Running out of time to turn things around for the Democrats before the midterms, President Joe Biden is coming up with a new strategy to deflect Americans’ frustration about inflation: blame the other guys.
In a statement addressing the inflation report for April, which showed that prices rose at an 8.3% annual rate, Biden said, “While it is heartening to see that annual inflation moderated in April, the fact remains that inflation is unacceptably high.”
Inflation in April was slightly lower than March’s 8.5% annual rate.
“As I said yesterday, inflation is a challenge for families across the country and bringing it down is my top economic priority,” he continued.
Read the statement below:
NEW: Pres. Biden releases statement on April’s Consumer Price Index: “While it is heartening to see that annual inflation moderated in April, the fact remains that inflation is unacceptably high." https://t.co/07S8w8KXnx pic.twitter.com/aruUGg9bTS
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) May 11, 2022
The president went on to tout what he argued was a “strong economy and a strong labor market” which he claimed to have “built.”
He added, “I agree with what Chairman Powell said last week that the number one threat to that strength – is inflation. I am confident the Fed will do its job with that in mind.”
After stating that his plan is “focused on lowering the costs that families face and lowering the federal deficit,” Biden turned to attack Republicans.
“Congressional Republicans talk about inflation, but their only plan is to raise taxes on working families, taking even more money out of their pockets,” Biden said.
He added, “If they are serious about inflation, they should send me the bipartisan innovation bill to bolster our supply chains and make more in America, along with legislation that cuts costs and the cuts the deficit, reducing families’ prescription drug and utility bills and restoring fairness to our tax code.”
Though it’s worth noting that fact-checkers at The National Desk pointed out that not all Congressional Republicans are on board with an agenda put forth by Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) which the president argues would raise taxes.
It also noted that Republicans typically try to lower taxes.
Biden also claimed Republicans have “no plan” to help bring prices down.
This is a new line about Republicans that he has trotted out to push back against criticism of his handling of inflation.
Inflation did not start on Biden’s watch, it started to tick up under former President Donald Trump due to the COVID-19 relief spending passed in 2020. And Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has certainly added to inflationary pressures.
According to economists, that spending package added between two to four percentage points to inflation.
As Investopedia puts it, inflation is a “condition that economists describe as ‘too many dollars chasing too few goods.'”
While Biden’s ARP threw another roughly $2 trillion into the economy, he appears to believe his spending plans have nothing to do with inflation.
“I think our policies help, not hurt. Think about what they say. The vast majority of the economists think that this is going to be a real tough problem to solve. But it’s not because of spending,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
And on top of that, he is reportedly considering forgiving some amount of student loan debt which will inevitably lead to more cash in some Americans’ pockets, contributing to inflation.
Republicans are in opposition to his massive federal spending packages and erasing billions in student loan debt.
And whether Biden likes it or not, blocking massive spending packages amid a supply-chain crunch and decade-high inflation is a plan.
As Biden aptly noted on Tuesday, the Democrats are in power and they continue to push policies that would shovel more cash into Americans’ pockets and fuel inflation.
You can’t blame the party out of power for that.
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