WASHINGTON — A few hours later insisting that the United States was not in a recessionPresident Biden appeared to change his tune on Thursday, saying Americans feel “so depressed” about the state of the economy and that “there is reason to be depressed” due to high inflation and the lack of generous COVID-19 aid.
“I look at it, and I take it very seriously, the level of confidence the American people have in the economy, and they’re so low and they’re watching,” Biden said at an afternoon summit with the CEOs of Bank of America. , Marriott and other large corporations after the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that US GDP has fallen in consecutive years quarters this year. “There are reasons to be down, but I started to think about it.
“You know, the first year that we were able, with the bailout, we were able to send them a check for eight thousand dollars,” the president continued, referring to the US bailout act of 1, $9 trillion that Democrats passed last year without a Republican. Support.
“If you win $120,000 and you get a check for $8,000, that’s a lot of money. and so that helped save a lot of people, in terms of being evicted from their homes and rental units and a whole range of things,” Biden continued.
The president then posited that this year there is no direct government assistance for most Americans, which makes life seem harder even as more people work and earn raises. .
“I started thinking about it as someone who was raised as a middle-class kid, one year old, even though you didn’t have the job you had now, even though you didn’t get a job. increase that year,” he said.
“The difference between having a job and having a 5% raise or whatever – 3, 5, 7, whatever – against inflation, the price of the pump, even if it’s down every day so far – but you know, it’s like, ‘Whoa, I feel worse,'” Biden added.
“‘But again, I didn’t get an eight thousand dollar check from the government, among other things.’ Does this make sense to anyone or is it just me?
Republicans say the American Rescue Plan Act helped fuel inflation by giving away so much money without financial compensation. Annual inflation 9.1% rate in June was the worst since 1981 and effectively wiped out average wage gains for American workers.
The $8,000 figure Biden was referring to seemed to encompass $1,400 in individual stimulus checks and a temporary increase in the annual child tax credit.
Biden then claimed that the public did not understand the positive impact of this legislation.
“It’s interesting and completely understandable that the vast majority of the American people have no idea what the stimulus package did, what the government did at all,” Biden said. “The reason we still had teachers in school, kids going to school, the reason we had cops on the job, the reason we had essential workers — states couldn’t couldn’t afford it, the cities couldn’t afford it…so we came up with this bailout and gave them billions of dollars.
A study published in late March by researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco said that in the last quarter of 2021, about 3 percentage points inflation in the United States – about half the annual rate at the time – may have been caused by high government spending during the pandemic, including the American Rescue Plan Act.
Although Biden generally blames inflation, in one instance he admitted the American Rescue Plan Act likely had an effect on rising prices.
“The irony is that people have more money now thanks to the first major bill I passed. You all received checks for $1,400. You have checks for a whole range of things,” Biden said, adding, “It changes people’s lives. But what if there is nothing to buy and you have more money to compete for [goods]? This creates a real problem. »