Van Jones: Biden’s Economy Not So Bad ‘On Paper’

CNN Contributor and former Obama administration adviser Van Jones said on Thursday’s broadcast of CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” that the economy is doing well “on paper,” claiming that “actual reality and emotional reality have not lined up” well for President Joe Biden because of food and housing inflation.

Jones said that there are many reasons that “should have people feeling good. Food prices being sticky at the top, housing prices being sticky at the top, make people feel the whole thing is terrible.”

According to Jones, that mismatch between the overall economic situation and feeling pain at the grocery checkout is causing Americans to sour on the economy.

The Democrat media commentator and political strategist says Americans are doing better than they feel they are regarding the economy. He thinks sticky inflation has created a challenging perception of the economy for the Biden administration in an election year, but that the reality is the economy is strong on fundamental measures.

“I think that reality — actual reality and emotional reality have not lined up for Biden on a number of issues. The economy, actually, on paper, is doing a lot better than people think,” Jones told the CNN audience Thursday. “Unemployment is down, gas prices are relatively low, stock market’s up, a lot of things that have — should have people feeling good.”

But Jones did not have his facts straight. Gas prices are not relatively low. Since the start of the year, the national average cost for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline has jumped nearly 14%, according to AAA data shared with ABC News. That is an increase of more than $0.40 per gallon. Employment has risen, but only in low-quality jobs, while high-quality jobs face layoffs.

“Crime has been coming back down,” Jones said. “But a few sensational instances make people feel we’re all unsafe. And so, there’s an emotional reality and an actual reality that have not lined up for Biden yet. And it’s going to be job one for him to get those things lined up.”

While crime rates have fallen, it is because they were so high in 2021 and 2022, Biden’s first and second years in the Oval Office.