White House wants you to believe this year’s Thanksgiving meal will be one of the cheapest ever — but the data doesn’t lie
The White House displayed literal Thanksgiving Day menus on Monday to claim that this year’s meal will be one of the cheapest ever.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said:
And as we start preparing our Thanksgiving meals, grocery inflation is at its lowest level in over two years, with prices for eggs, milk, bacon, and fresh veggies lower than last year. In fact, according to the American Farm Bureau, the cost of a Thanksgiving dinner fell this year. Prices are down for turkey, stuffing, peas, cranberries, pie crust, and whipping cream.
Because wages are rising, this Thanksgiving dinner is the fourth-cheapest ever as a percentage of average earnings.
11/20/23: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre
But according to the American Farm Bureau Federation, the White House is not telling the whole truth.
Last week, the AFBF released its annual report surveying the cost of Thanksgiving dinner. The analysis found that a “classic Thanksgiving feast for 10 will be $61.17, or approximately $6.12 per guest,” which amounts to a 4.5% decline from last year’s record-high cost.
But what Jean-Pierre did not say is that the cost of this year’s meal is 25% higher than the cost in 2019, the year before the COVID-19 pandemic, when the average Thanksgiving meal cost just $48.91, according to the AFBF’s analysis.
Importantly, the AFBF did not attribute this year’s decline to anything President Joe Biden has done.
“Given its prominence, the turkey is the true driver of Thanksgiving dinner prices. This year’s drop in turkey prices is attributable to a decrease in avian influenza cases and the resulting recovery in the turkey flock,” the AFBF explained.
When all factors are considered, this year’s Thanksgiving meal is the second-most expensive in the history of AFBF’s holiday-meal analysis.
Bragging about a slightly less expensive Thanksgiving dinner suggests the Biden administration is out of touch with the economic pains of average Americans.
After all, core inflation — which measures the inflation of goods minus food and energy, which are volatile markets — continues to go up, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That metric is a more accurate reflection of the economy, and it helps explain why the majority of Americans are dissatisfied with Biden’s handling of the economy.
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