White House says prices 'essentially stable', throws 'cutting inflation' party as annual rate hovers at 8.3%

White House says prices ‘essentially stable’, throws ‘cutting inflation’ party as annual rate hovers at 8.3%

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre insisted on Tuesday both that inflation was “essentially stable” and that it was acceptable for President Biden to hold a big celebration of his law. on reducing inflation – even though annual inflation remains high at 8.3%.

“Overall, prices have remained essentially stable in our country for the past two months. This is good news for American families who still have work to do,” Jean-Pierre said during his regular briefing, moments before the big South Lawn party.

Republicans, however, have attacked Biden as “out of touch” for hosting a celebration of the environmental and health care spending bill – noting that inflation remains at its highest level since the early 1980s.

“You can’t make it up: Hours after that terrible inflation report, the White House is having a ‘cut inflation’ celebration,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky .) tweeted. “The Democrats have spent our economy on disaster and now they are celebrating while families pay. They couldn’t look more disconnected if they tried.

August data showed a continued decline in the cost of gasoline driven by demand. But cheaper gas was offset by sharp year-over-year increases in the cost of food (up 13.5%), electricity (15.8%), rent (6.8%) and health insurance (24.3%).

Biden staff repeatedly plugged the South Lawn festivities Tuesday into tweets from his account.

A presidential message on social media said“Exactly four weeks ago, I signed the Cut Inflation Act into law. So today we celebrate. Tune in at 3 p.m. ET as I deliver remarks and welcome leaders and to the defenders who made it happen at the People’s House.

The conservative group Americans for Prosperity tweeted quote Biden – adding a GIF of the TV show “Schitt’s Creek” ironically dovetailing with the celebration while noting 12-month increases in the cost of eggs (up 39.8%), meat (8.8%) and baby food (12.6%).

Jean-Pierre said during his briefing that Biden would be “joined by thousands of Americans” on the lawn “celebrating the historic Cut Inflation Act,” but faced skeptical questions from reporters.

NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell asked Jean-Pierre if there’s “any concern that there’s a dissonance between the current economic moment and the celebration you’re having this afternoon.”

“It’s not about celebrating. This is the victory of history — America’s victory,” said Jean-Pierre.

Republicans have taken aim at President Biden for hosting a Cut Inflation Act celebration at the White House – despite inflation remaining high.
AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

“When you see the costs going down for our seniors when you see the costs going down for American families, as I just listed – for energy costs, they’re going to go down and…on care costs health are going to fall,” Jean-Pierre said. “It’s huge — it’s a huge win for the American people.”

Republicans and independent analysts say that despite its name, the Cut Inflation Act will have little short-term positive effect on inflation, which this year soared to 41-year highs, peaking to 9.1% in June.

Studies by the Penn Wharton Budget Model and the Tax Foundation indicate that the bill will not lower prices, at least not in the near future.

The Cut Inflation Act provides nearly $400 billion for environmental programs, including tax credits of up to $7,000 to purchase electric vehicles, and about $64 billion to expand more generous ObamaCare grants in the COVID-19 era.

The expenses are offset by new corporate taxes, including a new minimum corporate tax of 15%, increased enforcement of the IRS, and by allowing Medicare to directly negotiate drug prices.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Biden and the Democrats are
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Biden and the Democrats were “out of touch” with inflation.
Photo by Shutterstock

Although the annual inflation rate of 8.3% in August fell from 8.5% in July and 9.1% in June, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said the new monthly data also included worrying news. – as a demand-driven decline in gasoline prices offset other increases.

“Increases in the housing, food and medical care indices were the main contributors to the overall monthly increase in all items. These increases were mostly offset by a 10.6% decline in the gasoline index,” the official report said.

“The food index continued to rise, increasing 0.8% during the month, the food index at home [groceries] increased by 0.7%. The energy index fell 5.0% during the month as the gasoline index fell, but the electricity and natural gas indexes rose. The index for all items minus food and energy [core inflation] rose 0.6% in August, a larger increase than in July.

The Republican staff of the House Ways and Means Committee tweeted On Tuesday, “For a majority of low-income households, rising prices have become a source of ‘major financial stress’ as inflation has wiped out the savings of 26 million low-income households since Biden took office. . The so-called “Inflation Reduction Act” is, ironically, intended to make matters worse.

“Grocery prices jumped 13.5% in the past year, a 43-year high!” wrote Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.). “It’s no surprise that 78% of hourly workers aren’t sure they’ll be able to afford food in the next two weeks. #bidenflation is draining Americans’ wallets and savings accounts. Plain and simple.

Republicans and some independent analysts say government spending has fueled inflation. A study published in March by researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco said that in the last quarter of 2021, about 3 percentage points of US inflation – or about half of it at the time – may have been caused by federal spending during the COVID-19 pandemic, including Biden’s $1.9 trillion US bailout bill.

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