For President Joe Biden, convincing a former Obama advisor to buy your spin should be like preaching to the choir, but even that guy knows a falsehood when he hears it.
It starts with someone’s cute decision to label inflation, which just reached a new 40-year high, as “Putin price hikes.” Not so fast, says former Obama adviser and current MSNBC economic analyst Steven Rattner.
“This is Biden’s inflation and he needs to own it.”
The Consumer Price Index numbers released this week are for February and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began on Feb. 24. As Rattner and anyone capable of simple math can calculate, the Biden administration made economic policy for 13+ months before the tanks crossed the border.
And it’s not just Biden’s latest attempt to divert blame for soaring inflation that has Rattner shaking his head. Less than a month ago, the president told NBC’s Lester Holt that supply chain bottlenecks were the cause of price spikes.
The MSNBC contributor compares blaming backed-up boats for white-hot inflation to adding “several logs to the fireplace” and then complaining about the heat. Those “logs” in part are the $4.5 trillion in COVID-19 “relief” passed around that led to a 25% increase in spending for durable goods last year. It’s primary supply and demand.
Rattner also points the finger at the Federal Reserve, which fueled the fire by dropping and then holding the federal funds rate at or near zero for far too long and buying $120 billion monthly in bonds to “support” the economy. As Rattner points out, these twin actions play a huge role in the overheating the Fed is about to cool by raising interest rates.
Which, of course, begs the question of how much longer will Rattner be in the employ of MSNBC?
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, bless her heart, is featured in a video explaining how Biden’s just-implemented ban on Russian oil imports is a significant factor in rising gas prices and how the United States is now trying to become “energy independent.”
How do they keep making these claims with a straight face?
If the Biden administration is serious about Psaki’s claim, that it’s not restarting the Keystone pipeline is a no-brainer. Windmills are cute, but cars don’t run on them. When solar-powered vehicles are developed and reliable, there will be lines around the block of people buying them.
But until then, the US needs leadership that understands that being energy independent is not running to Iran or Venezuela with that in hand, hoping they will provide us with oil that we have more than enough right under our feet.
As Steven Rattner pointed out, blaming Putin for runaway inflation is just a diversion and President Biden needs to take ownership of his creation.