Issues & Insights

As Inflation Fears Rise, Biden Starts Looking For Scapegoats

A 1970s era "whip inflation now" button.

You know inflation is a problem when it gets harder to find something for $1 at Dollar Tree stores. And that’s exactly what’s happening as the discount chain announced that many of its goods would carry a price of up to $1.50.

There’s been more bad news on the inflation front this week, so, naturally, Biden is looking for someone or something else to blame – other than his own economic policies.

As soon as Biden conjured up his reckless $1.9 trillion “rescue” plan, economists left and right said that pumping that much deficit-financed spending into a fast-growing economy risked sparking an inflationary spiral, to which team Biden said “nonsense.”

When prices did spike in the spring, Biden insisted that “the overwhelming consensus is it’s going to pop up a little bit and then go back down.” 

That didn’t happen. This week, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell, who’d previously dismissed inflation fears, said price increases have “been larger and longer-lasting than anticipated,” and that this will “likely remain so in coming months before moderating.” The Fed now predicts that inflation this year will be 4.2%, up from its June forecast of 3.4%.

Also this week, the London-based research firm Capital Economics said that the U.S. may be heading into an “era of higher inflation.”

And Biden’s top economic adviser, Jared Bernstein, said he “believes we might see elevated inflation into the middle of next year,” according to Fox Business. Bernstein had been the most vocal in denying that Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus would trigger inflation.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Meanwhile, the Daily Caller reports that “oil prices have surged around the world in recent weeks, which will lead to even higher inflation, according to industry experts.”

The National Association of Business Economists sharply raised its fourth-quarter inflation forecast to 5.1%, where it had previously pegged it at 2.8%.

The NABE also slashed its forecast for GDP growth this year from 6.7% to 5.6%, and the Atlanta Fed’s “GDP Nowcast” for Q3 has tumbled from over 7% down to 3.2% after economic data for the quarter started coming in much lower than expected.


See Also: Americans Back Government Spending Cuts to Control Inflation: I&I/TIPP Poll


The latest I&I/TIPP poll finds that more than two-thirds of the public (68%) believe that inflation will be a long-term problem. Not even Democrats believe Biden’s promises, with 59% saying it’s a long-term problem. Fewer than one in five (19%) of the public think it’s a short-term problem that will soon disappear.

So, what’s Biden’s response to all this? Is he rethinking his plan to pour more than $6 trillion additional spending onto the fire? Nope. Instead, he’s been trying to pin the blame for rising prices on “profiteers.”

 “We’re also going after the bad actors and pandemic profiteers on our economy,” Biden said a couple of weeks ago.

“There’s lots of evidence that gas prices should be going down but they haven’t,” he said. “We’re taking a close look at that.”

Last week, the director of Biden’s National Economic Council, Brian Deese, said it was greedy meat middlemen who were to blame for rising food prices because they supposedly have the “power to squeeze both consumers and farmers and ranchers.”

“It raises a concern about pandemic profiteering, about companies that are driving price increases in a way that hurts consumers who are going to the grocery store,” Deese said.

This makes no sense, of course. If oil companies and meat producers could artificially boost prices, why would have all waited until now to do so?

But by creating such scapegoats, Biden hopes to deflect blame. So far, thankfully, the public isn’t buying this cheap trick. Polls show them overwhelmingly blaming Biden, with one finding that 79% say Biden’s economic policies are fueling inflation.

What’s more, most Americans (51%) want the government to cut spending to rein in inflation, according to the I&I/TIPP poll. Just 32% say the government should impose price controls. Tellingly, more Democrats are in favor of price controls than government spending (37% vs. 36%)

So, a slowing economy and rising prices. What does that remind you of?

The question is, how long will it take before Biden starts dusting off those old “Whip Inflation Now” buttons?

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

Will You Help Us In The Fight For Free Speech?

Issues & Insights was founded by seasoned journalists of the IBD Editorials page. Our mission is to provide timely, fact-based reporting and deeply informed analysis on the news of the day -- without fear or favor.

We’re doing this on a voluntary basis because we believe in a free press, and because we aren't afraid to tell the truth, even if it means being targeted by the left. Revenue from ads on the site help, but your support will truly make a difference in keeping our mission going. If you like what you see, feel free to visit our Donations Page by clicking here. And be sure to tell your friends!

You can also subscribe to I&I: It's free!

Just enter your email address below to get started.

Share

I & I Editorial Board

The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.

6 comments

  • I do pricing at a grocery store. I guarantee that the real inflation rate is higher than the official rate.

    • Grocery prices aren’t included in inflation calculations because they are too volatile. Your groceries can double or triple and have no effect on official inflation numbers, and for good reason. No one can plan how to handle inflation using data that jumps around too much too often.

  • Global statists always blame the consequences of their bad policies on “wreckers”.

  • While at least 80 percent of humanity, or more than 6 billion in this world are living on less than $10 a day, that cannot subsidize themselves out of a paper bag, and billions living with little to no access to electricity, American politicians are pursuing the most expensive ways to generate intermittent electricity from breezes and sunshine, and subsidizing the working poor to live a better life.

  • Fears of Inflation?

    Please look at your graph, it is already happening, and it is not going to stop for quite a while.

  • If Joe can spend 3.5 trillion dollars and it doesn’t cost anyone a penny, why doesn’t he spend 25 trillion and pay of the national debt?

Subscribe to Issues & Insights via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to I&I and you can receive notifications of new articles in your email. It’s simple, and free.

Join 5,470 other subscribers

We Could Use Your Help

Will you help us fight for honesty in journalism and against the tyranny of the left? Issues & Insights is published by a team of volunteers who believe in free speech and in quality journalism. If you like what you see, leave a donation by clicking on the Tip Jar above. You can also set up regular donations if you like. Ad revenue helps, but your support will truly make a difference. (Please note that we are not set up as a charitable organization, so donations aren't tax deductible.) Thank you!

About Issues & Insights

Issues & Insights is run by the seasoned journalists behind the legendary IBD Editorials page. Our goal is to bring our decades of combined journalism experience to help readers understand the top issues of the day. We’re doing this on a voluntary basis, because we believe the nation needs the kind of cogent, rational, data-driven, fact-based commentary that we can provide. 

%d bloggers like this: