A top Biden economic adviser has one interesting idea of how the administration can rebuild its credibility on tackling inflation.
CBS News’ Margaret Brennan, host of “Face The Nation,” confronted Brian Deese, White House director of the National Economic Council, on Sunday, about administration officials’ assertions last year that inflation would be “transitory.”
“From the beginning of the pandemic through now, as you can see, the tick-up began a good year before the war in Ukraine began. A number of economists, including at the San Francisco Fed, have said that the tremendous fiscal spending that went underway, the 6 trillion in two years, did add to [inflation], including, as you can see, right on there, the 2 trillion that the Biden administration pushed through in the spring of 2021,” Brennan said.
She asked, “When people look at that, and they say, well, the White House told us why that inflation would be transitory. The White House told us we could go through with this kind of spending, we’d be fine. Even when Democrats within your own party were warning this would add to inflation. How do you win credibility here to the public and say, this time, we’re not wrong?”
Deese responded, “Well, you just have to look around the world today to recognize that the two principal drivers of inflation are the pandemic and Putin. We’re seeing this everywhere. It is a global phenomenon, as I mentioned in the UK, inflation’s hit 9%.”
However, Brennan interjected to note that “the point is those are the things you can’t control.”
Watch the video below:
CBS: “The tick up [in inflation] began a good year before the war in Ukraine began.” pic.twitter.com/eX66j02Ieu
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) June 20, 2022
She asked again, “So, how do you win that credibility back?”
Deese’s answer to winning back credibility was a laughable three words: “By taking action.”
“Well, if we look at the things that we can control, we win credibility by taking action. This president is acting,” he said.
Deese added, “This president galvanized the global community to do a historic release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve a million barrels a day. Leading oil market analysts this week said that action was single-handedly responsible for keeping oil prices from going up even further.”
Finally, he insisted, “We are going to take action. We’re going to prioritize, we’re going to make clear that tackling inflation is our top economic priority. And we’re going to encourage Congress to take action as well. The way we build credibility is by demonstrating results.”
So the administration, which passed a massive spending package that economists estimate added between two and four percentage points to inflation, got it wrong on inflation being “transitory,” and hasn’t made a meaningful dent in price increases and wants Americans to just trust them that this time they’re right.
In March, President Joe Biden announced a plan to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help alleviate gas price increases. But they’ve gone the wrong way. According to AAA, the national average for a gallon of gas as of Monday was $4.98, up from $4.59 a month ago.
Meanwhile, inflation has not been curbed. In May, the consumer price index rose 8.6%, which was the highest since Dec. 1981.
So nothing the administration has done so far has made an impact on bringing prices down. But Deese’s answer for the administration to rebuild its credibility is just to keep taking action.
It seems it wasn’t just a bizarre word salad when Vice President Kamala Harris said about addressing the COVID-19 winter surge, “It’s time for us to do what we have been doing, and that time is every day.” Apparently, that is just the administration’s position.
That’s one heck of a plan.
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