Addressing House Democrats at their Philadelphia retreat on Friday, Biden unleashed his anger on Americans who attribute our record-high inflation rate to his administration’s excessive spending.
“I’m sick of this stuff,” he railed, with his hands pointing toward his neck to show he’s had it up to “here” with being blamed for the sharp rise in inflation that began shortly after the passage of the American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, last March.
“We have to talk about it,” he said, “because the American people think the reason for inflation is government spending more money. Simply not true!”
Biden: "I'm sick of this stuff … the American people think the reason for inflation is government spending more money. Simply not true!"
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) March 11, 2022
The American people need to understand, Biden told the group, that the inflation which began nearly one year ago was caused by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine that began two and a half weeks ago. He also blamed the pandemic.
“From the moment he [Putin] put his over 150,000 troops on the Ukrainian border, the price of gasoline in January went up 75 cents, and Putin began amassing troops along the border,” he said, according to Fox News.
“Make no mistake, inflation is largely the fault of Putin.”
Biden is correct that the price of gasoline increased as Putin began his troop buildup at the Ukrainian border and skyrocketed when his invasion began. What he fails to mention is the steep run-up that preceded the “Putin price hike.”
According to U.S. Energy Information Administration data, the average retail price of a gallon of gas in the U.S. (all grades, all formulations) in January 2021 was $2.42. By December, the price had soared to $3.41, nearly $1 per gallon or an increase of 41 percent. This represents the “Biden price hike.”
On March 10, the EIA estimated the average retail price of a gallon of regular gas in the U.S. to be $4.33, a gain of 92 cents per gallon or 27 percent from year-end 2021. This represents the “Putin price hike.”
Biden’s attempt to pin overall inflation on the Russian president falls short as well. The Consumer Price Index reported on Thursday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed a year-over-year rise of 7.9 percent.
He appears to have forgotten that prices had already increased by 7.5 percent in the year ended December 2021.
Economists on both sides of the aisle have attributed the U.S.’ rampant inflation to the Biden Administration’s reckless spending.
In a November 2021 op-ed published by The New York Times, Steven Rattner, who served as an adviser to former President Barack Obama, argued: “The original sin was the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.”
“The bill – almost completely unfunded – sought to counter the effects of the COVID pandemic by focusing on demand-side stimulus rather than on investment,” Rattner wrote. “That has contributed materially to today’s inflation levels.”
This administration’s reckless policies have inflicted major financial pain on American consumers. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Putin has become public enemy number one which, Biden believes, makes it easy to blame him for all of America’s woes.
Unfortunately for Biden, we remember all too well his administration’s year of living dangerously, and no one’s buying his “Putin price hike” canard.