COMPASS: “The economy is strong as hell”

October 17th, 2022

Good afternoon from Capitol Hill.

The House and Senate are still out of session. If you miss the Capitol Hill Sturm und Drang, you can live vicariously through the midterm debates going on around the country.

Rep. Tim Ryan and JD Vance face off in a debate for the open Ohio Senate seat tonight at 7p. Sen. Mike Lee debates challenger Evan McMullin tonight at 8p. You can catch last Friday’s debate between Sen. Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker for the Georgia Senate seat here. And Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene debated her opponent, Marcus Flowers, last night. You can catch that here.

Inflation is on everyone’s mind as the Commerce Department announced last week that the Consumer Price Index was 8.2 percent higher than a year ago – barely down from last month’s 8.3 percent, and core inflation, which removes the sky high energy and food costs, is up by 6.6 percent.

By “on everyone’s mind,” I mean everyone’s mind except for Joe Biden’s. While licking an ice cream cone on a visit to Oregon yesterday, the president said he was “not concerned about the strength of the dollar. I’m concerned about the rest of the world.” Before adding, “Our economy is strong as hell.” He is apparently unaware that the price of his ice cream is up 13.6 percent compared with a year ago.

The House is officially out of session, but the January 6th Select Committee met for what was likely their final hearing last week. Rep. Liz Cheney tried to bring the whole thing to a dramatic close with the announcement that the committee would issue a subpoena for former President Trump. Perhaps she intended this to be a shot across the bow at intimidation. But – plot twist – Trump reportedly loves the idea of testifying.

How effective has the January 6th Committee been? It would seem that it hasn’t moved the needle in any direction. If anything, it’s further entrenched partisans on both sides. And it’s subject matter has also been subsumed by more pressing concerns. Fox’s late night host, Greg Gutfeld (whose show is currently leading the charts for late night) put it this way on Friday:

Look, surveys tell us everyone what everyone cares about, it ain’t Jan 6th. It’s the economy. It’s crime. January 6th is less important than Todd Pirro’s time slot. Someone’s watching, probably your family. Here’s why. January 6th is not eating away at your retirement fund. It’s not mugging people on the subways. It’s not killing people by the tens of thousands like fentanyl, and it’s certainly not elevating possibility for nuclear war as we pour billions into a conflict thousands of miles away, and I don’t mean Kat’s honeymoon. Each one of those things is an urgent matter. 

The Latest From Around The Conservative Movement

One More Thing…

I spoke at last weekend’s Restoring A Nation conference at Franciscan University. I’ve adapted my remarks into an essay, which you can find here.