The White House wants you to know that your July 4th cookout will cost $0.16 less than last year

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

The Biden White House posted a bizarre tweet that claims that a July 4th cookout will cost a whopping sixteen cents less than it did last year. Apparently, this is cause for celebration. The source of this claim is cited as The Farm Bureau.

The American Farm Bureau Federation looked at food prices for cookouts and concluded that the prices are a few cents less this year when averaged out. Joe Biden will be excited to see ice cream on the list.

U.S. consumers will pay just a few cents less for their favorite Independence Day cookout foods compared to last year, including cheeseburgers, pork chops, chicken breasts, homemade potato salad, strawberries and ice cream, says the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Farm Bureau analysis reveals the average cost of a summer cookout for 10 people remains affordable at $59.50, or less than $6 per person. The cost for the cookout is down just 16 cents (less than 1%) from last year, but 8% higher compared to 2019.

The largest year-to-year price increase was for strawberries. Survey results showed 2 pints of strawberries at $5.30, up 22% from last year, due to strong demand and the effects of several weather events including severe rain, hail and high winds that caused significant setbacks to the harvest early in 2021.

This is news to most grocery shoppers. Grocery prices have been going up, not down, even if it is a matter of cents on each item. Meat prices are certainly up. The price of propane is “skyrocketing”. Grilling has been popular for people stuck at home during the pandemic and grill makers hope the trend continues as we get back to a more normal way of life.

Gasoline prices are “skyrocketing”, too. U.S. gas prices have hit a 7 year high.

Gas prices nationally this weekend are projected to average $3.11 per gallon, the highest since 2014 and 43 percent more than the same time last year, when the average was $2.18 per gallon, according to GasBuddy, a fuel price-tracking website.

Gasoline prices have jumped this year as the pandemic has waned, economies reopen and more people travel. The growing demand, meanwhile, has been met with a shrinking supply of crude in recent weeks.

“Amidst lower oil production as oil companies struggle to raise output, gas prices have been higher this summer than in the past few years,” said Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy’s head of petroleum analysis.

In my city, according to GasBuddy, the price per gallon of gas is 88 cents higher than this time last year.

Back in April, we were warned that higher food prices would be with us through the end of the year. Maybe Joe Biden should re-think his preference of banning oil drilling and halting the construction of oil and gas pipelines.

Gas prices and transportation costs that get passed on to consumers, especially for items like bread, are only going up as driving increases faster than oil production. So grocery prices are likely to remain on the higher end of estimates for at least the rest of the year, Olvera said. Producers may eventually increase their output to capture the heightened demand, but that won’t happen until toward the end of the year, Olvera said.

I can’t help but think this lame tweet from the White House (on its official account) is meant to troll the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC). Just one day earlier, the NRCC released a new ad that trashes Biden’s economic policies as a cause for higher prices at the grocery store. The ads target individual members of Congress seen as vulnerable in their bids for re-election in 2022.

Here is one targeting an Iowa congresswoman:

The Biden economic policies are causing comparisons to the 1970s and the Jimmy Carter administration. You would think that whoever approved the tweet from the White House would be more careful to not conjure up visions of the days of Carter and deflation.

Whether intended as a troll tweet or not, the White House’s effort is cringeworthy. The claim of a $0.16 decrease is not something a serious White House releases. They must be really desperate for any kind of perceived win at all. The prices averaged out may show a minuscule decrease for the total menu but grocery shoppers know that individual items cost more than last year. The trend on prices for individual grocery items is up, not down. The pandemic is a major factor as are interruptions of supply chains, that’s a fact, but with people leaving their homes again and going back to work and road trips this summer, prices will likely remain higher.