The economy continued to flounder under Biden's leadership in March, with reports released in the last ten days showing the job market still hasn't bounced back to pre-pandemic levels, consumer inflation hitting a new 40-year high, and producer prices hitting another record high. After March's data release, as with most others that have come in the last 15 months since Biden took office, the White House is refusing blame.
The Biden administration has blamed almost everything and everyone *but* the team in the West Wing. Now, the White House's attempts to avoid responsibility for the consequences of its policies have gotten too much even for Senate Democrat Joe Manchin or West Virginia.
"It is a disservice to the American people to act as if inflation is a new phenomenon," Manchin said in a statement amid the week's release of more bad economic news and the accompanying blame-shifting from the White House. "Instead of acting boldly, our elected leaders and the Federal Reserve continue to respond with half-measures and rhetorical failures searching for where to lay the blame," he added. "The American people deserve the truth about why record inflation is happening and what must be done to control it," said Manchin.
"Let me be clear, inflation is a tax and today’s historic inflation data tells another chilling story about how these taxes on Americans are completely out of control," Manchin added of the 8.5 percent inflation number for consumer prices. "Hard earned wages and financial savings are disappearing faster every month as prices continue to climb, while the pain and frustration of spending more on everyday items lingers over us all, especially among those who can afford it the least."
Manchin's last point there is one that highlights another empty White House talking point that Americans who make less than $400,000 per year won't pay "a penny more" in taxes under Biden's economy policies. Yet, as Manchin points out, wage growth in March was again eclipsed by inflation, leaving Americans' real wages down nearly three percent.
"Here is the truth, we cannot spend our way to a balanced, healthy economy and continue adding to our $30 trillion national debt," Manchin also said, reiterating his concerns that led him to oppose Biden and congressional Democrats' massive Build Back Better budget reconciliation passage.
"Getting inflation under control will require more aggressive action by a Federal Reserve that waited too long to act," Manchin continued. "It demands the Administration and Congress, Democrats and Republicans alike, support an all-the-above energy policy because that is the only way to bring down the high price of gas and energy," he said before noting the United States "is equipped to be energy independent from Russia and other terror-sponsoring countries while also working to fight global climate change and break our dependence on the critical mineral supply chain from China."
His statement telling President Biden and his administration to get its act together and stop making excuses is hardly the first time Manchin has contradicted the White House. But his recent comments illuminate what's likely a common feeling among Democrats on Capitol Hill as many of Manchin's Democrat colleagues are set to face voters in November with little to show for their control of Congress or work with President Biden.