fbpx
White House ‘Social Media Summit’: No Facebook, No Twitter, No Transparency CopyRead more White House ‘Social Media Summit’: No Facebook, No Twitter, No TransparencyRead more White House ‘Social Media Summit’: No Facebook, No Twitter, No TransparencyRead more White House ‘Social Media Summit’: No Facebook, No Twitter, No TransparencyRead more White House ‘Social Media Summit’: No Facebook, No Twitter, No TransparencyRead more White House ‘Social Media Summit’: No Facebook, No Twitter, No TransparencyRead more Twitter to Label Tweets by Leaders Who Break Its RulesRead more Twitter to Label Tweets by Leaders Who Break Its RulesRead more Twitter to Label Tweets by Leaders Who Break Its RulesRead more Twitter to Label Tweets by Leaders Who Break Its RulesRead more

Biden officials on the defensive over inflation, blame pandemic

show caption
US Director of the National Economic Council Brian Deese, pictured during a briefing at the White House on September 8, 2021, insisted high inflation in the US was part of a worldwide trend triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic./AFP
Print Friendly and PDF

Nov 15, 2021 - 03:39 AM

WASHINGTON — With US President Joe Biden’s poll numbers slumping under a surge in inflation, top adminstration officials defended his economic policies Sunday and blamed the sharp price rises squarely on the Covid-19 pandemic.

Accelerating inflation hit a 30-year peak in October, with hikes in the cost of everything from groceries to gas slamming consumer confidence and undermining Biden’s efforts to sell a package of massive spending plans.

A day before the president was due to sign a $1.2 trillion infrastructure spending bill, a new Washington Post-ABC poll published Sunday showed Biden’s approval rating at a new low of 41 percent, largely driven by growing public concern over his handling of the economy.

Taking to the Sunday morning TV talk shows, White House economic adviser Brian Deese acknowledged inflation was “high right now” but insisted that was a worldwide trend triggered by the pandemic, and not a consequence of administration policy.

“What we have said consistently is that the pandemic and economy are interlinked,” Deese told CNN’s State of Union, citing global, Covid-triggered supply chain blockages as a major inflationary factor.

The White House has argued that Biden’s infrastructure legislation and an even bigger social welfare deal worth up to $1.85 trillion, would tame inflation in the long term, easing supply bottlenecks and reducing the family cost of child care and prescription drugs.

Despite Democrat assurances that the spending drive is paid for by tax increases, Republican opponents insist it will only further aggravate price rises — an argument that has gained traction on the back of last month’s inflation figures.

The 6.2 percent surge in October surprised economists and the White House alike, and put Biden’s administration on the defensive at a time when it would rather focus on promoting the infrastructure bill.

In an interview broadcast Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen echoed the line that Covid-19 was the main driver of the surge in consumer prices.

“It’s important to realize that the cause of this inflation is the pandemic,” Yellen said.

“And if we want to get inflation down, I think continuing to make progress against the pandemic is the most important thing we can do,” she added.

  • bio
  • twitter
  • facebook
  • latest posts

LMBCBUSINESS.COM uses both Facebook and Disqus comment systems to make it easier for you to contribute. We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. All comments should be relevant to the topic. By posting, you agree to our Privacy Policy. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, name-calling, foul language or other inappropriate behavior. Please keep your comments relevant and respectful. By leaving the ‘Post to Facebook’ box selected – when using Facebook comment system – your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the “X” in the upper right corner of the Facebook comment box to report spam or abuse. You can also email us.