White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday on CNN’s “The Lead” that rising prices were a “good thing” because it meant more people were buying goods.
Anchor Jake Tapper said, “Inflation is skyrocketing as I don’t need to tell you. The prices for home heating costs, cars, groceries, furniture, rent, gasoline are hitting Americans right in the wallet. The White House response has been generally to say, ‘Hey, inflation shows we’re coming out of the recession. It’s a good sign.’”
He continued, “President Biden’s chief of staff Ron Klain enthusiastically retreated an economist who said in part ‘Most of the economic problems, inflation, supply chains, et cetera, are high-class problems.’ Now I get the larger point that when we’re talking about economics, we’re coming out of recession. But doesn’t it seem tone-deaf to say that rising prices and empty grocery store shelves are high-class problems? Isn’t that a bit dismissive?”
Psaki said, “Well, that’s not exactly what the tweet said, nor the retweet of the original tweet, which is what we’re talking about here.”
She continued, “The fact is the unemployment rate is about half what it was a year ago. So a year ago, people were in their homes. Ten percent of people were unemployed. Gas prices were low because nobody was driving. People weren’t buying goods because they didn’t have jobs. Now more people have jobs. More people are buying goods. That’s increasing the demand. That’s a good thing.”
Psaki added, “At the same time, we also know that the supply is low because we’re coming out of the pandemic and because a bunch of manufacturing sectors across the world have shut down because ports haven’t been functioning as they should be. These are all things we’re working through. People should know that inflation is going to come down next year. Economists have said that. They are all projecting that. But we’re working to attack these cost issues that are impacting the American people every single day.”