President Biden Reminds Us Trump Gone, Economy Improving, Inflation Not Forever
President Joe Biden delivered a speech today on the economy, which is doing well despite Republicans' best hopes that we could all relive the 1970s but without the solace of disco. He kicked things off with some fierce shade on all the doom and gloom predictions about his presidency.
BIDEN: Before I took office, there was a lot of folks out there making some pretty bold predictions about how things would turn out. You might remember some of the predictions: That if I became president, we'd "see a depression the likes of which we'd never seen."
That's a direct a quote from that third-rate carnival barker, Donald Trump. We have not seen a depression; in fact we're experiencing consistent economic growth.
BIDEN: Well, it's true the economy was sputtering before I got here, adding only 60,000 jobs per month for three months before I was sworn in. Six months later, we've changed that. We've gone from 60,000 jobs per month to 60,000 jobs every three days. More than 600,000 jobs per month since I took office. More than 3 million new jobs all told. That's the fastest growth I'm told at this point in any administration's history.
Republicans have depicted "Biden's America" as a nightmare state where the economy is floundering and white children hate themselves because of critical race theory. That's easy to do because they don't mind lying. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy keeps whining about how awful everything is.
Prices on everything from gas to groceries are skyrocketing. Inflation is hitting hard-working middle-class families the hardest.
A key driver of these price increases and increased costs of living is crystal clear → massive increases in government spending by the Democrats.
Prices are increasing because demand is currently outpacing supply. If you were ever in the same room with an economics book, you'd understand what's happening. COVID-19 shut down the economy, which is now restarting all at once. But “inflation" is a scary word for average Americans that recalls frightening images of gas shortages and 1970s leisure suits.
McCarthy blames “massive increases in government spending by the Democrats" for the corresponding (and likely temporary) increased costs of living. That's absurd and baseless. But it's almost a rhetorical retreat to claim Biden is just another 1980s-style “tax and spend" liberal. The president noted in his speech that Republicans predicted he'd “bring the end to capitalism."
BIDEN: I never understood that one, but we've heard it an awful lot. Well, in six months into my administration, the US economy has experienced the highest economic growth rate in nearly 40 years.
Biden served Republicans a similar feast of crow around the fourth of July. When PolitiFact chided him for not putting his remarks in the proper context, it stated the following, also without historical context: "Most other presidents — aside from Barack Obama, who took office during a spiraling economic downturn — have entered the White House amid a growing economy." Bill Clinton also inherited an economy that wasn't in great shape. What do Clinton, Obama, and Biden have in common? Democrats fix the economy after Republicans drive it into a brick wall. It's an annoyingly predictable cycle.
PolitiFact also implies that Biden shouldn't thump his chest about turning the economy around because how it collapsed last year was so unprecedented. We're apparently supposed to cut Trump some slack for ignoring the pandemic and not taking efforts to keep it from spreading unchecked. Why, not even a competent president could've avoided 2020's economic pain and also kept Americans safe! That's just another big lie.
Republicans hope scary campfire tales about inflation can derail Biden's ambitious infrastructure plan, even though long-term infrastructure investments would reportedly create more jobs, increase the supply of goods, and beef up supply chains. The American Jobs and Families Plan is an answer to our current inflation problem, and as former Obama staffer Dan Pfeiffer argues, we should "sell the product not the price tag." Biden hammered his point that this is "the best strategy to create millions of jobs and lift up middle class families, and grow wages and keep prices affordable for the long-term."
Tax cuts are BAD now. https://t.co/oNYiDwAeuL— Justin Baragona (@Justin Baragona)1626706030.0
The GOP is already using inflation to attack Biden's expanded child tax credits. Yes, the GOP will even oppose tax cuts from this administration.
Biden doesn't downplay the inflation concerns. He realizes he can't let Republicans define the narrative.
BIDEN: My administration understands that if we were ever to experience unchecked inflation over the long term, that would pose a real challenge to our economy. So while we're confident that isn't what we're seeing today, we're going to remain vigilant about any response that is needed.
Still, Biden was very “USA!" (rightly so) in his speech, declaring that the US “is the only developed country in the world where growth projections today are stronger than they were before the pandemic hit." The Debbie Downer Republicans should explain why they're betting against America.
Watch the full Biden speech, just above!
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."