White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki lauded President Biden for his purported role in growing second-quarter GDP — even though the American economy missed projections by a large margin.
As The Daily Wire reported on Thursday, data released by the Department of Commerce shows that the annualized GDP growth rate rose to 6.5% between April and June of this year. Although improving from 6.3% in the first quarter of 2021, the rate fell far short of economists’ 8.4% estimate.
Nevertheless, Psaki released a statement highlighting the President’s policies as an explanatory factor for economic growth:
Today’s GDP data are further proof of the remarkable progress we’ve made in jump-starting our economy from one of the darkest moments in its history. With today’s numbers, the U.S. economy has now made up the losses of the last 18 months and surpassed the pre-pandemic GDP peak. In doing so, we’ve grown our economy the first half of this year at the fastest rate in almost four decades, created three million new jobs, and halved new jobless claims.
Simply put, because of President Biden’s leadership, America is on the move again. This isn’t an accident: It’s the result of a successful campaign against the virus and an economic policy that has been focused squarely on getting help to the working and middle-class Americans who need it the most — ensuring that we’re rebuilding our economy in a way that puts them first.
Psaki stated that the Commander-in-Chief would double down on emphasizing federal social programs as a mechanism for improving the economy:
We still have work to do to build our economy back better, and we can’t be complacent when too many Americans are still facing the squeeze of economic uncertainty. That’s why the President and his team are going to continue focusing squarely on curbing this virus and getting our communities the economic support they need to thrive. And it’s why the President has put forward a historic, and bipartisan, plan to rebuild our infrastructure and invest in our global competitiveness, which cleared an important hurdle last night. And it’s why he’s working with Democrats to deliver on additional support for our middle class that will create a fairer, more sustainable, and stronger economy.
As the United States economy has recovered from COVID-19 and the lockdown-induced recession, the enhanced unemployment insurance payments extended through the American Families Plan have proven to be a bottleneck for a return to economic normalcy.
At several points in its most recent semiannual report to Congress, the Federal Reserve — which controls monetary policy in the United States — pointed to the federal handouts as a policy that worsens labor shortages, thereby creating headaches for small business owners:
With economic activity rebounding, labor demand rose briskly in the spring, while the supply of labor struggled to keep up. Employers reported widespread hiring difficulties, job openings jumped to about 30 percent above the average level for 2019, and the ratio of job openings to job seekers surged… enhanced unemployment benefits have allowed potential workers to be more selective and reduce the intensity of their job search.
The Federal Reserve, however, stopped short of recommending that officials end the policy before its automatic expiration in September.
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