Lauren Moye, FISM News
President Joe Biden remarked on his Biden-Harris Inflation Plan this afternoon, touting his supposed economic successes as proof of how his plan has already been working to counter inflation.
“Because of the actions we’ve taken, America is in a stronger position to meet these challenges than just about any other country in the world,” Biden announced in his White House speech earlier this afternoon. He described COVID-19 pandemic spending and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began on Feb. 24 of this year, as the two leading causes of high inflation. He also added supply chain problems as contributing to rising prices.
Inflation has risen every month since Biden has been in office. It is now a leading cause of voter concern and is an issue that Democrats desperately need a win on with mid-term elections approaching in November. A March Rasmussen report showed that inflation is the top voter issue, with 88% of poll respondents voicing concern while 62% said they were “very concerned.” Meanwhile, Project Five Thirty-Eight averaged the most recent Biden approval polls to determine that only 41.8% approve of his job while 52.2% disapprove.
“I want every American to know that I am taking inflation very seriously and it is my top domestic priority,” Biden stated.
However, the President only has two paths forward to convince voters he has the best plan: showing how his plan would actually combat inflation or successfully disparage the leading Republican plan. His remarks aimed to do both of these things, assisted heavily by an early morning White House statement as well as officials parroting his talking points.
The statement took aim at Senator Rick Scott (R-Fla.), who has spearheaded the leading Republican inflation plan, by claiming it would cost “firefighters,” “teachers,” and “small business owners” $1,500 each year under a new minimum tax. This emotionalized plea builds off an earlier tweet by the president:
Senator Rick Scott released an Ultra-MAGA Agenda.
It could raise taxes on 75 million American families.
Under this new plan, while big corporations and billionaires would pay nothing more, working-class folks are going to pay a hell of a lot more.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) May 4, 2022
Scott has previously denied this as part of his 11-point “Rescue America” plan.
You've got it backwards, Sleepy Joe.
My plan: get able-bodied Americans back in the workforce, cut taxes & reduce government spending.
Your plan: MASSIVE inflation tax on every working American & tax cuts for billionaires in blue states.
— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) May 5, 2022
Meanwhile, Press Secretary Jen Psaki took an opportunity in yesterday’s press conference to make a jab at Republican lawmakers, claiming they “have not put forward any plan to lower costs for the American people.”
Biden continued these lines of attack during Tuesday’s speech, saying, “My plan is to lower everyday costs for hardworking Americans and lower the deficit by asking large corporations and the wealthiest Americans to not to engage in price-gouging and pay their fair share in taxes. The Republican plan is to increase taxes on middle-class families, let billionaires and large companies off the hook as they raise profits – as they raise prices and reap profits in record amounts.”
In addition to criticizing Republicans for protecting corporations and increasing taxes, Biden also attacked Scott’s plan to renew laws every five years. This would put programs like Medicare and Social Security “on the chopping block every five years,” according to Biden, presenting an opportunity to hold the programs hostage to advance other conservative legislation.
What is the Biden-Harris plan? Officially, it focuses on “lowering costs that families face and lowering the federal deficit.” It involves making the wealthiest Americans and corporations “pay their fair share.” The Biden Administration aims to reduce the costs of gas, energy, medicine, and childcare.
According to Biden, his plan to combat rising gas prices “is already in motion.” Russia is a major supplier of oil in the global market. To continue to combat the shortage caused by the Russian-Ukraine war, Biden wants to release 100 million barrels of U.S. reserve oil per day for the next six months. He also wants to see lawmakers pass tax credits for renewable energy and for Americans who invest in making their homes more energy efficient.
“Republicans would offer plenty of blame [for rising gas prices] but not a single solution to actually bring down the energy prices,” Biden said.
He took the opportunity to subtly plug Democratic nominees for the upcoming election. He acknowledged that he needed “Congressional approval” for some of his plan. However, the majority of approval votes are currently lacking.
As further proof of why his plan would work, Biden touted his economic achievements including the recent $370 million U.S. deficit. He said, adding that there is an expected $1.5 trillion deficit reduction by the end of this year, “Republicans like to attack me as a big spender as if that’s the reason why inflation’s gone up. Let’s compare the facts.”
Interestingly, even left-leaning CNN’s analyst rejects this claim. Biden has previously extolled his successful deficit reduction. Daniel Dale acknowledged this was true, before stating economic experts had labeled the brag as being “almost bizarro world, a reversal of reality.”
Dale explained that because of short-term spending in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic set to expire, the deficit was going to fall this year “no matter who was president” but that experts expected that amount to be more than $870 billion. He shared a quote from one of these experts: “The actions of the administration and Congress have undoubtedly resulted in higher deficits, not smaller ones.”
Senator Scott tweeted, “I’ll be on @foxnews with @HARRISFAULKNER immediately after @JoeBiden’s lie-filled speech to talk about Biden’s raging inflation crisis & why he must RESIGN to fix it.”
Biden’s confidence in his ability to combat inflation also seemed to wane under the pressure of one post-speech press question: “A year ago the administration was saying inflation was transitory. That’s obviously not the case now. How long do you think it will be until we see prices coming down?”
Biden responded, “I’m not going to predict that.” He added that economic experts contradict each other, with some saying it would be down by the end of this year while others called for inflation to increase into next year.
“I don’t know, but I know what we have to do to make sure we can bring it down,” the President finished.