Editors at National Review Online respond to the Biden administration’s latest spin about inflation.

The Consumer Price Index increased by 1.2 percent in March, the quickest month-over-month increase in more than 15 years, and the year-over-year inflation rate is now at 8.5 percent, the highest since December 1981.

The White House has coined a new proper noun to describe inflation: “Putin’s Price Hike.” Written with capital letters to start each word in all official communications, the term was initially used to describe the increase in gas prices.

In a disgraceful smear, White House communications adviser Jesse Lee tweeted that Vladimir Putin and Senator Rick Scott (R., Fla.) are “in lockstep in blaming Biden for Putin’s Price Hike.” Scott had told a reporter that “today’s CPI numbers should be a big wakeup call for Joe Biden, but we know nothing will change” — a pretty anodyne, not to say correct, comment.

Being concerned about inflation does not connote sympathy with the Russian dictator, and the White House is going to be in for a surprise if it actually believes that it does. Polling shows Americans are overwhelmingly anti-Putin while being very concerned about inflation. Then again, this wouldn’t be the first time this White House is surprised by what the American people actually think.

People understand this much, and they understand it well: Things they normally buy are noticeably more expensive than they were not that long ago. That uptick in prices began before the invasion of Ukraine. It’s going to be a tough sell to blame all of it on the Russian dictator.

The first and more deserving target for criticism is the Federal Reserve, which seems to be behind the curve, as has often been the case in its history. Even if the Fed hits its inflation target for every month for the rest of the year (which it certainly won’t), inflation for 2022 will still be at 5 percent, about 3 percentage points higher than the Fed wants it to be.