Maggie Goodlander has declared war on “Big Egg.”

Goodlander, a former Biden administration official, is one of the Democrats seeking to replace outgoing U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster in New Hampshire’s Second Congressional District. During a recent joint radio appearance with fellow NH-02 Democratic candidate Colin Van Ostern, Goodlander blamed inflation under Biden on price gouging by “big corporations.”

(WGIR radio billed the appearance as a “debate,” but there were no specific questions directed at the candidates and neither Democrat addressed their opponent.)

“The issue I hear about the most is the cost of living,” Goodlander said. “There are a lot of reasons…for why people are feeling pain, but one clear reason that people are feeling pain and prices are higher, is big corporations are jacking up prices for people all across our economy,” Goodlander said.

The 37-year-old Democrat, who until recently worked in Washington, D.C., and lived part-time in Portsmouth, N.H., touted her work as a deputy assistant attorney general in the Biden Department of Justice’s antitrust division. And she specifically referenced her work taking on Big Egg.

“The price of eggs was less than $2 a dozen just a few years ago. Now it’s almost $5 for a dozen eggs. So, why is this happening? What I saw is, across our economy, there is a consolidation that’s happened and big corporations have power like they’ve never had before to fix the price of goods and services,” Goodlander said.

“So, at the Justice Department we took on egg producers who created a monopoly to fix the price of eggs, to jack up the price of eggs for people across the Granite State and across our country,” Goodlander said, adding: “That’s the fight I want to take to Congress.”

The charge that big corporations are price gouging isn’t new. Presidents Clinton, Obama, and Biden all launched investigations into “Big Oil,” for example, when gas prices spiked on their watch. As a result, the Federal Trade Commission conducted investigations in 2011200720062005, and 2004. All of them concluded that the biggest factor impacting the price of gasoline is the price of the oil used to produce it, a price determined by supply and demand.

As Obama economic advisor Jason Furman admitted, “This is a world price and the president is largely powerless to do much.”

Economists acknowledge Goodlander is correct about the increase in the prices of basic groceries under President Joe Biden. During his first year in office, food prices rose 6.3 percent, then soared another 10.4 percent in 2022, and added another 2.7 percent last year.

As Yahoo/Finance reports, “Prices as measured by the seasonally adjusted Consumer Price Index (CPI) are now up over 19.4 percent in the three-plus years since Biden took office.”

But Goodlander’s premise that price hikes on eggs, milk, and bread can be blamed on corporate price gouging, rather than the trillions in new government spending after Biden took office, is dismissed by most economists.

One reason is that “big corporations” were hard at work in the American economy before Biden was sworn in. If agribusiness could drive the price of eggs up to $5 a dozen through collusion and market manipulation, skeptics ask, why didn’t they do that in 2020? Or 2010? Or 1910?

And then there’s price volatility. After hitting a peak of $4.82 per dozen in January 2023, the cost of eggs fell to $2.09 in July. If “Big Egg” was setting the price, why would it give up half its alleged profits?

In fact, as multiple media outlets have reported, poultry costs have been driven higher by outbreaks of bird flu. “Egg costs soared after the country in 2022 saw the deadliest outbreak of avian flu in U.S. history, driving up the average price for a dozen large grade A eggs to $4.25 and leading to shortages in some regions,” CBS News reported. There was another outbreak earlier this spring.

Goodlander’s “Big Egg” argument echoes the “shrinkflation” claim made by her former boss, in an attempt to shift blame for higher prices onto companies and away from Biden’s fiscal policy. Biden

But as a new analysis from the San Francisco Federal Reserve reports: “Rising markups [price gouging] have not been a main driver of the recent surge and subsequent decline in inflation during the current recovery.”

And as Nobel-prize-winning economist Milton Friedman repeatedly said, “Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon. It’s always and everywhere, a result of too much money, of a more rapid increase in the quantity of money than an output.”

While Goodlander’s economics may not withstand scrutiny, she may have the political math down pat. Polls show a surge in the number of Americans blaming higher prices on corporate greed.