Former South Carolina Republican Governor Nikki Haley was swiftly fact-checked after she got her math painfully wrong while attacking Democratic President Joe Biden, whom she blamed for inflation, which has hammered the global economy.
Haley posted a list of grocery items commonly found at July 4 barbecues that included soda, bread, hotdogs, and other staples. The list, titled “Joe Biden‘s Inconvenience Store" and posted with the hashtag #Bidenflation, included the percentages by which each item has jumped as a result of inflation.
Haley, who has an accounting degree from Clemson University, added up those percentages and claimed that Americans are paying 67 percent more than usual for groceries, which doesn't make mathematical sense.
According to Politifact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking service, "a series of six percentage increases can’t be simply added together to yield a total percentage increase." The organization noted that "specific percentage increases for all six items in the graphic were either similar to what independent estimates had found or understated them."
Haley deleted the tweet but not before quick-thinking Twitter users took screenshots.
Haley was swiftly called out.
Americans are currently feeling the impacts of inflation at the gas pump and at the grocery store. With inflation running high, the Federal Reserve has announced and already implemented plans to raise interest rates in an effort to "pump the brakes" on the economy.
While many Americans believe the government isn't doing enough to reduce inflation and address supply chain disruptions, the President, no matter who they are, does not have the power to curb inflation. Nor does the White House control demographic or technological changes that can affect an economy's direction.
Though presidential reputations tend to, as The New York Times once so aptly observed, "rise or fall with gross domestic product," a president's economic record is mostly up to chance, "highly dependent on the dumb luck of where the nation is in the economic cycle."