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Tipsheet

Biden's Statement on Inflation One Year Ago Explains His Tanking Approval

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Tuesday marks the one year anniversary of a speech President Joe Biden gave on July 19, 2021, in which he addressed the nation on the eve of his administration's six month mark in office to talk about the economy and try to spin numbers that were already trending in a troubling direction many months before Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

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Talking to the American people about "where we’re headed" and claiming to have disproven "all those predictions of doom and gloom," Biden bragged that companies across the country are giving workers a raise." His "Build Back Better" agenda and nearly $2 trillion American Rescue Plan was so great, Biden claimed, because his administration "designed our strategy not only to provide for a temporary boost, but to lay the foundation for a long-term boom that brings everyone along."

Moving on, Biden did acknowledge that "we’ve seen some price increases." At the time Biden spoke, the most recently released Consumer Price Index for June showed that prices had jumped 0.9 percent month-over-month for an annual advance of 5.4 percent — both running hotter than the CPI had since 2008.

"Some folks have raised worries that this could be a sign of persistent inflation," Biden said before denying the looming crisis for Americans, saying "but that’s not our view. Our experts believe, and the data shows, that most of the price increases we’ve seen are — were expected and expected to be temporary."

"Temporary." That's how Biden categorized inflation one year ago when inflation was below 5.5 percent and only at 13-year highs. 

In the year since Biden gave his speech on the economy, his "Build Back Better" agenda, supposed assurances offered to the American people, and general campaign promises have all been debunked. The most recent Consumer Price Index print for June 2022 showed 1.3 percent monthly advance — an acceleration from previous months — and 9.1 percent year-over-year price increases. That means Biden's "temporary" inflation went from barely a decade high to a 40-year high in less than one year. 

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On Biden's point about wage increases — one the president has continued to make despite the number being dragged, kicking and screaming, out of context — Americans have actually taken a full four percent pay cut to their real wages when pay increases are compared to consumer inflation. Four percent less buying power for Americans in one year thanks to a growing crisis Biden said wasn't serious. 

Continuing his remarks one year ago, Biden claimed that his "administration understands that if we were to ever experience unchecked inflation over the long term that would pose real challenges to our economy" and repeated his assurance that he's "confident that isn’t what we are seeing today." Adding another empty promise, Biden pledged his administration was "going to remain vigilant about any response that is needed."

Instead of admitting the "challenges" that Biden said he knew would exist if price increases continued trending higher or remaining "vigilant about any response that is needed," the president has yet to accept even a modicum of responsibility for any of the pain Americans are feeling. After denying inflation was anything but a "temporary" hardship, the Biden administration blamed everything from "big meat" to greedy corporations. Then, despite prices being on an upward trajectory for months beforehand, Biden decided to launch a new falsehood that inflationary pressures predating Russia's invasion of Ukraine were all the result of "Putin's price hike."

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The American people, of course, see right through Biden's lies and White House spin and know who to blame for the pain they feel at the gas pump, in the grocery store, and when paying utility bills: President Joe Biden. In fact, the latest numbers show that Biden is now a full 11 points below Trump's low-point in polling data on job approval pertaining to the economy. Biden's numbers, much like inflation readings, have only gotten worse in the year since Biden told Americans there's nothing to worry about when it comes to inflation.

With a recession seemingly already upon Americans, it doesn't look like Biden will be able to dig himself or his party's candidates competing in November's midterms. 

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