“There’s nobody suggesting there’s unchecked inflation on the way — no serious economist. That’s totally different,” said Joe Biden on July 19, 2021. The president was talking about inflation when it had jumped from less than 2% to 5.4% in July.
Inflation is now at 9.1% and showing no signs of moderating, and “serious economists” are advising us that the inflation numbers are “catastrophically bad.”
Biden’s “no serious economist” boast is typical, as NROs Jim Geraghty points out.
While the president doesn’t control the inflation rate, he does control what he says about the inflation rate. No one makes Joe Biden go out in front of the cameras and make these sweeping, hubristic declarations. He could have struck a more cautious and humble note when he was discussing the economy one year ago. At the time of Biden’s remarks, the Consumer Price Index inflation rate had already started creeping up from 1.4 percent in January to 5.4 percent in June. There was a reason people were starting to worry.
When the media calls him out on his grandiose pronouncements, he gets angry, as he did with MSNBC’s Lester Holt on February 11 of this year.
LESTER HOLT, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: You said inflation was going to be temporary. I think a lot of Americans are wondering what your definition of temporary is.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, you’re being a wise guy with me a little bit. I understand that’s your job.
Yes, but when can we expect relief from inflation, asked Holt?
BIDEN: According to Nobel laureates, 14 of them that contacted me and a number of corporate leaders, it ought to be able to start to taper off as we go through this year. In the meantime, I’m going to do everything in my power to deal with the big points that are impacting most people in their homes.
He should have added, “But don’t hold me to that.” Instead, he leaves it to his beleaguered White House staff to walk back as much of his word salad as can be done without making them look foolish.
Biden refuses to accept blame for inflation, claiming it’s due to factors beyond his control. Larry Summers, the former Obama Secretary of the Treasury, warned Biden as early as February 2021 that passage of his massive multi-trillion dollar COVID-19 relief plans would set off an inflationary spiral. He pooh-poohed the notion then and is still trying to evade responsibility today.