Biden takes on inflation concerns as agenda hangs in the balance
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Monday directly addressed concerns that his sweeping economic agenda will serve as an accelerant to inflation amid growing concern about price hikes across the economic spectrum.
“It turns out capitalism is alive and very well. We’re making serious progress to ensure that it works the way it’s supposed to work: For the good of the American people,” Biden said at the White House.
Biden used his scheduled economic remarks to tout a recovery that has seen a burst in growth and more than 3 million new jobs since he took office, as the country continues to dig out of a pandemic-driven economic shock that pushed the US economy to the brink.
Across forecasts, the US is projected to hit growth rates that haven’t been seen in decades — a point the White House attributes to intertwined $1.9 trillion Covid relief law and a vaccine distribution effort that has led to the full vaccination of more than 160 million Americans.
But Biden also used the occasion to attempt to disarm a line of attack that has resonated in recent weeks as inflation has hit its highest point in 12 years and the US economy continues its emergence from what was essentially a total freeze as the pandemic swept the country.
Beyond the benefits the White House sees in the plans themselves from a direct policy perspective, Biden will argue his proposals are designed to increase the economy’s capacity and thus decrease prices over time, a view that has driven the perspective inside the White House that rising prices should have no effect in shifting their legislative course.
It is, in a sense, an effort to flip the GOP argument against his proposals on its head — and directly counter an issue that Democrats on both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue have acknowledged could threaten Biden’s legislative goals
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