitors. Under Mr. Biden, however, producers are all facing the same pressure — runaway inflation. They can shrink their products because the alternative, raising prices, is even more unpalatable.

Mr. Biden and Democrats have only themselves to blame for this, In early 2021, the economy was recovering nicely from the coronavirus lockdowns. But progressives wanted to pass the American Rescue plan, a massive new spending bill larded with handouts for left-leaning special-interest groups. Even Lawrence Summers, an economic adviser to Barack Obama, warned it would spike inflation. It did just that.

Instead of taking responsibility Mr. Biden is, as usual, looking to pass the blame. Don’t fall for it.

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