Financial pundit’s viral $28 Taco Bell ‘lunch’ sparks debate about inflation

A financial pundit’s comments on television are sparking a bit of burrito-based debate.

On Oct. 12, Twitter user @EricKleefeld, a writer at Media Matters, shared a clip from Fox Business show “Cavuto: Coast to Coast.” The clip shows part of a discussion about the influence of inflation on the American economy, and when a guest shared an anecdote about how inflation is apparently affecting him personally, his words turned some heads.

“You want to know how bad inflation is?” asks Fox News contributor Scott Martin, a chief investment officer at a wealth management firm, in the now-viral clip. “Yesterday, yes, I had a nice lunch at Taco Bell … cost me about $28 at Taco Bell for lunch.

“People need to pay for those things,” Martin continues. “And they do it by getting jobs and getting in the economy and getting active and getting involved.”

“Wait a minute. You spent $28 at Taco Bell for just yourself?” Neil Cavuto asks him.

"For lunch, yeah, it's true," responds Martin, as fellow guest and hedge fund manager Jonathan Hoenig chuckles.

“That’s a lot of Chalupas!” remarks Hoenig.

In the mega-viral tweet, Kleefeld even remarked, “Um, how is that even physically possible?” adding that he doesn’t think he’ll “take financial advice from this guy.”

Other responses to the clip have ranged from mild amusement to avid disbelief and more, with many folks taking to the replies to lampoon the very idea of a $28 Taco Bell lunch.

“I’m pregnant and still haven’t mustered $28 at Taco Bell for just me,” tweeted one person.

“I may not trust his financial recommendations, but if he tells me a particular brand of toilet flushes well I believe him 100%,” quipped another Twitter user.

“I’m not taking financial advice from someone who spends Chipotle for 2 money at Taco Bell for 1,” remarked another.

“I truly believe i could eat it i would just need a whole afternoon and a hangover,” added another person, to which someone else replied, “I could eat it but also i’d then die.”

Some users defended the cost of his lunch, and added in their own fantasy $28 taco orders.

“Spending $28 on taco bell is not difficult,” tweeted another person, sharing a screenshot of one such possible feast. “Whenever I go I usually order over $20 worth of food anyway. I just make sure to use my rewards so an item gets a discount.”

“For twenty eight dollars u can get fifteen orders of cheesy fiesta potato,” added internet red panda personality @darth, a noted lover of potatoes.

A sitting politician decided to get in on all the chalupa chatter as well.

“If someone is talking politics and eating $28 of Taco Bell in one sitting then my immediate follow up question is what their thoughts are on Biden’s executive order on cannabis rescheduling,” wrote Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a tweet that has been liked nearly 70,000 times.

Even Taco Bell has responded to the clip, though it didn’t confirm whether or not it was, in fact, inflation driving up the prices. Instead, the sour cream and salsa slinger cleverly pivoted to all the beany goodness you could get with that kind of money.

“14 x $2 Burritos = $28. What’s your $28 order?” tweeted the fast-food giant.

As to how Martin feels about people treating him like he isn’t ordering lunch but likely bulking up for a wrestling tournament, he is taking the attention in stride, even sharing his order on Twitter:

“Order up!” tweeted Martin, outlining his now-infamous lunch which included a Burrito Supreme, a Nachos BellGrande, a large Baja Blast and two Doritos Locos tacos for a grand total of $25.40.

We also reached out to Martin for comment on all the attention he’s getting for his south-of-the-border order and he stands firmly by it.

“The order is true and a collection of my favorite items at Taco Bell,” Martin told TODAY Food in an email. “Sadly, the prices have risen quite a bit over the last few years and due to that, I don’t even purchase some of the items I used to regularly order due to their rising cost.”

In all fairness, one food writer who is sharing this news with you right now is pretty wiry, as it happens. He has also been accused of eating much like a mouse by family and friends. Still, just yesterday, that same reporter purchased himself a meal consisting of a Double Chicken Burrito, a Chicken Quesadilla, a large Baja Blast and a heaping helping of Cinnabon Delights for dessert and that meal totaled a little over $21.

Honestly, it’s just not that hard to spend that much at that Taco Bell these days, if we’re being honest. Whether or not that’s inflation or just life in 2022 remains to be seen for tomorrow’s lunch.

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