President Joe Biden on Wednesday acknowledged that his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package has made it so “people have more money now,” and claimed that that provided fuel for the highest rate of inflation in more than 30 years.
Although Biden pinned the problem on supply chain issues, calling it “the reason,” he also conceded that the U.S. dollar is losing buying power.
“The irony is people have more money now because of the first major piece of legislation I passed. You all got checks for $1,400. You got checks for a whole range of things,” Biden said during a speech in Baltimore. “If you’re a mom and you have kids under the age of 7, you get $300 a month and if it’s over 7 to 17, you’re getting $360 a month,” he said. The White House later corrected that latter number to $250 per month.
“It changes people’s lives. But what happens if there’s nothing to buy and you got more money to compete for getting [goods]? It creates a real problem,” Biden said.
Biden said with all that money floating around, the demand for goods is exceeding supply.
“On the one hand, we’re facing new disruptions to our supplies. At the same time, we’re also experiencing higher demand for goods because wages are up as well as people have money in the bank. And because of the strength of our economic recovery, American families have been able to buy more products,” Biden said.
Biden also weirdly said that too many people temporarily are ordering goods online while not spending their money in their local communities at restaurants, bars, and stores.
“Because of the strength of our American recovery American families have been able to buy more products. But guess what, they’re not going out to dinner and lunch and going to local bars because of COVID. So what are they doing?” he said.
“They’re staying home and ordering online and buying product. Well with more people with money buying product and less product to buy, what happens? The supply chain is the reason and the answer is you guys, and I’ll get to that in a minute. What happens? Prices go up,” the president said.
Biden also said that “more products are being delivered than ever before — that’s because people have a little more breathing room than they did last year. And that’s a good thing. But it also means we’ve got higher demand for goods at the same time we’re facing disruptions in the supplies to make those goods. This is a recipe for delays and for higher prices.”
But he also said he understands Americans are frustrated.
“People are feeling it — they are feeling it,” Biden said. “Did you ever think you’d be paying this much for a gallon of gas? In some parts of California they’re paying $4.50 a gallon. That’s why it’s so important we do everything in our power to stabilize the supply chain.”