President Joe Biden is attempting to blame Russia for February’s record-high inflation rates, but a former Obama administration official is skeptical.
On Thursday, Steven Rattner, a former advisor to the Treasury Secretary under President Barack Obama, chastised Biden for misleading the American people about February’s record-high inflation rates.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Labor Department had previously recorded a 7.9% increase in the consumer price index over the previous year, which was a 40-year high.
Biden referred to the price hikes as Putin’s price hike, suggesting that the rise in petrol costs is the result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Well, no. These are Feb #'s and only include small Russia effect. This is Biden's inflation and he needs to own it. https://t.co/WsJjn6picV— Steven Rattner (@SteveRattner) March 10, 2022
The president promised to take more steps to alleviate supply chain bottlenecks that have contributed to inflation and to lower the massive federal budget deficit that my predecessor left me with.
Rattner, on the other hand, believes the president is mistaken.
On February 24, Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The price increases were covered by the BLS report for the entire month of February. And the Biden administration has been grappling with the issue of inflation for months. Last year, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and others disregarded growing prices as a blip on the radar, predicting that inflation would fall as the economy recovered from the COVID-19 lockdowns.
Inflation, on the other hand, has never slowed, rising at the fastest rates in 40 years in the last year. As a result, the Federal Reserve has announced intentions to boost interest rates to battle rising prices, with the first hikes due next week.
Prior to accusing Russia, Biden attributed increased costs on interrupted supply chains, but Rattner dismissed this explanation as simplistic and inaccurate.
He urged that Biden prioritize deficit reduction with his other anti-inflation policies, noting that smaller deficits cut government net expenditure, which helps offset consumer demand.
Biden and the Washington Democrats, on the other hand, have shown little desire to cut government spending.