The blame game came just after the devastating economic news that the inflation rate had once again increased, dashing Democrat hopes that the rate was stabilizing after last month’s short-lived sideways movement.
Despite insisting inflation was his “top economic priority”, instead of looking for solutions President Joe Biden seemed content to simply blame everyone else.
“We’ve never seen anything like Putin’s tax on food and gas,” Biden said in Los Angeles.
“Putin’s Price Hike” is the administration’s preferred phrase to duck responsibility for current economic conditions, ignoring that inflation was soaring well before Russia invaded Ukraine in late February.
According to the New York Post, the annual rate of inflation was 7% in December 2021, nudging up to 7.1% in January 2022 before jumping to 7.9% for the month of February. The annual inflation rate over former President Donald Trump’s term fell from 2.1% in 2016 to 1.4% in 2020.
Bouncing from one scapegoat to another, Biden then turned his ire on Congress. “If Congress would pass tax reform to make the wealthiest Americans and big corporations pay their fair share, we could reduce this inflationary pressure even more,” he asserted.
He then quickly shifted once again to international shipping companies, saying just nine companies control 90% of US imports and they “raised their prices by as much as 1000%”. He pivoted back to Congress to call on them to “crack down” on the companies.
In an almost dizzying manner, he fell back on another favorite target: energy companies. At one point, he claimed “Exxon made more money than God this year”.
In his final attempt, he tried to portray the US as comparatively well off.
“Every country in the world is getting a big bite and piece of this inflation — worse than we are and the vast majority of countries around the world,” he claimed.
Yet the average European inflation rate in May was 8.1%, a half-percent lower than the US despite Russian oil and food supply disruptions impacting the region much harder than in North America.
Critics blame Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act which bailed out local governments, extended the unemployment supplement, and provided additional stimulus checks to Americans for kicking inflation into high gear.
Researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco agree. Their study determined that in the final quarter of 2021, about 3 percentage points of inflation could be attributed to government pandemic spending. That is nearly half of the total inflation rate at the time.