The Biden administration has a message for America: If you like your inflation, you can keep your inflation.
During a media briefing Monday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki warned inflation would be “extraordinarily inflated” when the March numbers came out, blaming the U.S.’ actions to contain Russia for the sharp spike.
During the briefing, Psaki was asked by a reporter “how high do you expect these numbers to be.”
“So, because of the actions we’ve taken to address Putin — the Putin price hike, we are in a better place than we were last month,” Psaki said.
“But we expect March CPA — CPI headline inflation to be extraordinarily elevated due to Putin’s price hike.
“And we expect a large difference between core and headline inflation, reflecting the global disruptions in energy and food markets.”
“We need to do more to reduce costs for the American people.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki says the White House expects the Consumer Price Index report on inflation for March “to be extraordinarily elevated due to Putin’s price hike.” pic.twitter.com/MsImm8189U
— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 11, 2022
Psaki was responding to a report from Axios that analysts surveyed expected the March inflation rate to hit 8.4 percent, the highest rate since December of 1981.
Sadly. the White House didn’t even hit that target.
When the numbers were released on Tuesday, the inflation rate stood at 8.5 percent, coming in above the already-astronomical predictions.
That number was a jump from 7.9 percent in February. It was also the fifth month in a row that the Consumer Price Index has hit a 40-year-high.
Not only that, prices increased 1.2 percent over February, the biggest spike since 2005.
The White House insisted this was all the result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the concomitant spike in gas prices.
“A core inflation doesn’t include energy and food prices; headline inflation does. And, of course, we know that core inflation, you know, energy — the impact of energy, of course, on oil prices, gas prices, we expect that to continue to reflect what we’ve seen the increases be over the course of this invasion,” Psaki said.
However, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, inflation was spiking under Biden long before there was any threat of Russia invading Ukraine.
In April of 2021, the inflation rate hit 4.2 percent, the highest number since 2008. Since then, there’s only been one monthly decrease — in August, when the rate reduced slightly from 5.4 percent in July to 5.3 percent. By October, however, it was up to 6.2 percent.
Psaki argued that more government spending proposed by the Biden administration was needed to curb inflationary pressures on everyday Americans.
“We have, of course, legislation that could … cut the costs of childcare, of healthcare, of eldercare. These all have enormous impacts on people’s budgets; on when they’re, you know, doing those calculations at their kitchen table.”