Biden vows to tackle ‘junk fees’ to combat inflation

by mcardinal

Katie Kerekes, FISM News

 

President Biden announced in a Wednesday briefing his plan to address inflation with a focus on “junk fees,” which he says cost American families “tens of billions of dollars.” 

According to Fox News, the White House is calling on “all agencies to reduce or eliminate hidden fees, charges, and add-ons for everything from banking services to cable and internet bills to airline and concert tickets,” a move which Biden says should give American families more “breathing room.”

Biden said that the plan will “prevent surprise charges that companies sneak into bills” and save the average American family over $400, though he did not give any support to back up this claim. He did, however, say that the Federal Trade Commission would be overseeing the regulation of new policies to ensure that there is follow-through on his promises.

“Last week, the Federal Trade Commission started work on a rule to crack down on unfair and deceptive fees across all industries, fees that were never disclosed — never disclosed,” Biden said.

With record-high inflation driven by astronomical spending since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, President Biden’s speech seemed desperate to place the blame on anyone’s actions but his own for the failing economy and to endear himself to a general public that has suffered from rising costs on everything from groceries to gasoline. This has been particularly indicative of a vast number of his speeches leading up to the midterm elections, which many believe will be a referendum on Biden’s failed policies.

During the briefing, he once again used the opportunity to place the blame for the country’s economic woes at the feet of two of his favorite targets, Russian President Vladimir Putin and the oil industry. 

“..Putin’s war has imposed an awful lot of strains on Europe and the rest of the world and the United States, everything from him blocking grain shipments to oil,” he said at the press briefing.

Biden once again called for gas companies to lower costs for consumers while touting his efforts in reducing prices at the gas pump, suggesting congruence between current costs and the national average “in the decade before the pandemic.”

“The most common price right now in America is $3.39 a gallon, and it’s going to come down more,” Biden stated. “And they’re going to come down even further when gas companies — when the oil companies agree to our demand — my demand to pass on the savings from the price of a barrel of oil, which is considerably down, to the pump, where, in fact, you get — you’ll get charged by the gallon.”

According to AAA, the national average price per gallon of gasoline is $3.76 as of publication on Oct. 27.

One strange moment from the briefing came when Biden inferred that fees airlines charge for extra money are inherently racist, without any further explanation.

During the briefing, no mention was made of the termination of Ukrainian aid. Since his inauguration, the Biden administration has authorized the spending of nearly $19 billion in U.S. taxpayer funds on Ukrainian aid.

He ended his speech by saying he was “optimistic” and that he “appreciates the frustration of the American people.”

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