No amount of spin from the White House can obscure the fact that inflation continues to rise to levels that are causing intense economic pain for millions of American families, but attempting to spin the negative news into a positive appears to be the administration’s preferred tactic.
That is exactly what top Biden economic adviser Jard Bernstein did Monday when he sought to downplay or excuse recent bad economic news while highlighting cherry-picked positive aspects of the overall economic situation, the Washington Examiner reported.
Key here was Bernstein’s repeated dismissal of the very real fears of millions of Americans that the U.S. is on the verge of an economic recession paired with historically high price inflation that threatens people’s ability to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads.
More denials and excuses on gas prices, inflation, possibility of recession
Bernstein, a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, joined White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre for Monday’s briefing and, to their credit, fielded some rather blunt questions from the press corps about prior White House spin to downplay or dismiss concerns about high inflation and gas prices and a recession.
First, asked about the prospects of a recession, Bernstein insisted that all economic indicators suggested that the economy was “anything but recessionary” and that, all things considered, “where we are right now remains solidly within expansion.”
He was then asked about prior claims about a year ago that inflation was only “transitory” and would be short-lived, but rather than admit that the administration’s predictions had been incorrect, Bernstein instead played semantics with the word “transitory” and insulted the intelligence of the media and American people by suggesting they simply didn’t understand the true meaning of that word in the manner that it had been used.
At another point, the economic adviser was pressed about how President Biden was attempting to have things “both ways” in that he has consistently shifted blame for increased gas prices and inflation but has sought to claim credit for meager reductions in prices for gas and other commodities, but Bernstein simply rejected the premise of the question and insisted that the president was working hard to do everything in power to bring prices down.
He also ludicrously asserted that higher taxes and even more spending from Congress, as Biden and his fellow Democrats are still pushing to do, would actually serve to reduce inflation and the budget deficit and strengthen the nation’s economic outlook.
What Bernstein had to say Monday was, by and large, an expansion upon what President Biden himself had said last week in a prepared statement on the latest report on inflation that showed how the Consumer Price Index had risen 9.1 percent over the prior 12 months.
Biden acknowledged that inflation remained “unacceptably high” but argued that the report’s data was “out-of-date” and didn’t include recent reductions in gas prices or certain other commodities, and he went on to blame the worsening economic situation on the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and alleged Republican legislative plans for a future term in which the GOP would hold a majority in Congress.
Polls show most Americans disapprove of Biden’s handling of the economy
Millions of Americans can plainly see what is happening and are no longer buying what the White House is selling in terms of its incessant blame-shifting and excuse-making on the economy and inflation, however, as evidenced by a number of national polls.
Currently, the RealClearPolitics average of polls shows that President Biden’s job approval in terms of the economy is a lowly 32.7 percent while his disapproval on handling the economy stands at 63.7 percent, for a negative net spread of -31 percent.