by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
During his State of the Union address, Joe Biden once again blamed Vladimir Putin for inflation.
“Inflation has been a global problem because a pandemic directly disrupted our supply chains and Putin’s unfair and brutal war in Ukraine disrupted energy supplies, as well as food supplies, blocking all that grain and Ukraine.”
The pandemic certainly did have a negative impact on the worldwide economy, but the inflation rate in January 2021, when he took office, was a mere 1.4%, which was on par with the average inflation rate of 1.2% for all of 2020. Inflation started going up after Biden took office, and peaked at 9.1% in June of 2022.
Biden has been blaming Vladimir Putin for inflation for a year now, but gas prices and inflation were going up well before Putin invaded Ukraine. Biden spent much of his first year in office in denial about inflation. Biden has gone from saying that “inflation will be transitory” to “inflation is a good thing” to “inflation started under Trump” to blaming COVID-19, Big Oil, and even his own staff.
Biden also tried to claim that he’s gotten inflation under control. “Gas prices down $1.50 from their peak, food inflation is coming down not fast enough, but coming down. Inflation has fallen every month, for the last six months. Our take home pay has gone up.”
Under Joe Biden, inflation has been at or above 5% for 20 months, and real wages have fallen at the fastest pace in 40 years. Biden claimed in his speech that inflation has fallen each month for the last six months, but it’s still much, much higher than when he took office, Americans’ real disposable income is lower than when he took office, and a whopping 72% of middle-class families say they are falling behind financially because of inflation.