Council of Economic Advisers member Jared Bernstein speaks at a press briefing at the White House in Washington, Monday, July 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
UPDATED 7:39 AM PT – Tuesday, July 19, 2022
President Joe Biden’s economy czar, Jared Bernstein, appeared to admit inflation wasn’t transitory, while still asking the country to trust its policies moving forward. On Monday, Bernstein held a press conference to showcase the 34th day of declining fuel costs. He touted the price of gas has dropped 50 cents per gallon since its June peak and reassured the public the trend should continue so long as circumstances remain favorable.
“We think it’s reasonable to expect more gas stations to lower their prices in response to lower input costs and thus, barring unforeseen market disruptions to see average prices fall below $4 per gallon in more places in coming weeks,” stated the economic adviser.
However, the press raised concerns about Bernstein’s forecast as officials have promised inflation was transitory, only for rates to continue hovering at 40-year highs. The adviser downplayed such worries, trumpeting a number of factors to bolster his claim that the Biden economy is robust.
“So I think if you look at the strength of the current economy, if you look at the strength of the labor market, if you look at the strength of consumer spending, you would conclude that where we are right now remains solidly within expansion,” he claimed. “I think we can confidently say that these numbers that we’re posting are very much inconsistent with a recessionary call given where we are right now.”
However, members of the press refused to relent pointing to Biden’s refusal to take credit for any of the economic woes that have taken place during his presidency. Bernstein shot back by disagreeing with their assessment and praising Biden’s policies.
“I think what’s happening here is a President who is working tirelessly to address the largest constraint, probably the toughest constraint facing American households right now: the the budgetary impacts of these elevated prices,” stated the economy czar. “And we’re showing you here today some real results.”
The price of gasoline remains more than $2 higher per gallon than when Biden first took office. Although the President has often blamed Russia for the pain at the pump, prices had already risen a dollar per gallon prior to the invasion of Ukraine.
A March study by the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank found found half of the inflation rate in quarter four of last year had been triggered by bloated pandemic spending packages. Nonetheless, the Biden administration seems to be telling Americans to be grateful for a slight decline in gas prices as the population continues to feel pain in their pockets.