Last year, someone inside the Biden administration had a bright idea: let’s tweet about food prices on the Fourth of July! The staffer surely scanned an American Farm Bureau news release, and thought, wait until people hear they’ll save a whole 16 cents on their cookouts compared to last year!

The staffer no doubt ran this brain wave by his higher-ups, who agreed. We'll even do a GIF that people can readily retweet! To quote the last administration, it’ll be YUUUUUUUGE! Of course, the graphic may have been tweaked slightly before it was sent out. Otherwise...

Last year, someone inside the Biden administration had a bright idea: let’s tweet about food prices on the Fourth of July! The staffer surely scanned an American Farm Bureau news release, and thought, wait until people hear they’ll save a whole 16 cents on their cookouts compared to last year!

The staffer no doubt ran this brain wave by his higher-ups, who agreed. We’ll even do a GIF that people can readily retweet! To quote the last administration, it’ll be YUUUUUUUGE! Of course, the graphic may have been tweaked slightly before it was sent out. Otherwise everyone might have noticed that prices were up on hamburger buns (6 percent), chocolate chip cookies (11 percent), and strawberries (22 percent!).

Yet the self-congratulatory White House GIF ignored a major factor even in those prices that were lower. The American Farm Bureau said meat and pork costs dipped because 2020 coronavirus-related plant closures had ended, and more product was on the store shelves.

Now, Independence Day is once again right around the corner, yet this year’s Biden meal calculator is still forthcoming. It seems less likely the White House will hail any kind of cookout savings. Uncooked ground beef prices have jumped 13.8 percent from May 2021 to May 2022, according to the Consumer Price Index released Friday. Porkchops rose 11 percent while ice cream climbed 9.6 percent. Cheese shot up 8.7 percent.

The prices of pork and beans, lemonade, and potato chips also rose, though calculating that is a bit harder. Pork and beans could be put into unrelated pork products (up 12.6 percent) or canned vegetables (up 11.7 percent). Lemonade possibly falls into the frozen noncarbonated drinks (5.7 percent), the nonfrozen category (10.9 percent), or the other beverage material category (7.2 percent). Potato chips likely go into the snack category (up 13.6 percent) or other miscellaneous foods (12.6 percent).

Yet even if Biden can’t keep prices down, he certainly knows how to pass blame. “[W]e’ve never seen anything like Putin’s tax on both food and gas,” the president told reporters last week after the inflation numbers came out. This ignores the fact that gas and food prices started rising long before Putin invaded Ukraine. The American Farm Bureau wrote last November that Thanksgiving meal prices had jumped 14.6 percent from 2020. Gas prices have been rising since May 2020.

Biden pushed the House to pass legislation targeting foreign-owned shipping companies “that raise their prices while raking in, just last year, $190 billion in profit — a seven-fold increase in one year. Seven-fold increase — $190 billion.” Why that seven-fold increase happened is worth looking at, but shipping companies barely eked out a profit for years before 2021. The “seven-fold increase” could be because US consumer demand is so high right now. It’s also worth noting that shipping prices started dropping last October and, although still high, seem to be stabilizing.

Inflation isn’t completely the Biden administration’s fault. It’s been coming for some time thanks to the Federal Reserve’s policy of keeping rates artificially low. Congress’s massive spending spree aided and abetted by both the Trump and Biden administrations pushed things into overdrive, especially after the American Rescue Plan was passed.

The solution remains raising interest rates, as the Fed is doing, and tightening monetary policy. This is working because core inflation has dropped. Fed Chair Jerome Powell and others at the central bank need to keep on this path. That, along with reduced federal spending and getting rid of tariffs, are the only ways to get inflation under control. In the meantime, no more cheeky GIFs, please.