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President Joe Biden May Not Be Able to Escape This Major Crisis Before the Midterms

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Posted: Oct 16, 2021 10:45 PM
President Joe Biden May Not Be Able to Escape This Major Crisis Before the Midterms

Source: AP Photo/David Zalubowski

The Biden administration has subjected the American people to all sorts of crises, here and abroad. Buyer's remorse is surely setting in, hence the president's low approval ratings. Yet some may still actually remain hopeful, pointing out that at least the midterms are still a year away, and perhaps Biden will rectify these problems by then. Or, perhaps not. Megan Cassella on Friday wrote about "The political peril that Biden didn't see coming" for POLITICO, with that specific "political peril" being inflation. 

As Cassella began her piece:

Americans are likely to face higher prices on everything from gasoline to groceries well into next year — threatening to turn a simmering economic issue into a major political one.

The rapid reopening of the economy this summer led to massive price hikes for travel services, used cars and other goods that were initially dismissed as fleeting phenomena. But the inflation spike now appears to be on track to persist deep into 2022, when midterm elections will determine who controls Congress, as clogged supply chains, labor shortages and unabated consumer demand push costs even higher.

“Higher inflation is reasonably likely through at least next year," said Jason Furman, a top economic adviser to former President Barack Obama who is close to the Biden administration. “And once you’ve had two years in a row of higher inflation, it may take on some momentum of its own.”

Also boding poorly for midterms is, as Cassella referenced in her reporting, a Pew Research Center poll from last month which showed that 51 percent of U.S. adults are not confident Biden can "make good decisions about economic policy." A plurality of all respondents, at 32 percent, say they are "not at all confident."

Perhaps Biden did not see it coming. But did he or his handlers or anyone in the administration really see anything coming? It's doubtful, considering the type of spin the White House has engaged in. One recent excuse, as Spencer reported, was to do with COVID-19, as White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki blamed the unvaccinated for something yet again.

That kind of confusing logic doesn't just pertain to poll numbers. Psaki on Friday spoke to CNN's Jake Tapper, with the chyron on the screen blaring a "CRISIS ON ALL FRONTS," including about inflation, which Tapper said "is skyrocketing, as I don't need to tell you." He pointed out that the "White House response has been generally to say, hey, inflation shows that we're coming out of the recession, so it's a good sign."

As she also mentioned the unemployment numbers no longer being at 10 percent, Pskai pointed offered that "now more people have jobs, more people are buying goods," which she said is "increasing the demand" and is "a good thing."

Psaki, when Tapper brought up a retweet from White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain, also dismissed the concerns people had. Tapper had asked Psaki if it seemed "tone-deaf" and "a bit dismissive."

In no world, though, can it be "a good thing" when it comes to just how bad the inflation numbers are. 

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York in a press release about their findings from the September 2021 survey noted that, with added emphasis, "[m]edian short-term (one-year-ahead) inflation expectations increased by 0.1 percentage point in September to 5.3%, the eleventh consecutive monthly increase and a new series high since the inception of the survey in 2013."

As Jeff Cox reported for CNBC on October 1, "Core inflation rose 3.6% in August from a year ago, the biggest jump in more than 30 years." 

Christopher Rugababer in an October 13 piece for AP wrote that "Another jump in consumer prices in September sent inflation up 5.4% from where it was a year ago, matching the largest increase since 2008 as tangled global supply lines continue to create havoc."

Well, at least Americans saved 16 cents for this year's 4th of July, or so the White House tells us. Meanwhile, it was still the most expensive in years

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