by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
President Joe Biden finds himself on the defensive over the economy, even as he presides over an emergence from the pandemic opening the spigots of job creation and growth.
Yet, when Biden spoke about the economy on Monday, he found himself fending off concerns about inflation and a plummeting stock market that served as a poor backdrop for what were supposed to be celebratory remarks.
“Some folks have raised worries that this could be a sign of persistent inflation,” Biden said at the White House. “But that’s not our view. Our experts believe, and the data shows, that most of the price increases we’ve seen are — were expected and expected to be temporary.”
“There’s nobody suggesting there’s unchecked inflation on the way — no serious economist,” Biden later said in response to a reporter’s question. “That’s totally different.”
Even the triumphant line that “capitalism is alive and very well” came with a defensive tone.
“Another prediction — that is my favorite one, I must add — is that if I got elected, I’d bring the end to capitalism,” said Biden, who defeated socialist Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries to win his party’s presidential nomination last year. “I never understood that one, but we’ve heard — we’ve heard it an awful lot.” …
… [T]he National Bureau of Economic Research announced Monday that the pandemic recession ended in April 2020 — before Biden even formally secured the Democratic nomination.
Republicans have begun to tie Biden’s policies to some of the economic problems: the high federal spending to rising inflation; the additional unemployment benefit to labor shortages as workers are slow to come back to the job; the administration’s failure to hit its own vaccination targets, undermining investor confidence and tanking the stock market.
All that is before Biden and congressional Democrats … pass any tax increases.