Jared Bernstein, a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, joined Fox News Sunday to discuss the state of America’s economy in the face of rampant inflation.
Jared Bernstein, who is a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers admitted Sunday that inflation was “unacceptably high.” However, President Biden stressed that he would not back down from climate change spending initiatives and that he does not believe the country is heading toward a recession.
Shannon Bream, a Fox News host, noted that President Biden stated that no serious economist believed that the United States would experience unchecked inflation. This was about one year ago. He made these remarks at a time when the U.S. was experiencing 5.4% inflation and the U.S. is currently at 9.1%.
“How did this happen?” Bream asked Bernstein about his experience as a guest on Fox News Sunday.
Bernstein replied, “Well, that was actually the dominant forecast at that time, and we very much cited forecasts across all the board, even those from the Federal Reserve,” noting that “some unexpected things occurred”, namely the conflict in Ukraine.
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Jared Bernstein, a member of the Council of Economic Advisers, speaks at a news conference held in the James S. Brady Press briefing room at the White House, Washington, D.C., U.S.A, Friday, April 1, 2022. ((Photographer: Oliver Contreras/Sipa/Bloomberg via Getty Images))
He said that Russia and Ukraine are both breadbaskets and energy pantries for the world. These have put significant upward pressure on prices. for inflation is an example. This is unacceptable. Let’s make that clear. In June, it rose 1.3% This is a shockingly high increase.
Bernstein stated that half of that was due to the rise in energy prices. Bernstein noted that gas prices have fallen 50 cents per gallon since then and that there are now 20,000 stations selling gas at less than $4 per gallon.
He said that the price was still too high, but it is moving in the right direction and giving Americans some much-needed breathing space. We’re working to get them more, but this is a step in the right direction.
Bernstein stated that Democrats were united in lowering prescription drug prices and insurance premiums under the Affordable Care Act. But Bream claimed that Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), might have done the White House a favor by opposing large spending packages of the Biden administration.
Jared Bernstein, a CEA member, answers a question on the economy at a briefing held in the James S. Brady Press Room of the White House, Washington, DC, April 1, 2022. (Photo by ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP via Getty Images. / Getty Images.Bernstein stated that “[What] Democrats actually agree on is a plan for lower prescription drug prices.” Everybody who hears me says it probably gives some applause. Everyone wants to see that happen. Despite decades of presidents trying to make it happen, it hasn’t happened. We now pay twice to three times what Europeans for the exact same prescription drugs. It’s time for us to unite against Big Pharma. Make sure that there is affordability.
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However, Manchin and others are reluctant to spend more, particularly regarding the White House’s climate-change initiatives. Bernstein stated that Biden recognizes the need to take action against climate change and build up clean energy industries. This is crucial for American jobs in the future.
Bernstein spoke out about Biden’s approach, saying that “if there is no legislative pathway forward, he would take the executive order/rule change path.”
He said, “The president has already taken aggressive action to combat climate change.” He said that he has used the Defense Production Act to dramatically increase the production of clean electricity. He has established the highest emissions standards in the country and has helped to kickstart the offshore wind sector. These are just a few of the measures he took through executive action and rule change. He will keep doing that.”
(L-R: Dr. Cecilia Rouse (Chair, Council of Economic Advisers) and Dr. Jared Bernstein (Member, CEA) testify in front of the Senate Banking Committee at Dirksen Senate Office Building, February 17, 2022, Wash (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images / Getty Images).
Bernstein highlighted that the budget deficit has fallen 77% to $1.7 trillion, which is $1.7 trillion less than last year. Bream pointed out that the U.S. has been spending enormously during the pandemic era to keep its economy afloat.
The GDP was negative for the first quarter of this year, and other data suggest that it could be even worse in the second quarter. However, the White House denied that the country was in recession.
Bernstein stated that “it has to do with a variety of economic variables that actually are doing better right now,” adding that both payroll growth and consumer spending were strong right now.
He said, “It’s very difficult to conclude that the country is in recession when you look at our payroll and the job gains we’ve seen. It is also tricky to look around here and I’m certainly not going to forecast quarters down the line.” “But right now, I believe you have inflation headwinds in this economy – not taking away from that – but you also have strong tailwinds which are boosting consumers.”
Bernstein also referred to what he called the strength of America’s labor market. He noted that 9 million jobs were added to the U.S. economy since Biden was elected.