Savannah Hulsey Pointer, FISM News
President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pushed back against blame for the federal government over inflation and record-high gas prices over the weekend. Biden animatedly said he was “sick” of Americans blaming federal spending for the inflation hike while speaking at a House Caucus Meeting on Friday.
“I’m sick of this stuff! We have to talk about it, because the American people think the reason for inflation is the government is spending more money. Simply not true.”
“I’m SICK of this stuff!”
Joe Biden is furious that Americans blame inflation on his government spending. pic.twitter.com/quRxB2lfvA
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) March 11, 2022
Instead, the president shifted the blame to the war between Russia and Ukraine, saying, “Inflation is largely the fault of [Russian President Vladimir, Putin].” Russia has become a favorite scapegoat for the president over the past two weeks as gas prices have been reaching record highs.
The latest inflation reports indicate that prices rose 7.9% in February compared to the same time last year. Biden responded by saying, “Families are starting to feel the impacts of Putin’s price hike,” blaming the invasion that started on Feb. 24th for the dent in Americans’ budgets.
“A large contributor to inflation this month was an increase in gas and energy prices as markets reacted to Putin’s aggressive actions,” he continued.
At his speech on Friday, Biden went on to tout the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan (ARP) as reason for celebration instead of the cause of America’s current woes: “Four million more jobs were created. Unemployment is 2% lower than it would have been had we failed to act. And it didn’t cause inflation.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took a similar posture at a news conference over the weekend. “When we’re having this discussion, it’s important to dispel some of those who say, well it’s the government spending. No, it isn’t. The government spending is doing the exact reverse, reducing the national debt. It is not inflationary,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi then echoed Biden’s claim, adding it was “Putin’s gas hike. That’s his gas hike.”
Nancy Pelosi: "Putin's gas hike. That's his gas hike" pic.twitter.com/2sj8Uq5xQz
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) March 11, 2022
However, several experts disagree with the two Democrat leaders’ assertions.
Brian Riedl of the Manhattan Institute, who served as the chief economist for Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), said, “Fiscal policy has been extraordinarily aggressive, and the main example was the American Rescue Plan that was enacted last March, which shot a $1.9 trillion bazooka into a $420 billion output gap,” according to NBC News.
Steven Rattner, an economic adviser to former President Barack Obama, also called out Biden’s decision to blame Putin for inflation in a Thursday tweet saying, “This is Biden’s inflation, and he needs to own it.”
Well, no. These are Feb #'s and only include small Russia effect. This is Biden's inflation and he needs to own it. https://t.co/WsJjn6picV
— Steven Rattner (@SteveRattner) March 10, 2022
A new ABC News/Ispos poll shows that the general public is not buying Biden’s blame game either. Over 70% said that they disapprove of the president’s handling of both inflation and gas prices.