President Biden, who spent months defending himself against rising inflation, tried Tuesday to convince Americans that he understood the pain they were feeling from rising prices and that his administration was taking steps to address the increased costs of fuel, food and other goods. .
Biden made his comments a day before another economic report was expected to show uncomfortably high prices. While the consumer price index, released Wednesday morning, may show inflation has cooled slightly from March, most economists still expect the report to show inflation above 8 percent.
“I know that inflation hurts families across America. I understand how it feels,” Mr Biden said, adding that his administration was trying to lower prices by easing supply chain congestion, countering price inflation and releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
Yet those efforts have done little to tame inflation, which has reached its fastest pace in 40 years, the result of faltering supply chains that led to shortages of goods, the war in Ukraine, which pushed energy prices and unbridled demand from the boosts consumer.
While the president’s ability to handle inflation is limited — the primary tools for combating rising prices rest with the Federal Reserve — rising costs have become a talking point for Republicans and a political liability for Mr. Biden. , whose approval ratings have fallen.
Understanding inflation and how it affects you
Republicans have blamed Biden for rising prices for months, viewing it as a winning issue ahead of the midterm elections.
“Biden may live in an alternate reality, but voters are not, which is why they only blame Biden and Democrats for the rising prices they see for everyday goods, gas and groceries,” said Ronna McDaniel, chair of the Republican National Committee. . † “The economy is in the mood for November, and voters know that Biden and Democrats are only making things worse.”
On Tuesday, Mr. Biden tried to turn the argument around, berating Republicans for complaining about rising prices while offering “extreme” policy ideas that he said would help the wealthiest Americans and big corporations rather than working families.
In an effort to turn the debate on the economy against his opponents six months before the midterm congressional elections, Mr. Biden turned to what he called “the ultra-MAGA agenda,” a phrase he’s been using more and more in recent days. referring to former President Donald J. Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again”.
“Look, the bottom line is this. Americans now have a choice between two paths. A reflection of two different values,” Biden said in a White House address. “My plan attacks inflation and grows the economy by cutting costs for working families, giving workers well-deserved wage increases, reducing the deficit to historic levels, and making big corporations and the richest Americans pay their fair share.
Frequently asked questions about inflation
What is inflation? Inflation is a loss of purchasing power over time, meaning your dollar won’t go as far tomorrow as it did today. It is usually expressed as the annual price change for everyday goods and services such as food, furniture, clothing, transportation, and toys.
“The other path is the ultra-MAGA plan proposed by Congressional Republicans to raise taxes on working families, lower the incomes of American workers, threaten sacred programs Americans rely on, such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and giving break after break to big business and billionaires.”
Mr Biden cited a program called the “11 Point Plan to Save America” outlined by Florida Senator Rick Scott, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. But other Republicans, including Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the party’s minority leader, have rejected elements of this plan, which Mr. Scott has put forward as a platform for the midterm elections.
Biden blamed inflation for the coronavirus pandemic and Russia’s war in Ukraine. He claimed credit for cutting the federal deficit and promoted raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy, saying they haven’t paid their fair share. He also accused energy companies of seeking profit without increasing production, which he believed was possible.
“I know that inflation hurts families across America,” he said. “I understand how it feels. I come from a family where we felt that when the price of gas or food went up.”
He added: “I want every American to know that I take inflation very seriously and that it is my top priority.”