Amid news of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) remaining unchanged between June and July, top White House officials argued that the economy “had 0% inflation” while overlooking persistently high price levels — provoking criticism from Republicans.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, year-over-year inflation reached 9.1% in June and 8.5% in July, with the slight moderation driven by month-to-month declines in energy expenses even as prices for food, new vehicles, medical care, and shelter continued to increase.
President Joe Biden — who began his tenure when inflation was 1.4% — took a victory lap in reaction to the most recent price level news. “Today we received news that our economy had 0% inflation in the month of July,” he told members of the press. “Here’s what that means — while the price of some things went up last month, the price of other things went down by the same amount. The result: zero inflation last month. People are still hurting, but zero inflation last month.”
As other White House officials — including Chief of Staff Ron Klain and Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre — made similar arguments, Republicans noted the disconnect between members of the administration and members of the public.
“The Biden White House is living in a fairytale while Americans are living in a nightmare,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) remarked.
“Sure, they’re straight up lying. But this message to voters from Joe Biden is that inflation doesn’t exist… the economy is great… there is nothing to worry about,” Republican Party Deputy Communications Director Nathan Brand added. “Being that out of touch just proves they don’t care about families that are struggling.”
“Inflation is at a near 40 year high — even using the fake government numbers — and the leftwing media is gaslighting us over it because they’re hacks trying to protect Biden and the Dems,” Donald Trump Jr. commented. “Enemy of the people.”
“Our economy is broken when 8.5% inflation is celebrated as ‘progress,’” former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said. “Grocery prices are up 13% and electricity is up 15%. More spending, more IRS and higher taxes wont [sic] make things better. Ending Dem control of Congress this November will.”
Last month, the Biden administration preemptively spun a record-high 9.1% year-over-year inflation reading by arguing that the report would be outdated. “We expect the headline number, which includes gas and food, to be highly elevated, mainly because gas prices were so elevated in June,” Jean-Pierre told reporters at the time. “The President’s number one economic priority is tackling inflation. And looking ahead, there are a number of reasons why we expect those high prices to ease over the coming months.”
The newest inflation report occurs as the Biden administration endorses the “Inflation Reduction Act” — a $740 billion package that includes $369 billion in climate provisions. Vice President Kamala Harris cast the tiebreaking ballot in a party-line Senate vote earlier this week.
“This bill tackles inflation by lowering the deficit and lowering costs for regular families,” Biden said upon the bill’s advancement to the House of Representatives. “It addresses the climate crisis and strengthens our energy security, creating jobs manufacturing solar panels, wind turbines, and electric vehicles in America with American workers. … It pays for all this by establishing a minimum corporate tax so that our richest corporations start to pay their fair share.”