President Biden has been busy dodging responsibility for rampant inflation. He’s blamed issues on Putin or simply denied the undeniable inflation that Americans are facing. Continuing this approach, President Biden recently posed this question in a news interview: “If it’s my fault, why is it the case in every other major industrial country in the world that inflation is higher?” But is inflation higher in every other major industrial country?
President Joseph Biden
Mostly false or misleading. Significant errors or omissions. Mostly make believe.
To examine Biden Biden’s claim, let’s hear from Democrat economist Jason Furman, an economics professor at Harvard University, who served as chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers from 2013-17 in the Obama administration:
“Strip out the volatile food and energy components, and core inflation—which economists focus on because it is a better predictor of future inflation than the more volatile headline number—and a large gap emerges. Measured on a comparable basis, core inflation likely grew about 6.5% over the last year in the U.S. (we will get the exact number on Friday) while growing only 3.8% in the euro area,” Furman wrote earlier this month in The Wall Street Journal.
Furman continued: “The U.S. has had about 3 percentage points more cumulative inflation than the euro area since the onset of the pandemic. In the first four months of the year, inflation rose at a 12% annualized rate in Europe compared with 9% in the U.S. The comparatively large runup in inflation in Europe is largely because of the extreme increase in the price of natural gas, now around $27 per million British thermal units, which was nearly three times what it is in the U.S. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine raised food and energy inflation around the world, but these effects have been much sharper in Europe than the U.S.”
So what we see here is that President Biden is disingenuous. He wants to shift blame for rising inflation. And he’s ignoring his own economic advisors, including Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who testified this month before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee that inflation in Europe was structurally different from inflation in the United States.
“But we also know that this is not only a U.S. problem, countries around the world, both big and small, are also seeing high inflation. So how is the U.S. position relative to other countries with respect to inflation?” Powell said. “I would say generally to generalize in the United States, our inflation has more of a demand driven component. whereas in Europe, it is more to a greater extent driven by very high energy prices, for example, although in the United Kingdom kind of has, has a mix of both of those. We also have high energy prices here. So the levels are similar but the composition is a little bit different here in the United States.”
Translation: Biden wants to blame Russian President Vladimir Putin for the U.S. inflation, but U.S. consumers are far more directly shielded from Russian-linked oil and gas than European consumers. European presidents are more able to use the Putin excuse but regardless, comparing our inflation to that of Europe’s is misleading.