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White House Pretending TikTok ‘Disinformation’ Stokes Price Fears Is An Insult To Americans

I’ve been grocery shopping for 20 years, and I have the regular and sale prices of all my staples memorized. It’s not TikTok, it’s the prices.


Somehow we’re at the point in American history when the government calling something “disinformation” is a leading indicator it’s true.

This week government-boosted propaganda outlets are amplifying the Biden administration’s fatuous claim that inflation fears are being artificially increased by “disinformation” on social media. Katerina Eva Matsa, the “director of news and information research at the Pew Research Center,” told The New York Times, “’Is the news — the way it has evolved — making people view things negatively?’ she asked. It’s hard to tell, she explained, but ‘how you’re being bombarded, entangled in all of this information might have contributed.'”

The article goes on to blame the American people’s very negative economic perceptions on viral social media posts foregrounding the issue in their minds. The Washington Post and The New Republic fisked a viral TikTok post about a guy paying $16 for lunch at McDonald’s. Not one of them refuted the cost of the Idaho guy’s burger, fries, and drink, but instead hand-waved about how the incident doesn’t represent the whole picture.

The White House Office of Digital Strategy “tracked the meme as one of many exaggerated examples of the nation’s economic woes,” an anonymous White House official told the Post. The Post went on to air federal officials’ frustration that “one anomalous price from one store in Idaho 11 months ago was ripping through people’s social media feeds as if it explained the entire economy.”

This is one of the stupidest media cycles I’ve seen in the 10 years I’ve been monitoring them at The Federalist. It’s not social media making inflation top of Americans’ minds, it’s every trip to every store. It’s every online purchase, every visit to the gas pump, every month of paying home energy bills that only increase in baseline prices.

I have some kind of economic interaction just about every day, and every one is shocking and a little bit terrifying even though, unlike the majority of Americans, we’re doing fine paying our bills. Every time we empty a peanut butter jar or flour bin I wonder how much it will cost this time to replace it. Every time our water bill goes up I start thinking maybe I shouldn’t take those wonderfully relaxing baths that ease my aches at certain times of the month.

It’s scary even though we’re making ends meet, partially because the people supposedly in charge of this have no clue how to fix it because doing so contradicts their ideology. Instead, they’re just cracking down on people who notice the problem. That kind of response is a recipe for making everything worse.

I’m not an idiot, I’ve been grocery shopping weekly for 20 years, and I have the regular and sale prices of all my staples memorized. It’s not TikTok, it’s the freaking prices.

Here are some examples of those staples from my area, one of the lowest cost-of-living localities in the country. You will notice the price jumps are way higher than the officially claimed numbers for overall inflation over this time period of something like 10-15 percent. All of the prices listed are for the exact same brands.

Sour cream, 16 oz. We eat at least four of these a week.
2020: $0.99
2023: $1.69, sometimes $1.99

Eggs, one dozen. We eat five to six dozen a week.
2020: $0.69
2023: $1.69-$2.49

Milk, one gallon. We drink three to four gallons a week.
2020: $1.29
2023: $2.49 or more

Flour, per pound. I use four to five pounds per week making about half our bread products.
2020: $0.25-$0.49
2023: $0.49-$1

Tortillas, per eight-pack. We eat two of these per week.
2020: $1.29
2023: $2.19-$2.69

Fruit, per pound. We eat 10-12 pounds of fruit per week.
2020: $0.99/lb for everything in season, including treats like strawberries. Sometimes you could get deals for $0.75 or even $0.50 per pound.
2023: $1.50/lb for everything in season, even the cheapest fruits like oranges and apples. Strawberries haven’t been $0.99/lb even in June since 2020 around here. In June this year, when I usually buy a ton and freeze them, they were $2/lb. at the sale price.

Frozen veggies, per package. We eat two or three of these per week.
2020: $0.99/lb
2023: $0.99-$1.49 FOR SMALLER PACKAGES, usually 12 ounces, a one-quarter loss.

Potatoes, per pound. We eat about five pounds per week.
2020: $0.25-$0.40, even $0.10 on the best sales (Thanksgiving and Saint Patrick’s Day)
2023: $0.75-$0.90. This Thanksgiving, the best deal I’ve seen in months, was $0.37/lb., almost quadruple the price of the best sales of just two or three years ago.

Shredded cheddar cheese, per pound. We eat about three pounds per week (we have six kids and their mom grew up in Wisconsin, OK?)
2020: $1.99
2023: $2.99-$3.15

Just two years ago, I made it a game to get out of Aldi with our weekly staples for as close to $50 as possible. Often I’d actually be spending $60, but still, it was a fun and useful challenge. This year I can’t get out of Aldi, even without buying anything extra or fun, for less than $100. I find myself looking at my cart as I approach the checkout and selecting a few things “we don’t really need” to put back on the shelves, and still it’s $100.

Our family is not poor. We don’t need a GoFundMe. The kids are getting Christmas presents this year. The point is, inflation is not a mirage. And it’s a huge insult for writers at The Washington Post and New York Times — whose salaries are probably three to five times those of the median household — to be telling the hoi polloi out here in the heartland growing kids to pay for their cities’ bailouts and Medicaid indigents that we’re crazy people misled by liars on social media about how little we can afford to live under Democrat policies.

If they actually merited the credentials and positions they hold, Biden administration and corporate media flacks would know that inflation “is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon.” A Nobel Prize-winning economist established that last century.

That means government spending more than it can raise in taxes is the prime driver of inflation. Our government has been doing that ever since it implemented Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society.

The entire leftist project is unsustainable in the real world. But they don’t want to face the real-world consequences of their own policies, so instead they tell everyone else we’re crazy for noticing they’ve lost touch with reality. Now they’ve started punishing normies for noticing their psychic breaks.

We’re not the crazy ones. The people controlling our country are. What’s even crazier is that we let them.

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