Forget about that crazy high inflation, those sky-high gas prices, and the empty shelves at your local grocery store: to White House chief of staff Ron Klain, everything’s great.
Klain made his claim in an interview with “The Lead With Jake Tapper,” in which Tapper asked President Joe Biden’s right-hand man about inflation, noting that “it’s at a 30-year high” and “up 6.2%. That’s worse than had been feared.”
“Well, look, I do think, as I said, Jake, things are a lot better in this country than they were a year ago, with regard to COVID, with regard to the economy, but we have a lot of work left to do,” Klain said. “And I think voters are in ‘show-me-don’t-tell-me’ mode, I don’t think they really care as much about what I’m saying on TV, or what you’re saying on TV as much as putting results into their lives.”
PolitiFact, a fact-checker at Poynter Institute, called Klain’s claim “half true.”
Klain’s view seems to differ from that of his boss.
Although Biden pinned the problem on supply chain issues, calling it “the reason,” last week 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 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.