The White House tries to turn the messages on the economy

The White House seeks to renew its message on inflation and other economic problems that have been haunting Biden’s presidency.

After months of playing defense, the White House is beginning to more deliberately acknowledge negative economic news, after some Democrats complained they were ignoring the inflation problem.

Data released this week showed consumer prices skyrocketed 6.2 percent over the past year, complicating the White House’s outlook of a strong recovery that has generated significant employment gains month-over-month.

Speaking in the port of Baltimore this week, President BidenJoe Biden Federal Appeals Court Says Business Biden Vaccine Remains Mandate Why Democrats’ Prescription Drug Pricing Would Have Hurt Older People Tennessee Governor Signs Law Restricting Terms of COVID-19 MORE tried to turn the situation around.

He acknowledged that rising commodity costs are “worrisome” even amid more positive news about rising jobs. He also spent several minutes trying to explain the supply and demand issues that have driven up costs during the coronavirus pandemic, noting the steps the administration is taking to address supply chain issues.

In response to a reporter’s question Friday, Vice President Harris described rising costs as a high priority for the administration and said it was important to recognize the burden on families.

“Prices have gone up and families and individuals are grappling with the reality that bread costs more, that gasoline costs more,” Harris said. “It is something we take very seriously.”

Biden’s poll numbers have declined in recent weeks, adding urgency to a turn from the White House.

“Clearly what they’re doing is not working in terms of messaging,” said Barbara Perry, director of presidential studies at the University of Virginia Miller Center.

The White House views the recently passed infrastructure bill as a concrete step that Biden can use to argue that his administration is taking steps to ease inflationary pressures by solving supply chain bottlenecks, though it’s unclear for how long. will take action to make an impact.

“If we get it right, we know what it will mean,” Biden said during a cabinet meeting Friday on the bill’s implementation. “It will create millions of new jobs, grow the economy and win the global economic competition in which we participate.”

Biden added that the bill “will alleviate, and I say, yes, it will alleviate inflationary pressures on our economy.”

A cornerstone of the White House message is also that Biden’s proposed social spending package is designed to lower the costs of essential services like child care for working families.

During a press conference on Friday, the White House press secretary Jen psakiJen PsakiOn The Money – Budget Analysts Caught in Partisan Shooting Nighttime Health Care – Presented by Rare Access Action Project – Biden Presents FDA Choice Equilibrium / Sustainability – Presented by Altria – Cotton Farm Accused of Firing Black Workers PLUS showed a graph showing that, among other things, Biden’s Build Back Better agenda would begin to cut child care costs in half in 2022; make preschool free for many families starting in 2022; and reduce the cost of hearing coverage for seniors beginning in 2023.

“This is a strong case for moving forward with this agenda because what we are really talking about is the costs to American families, how it is impacting them, and that is something that if we don’t act now, we won’t be able to do it. address these things in the short term, ”said Psaki.

But some argue that the White House’s argument that Biden’s legislative agenda will cure inflation problems will not convince the public.

Bill Galston, chair of the Brookings Institution’s governance studies program and Clinton’s former domestic policy aide, argued that the administration has given Americans the impression that they do not believe inflation is a problem and that Biden needed to show an “honest” and “credible” speech. action.”

“I don’t think people believe that the administration is doing something, not even acknowledging the problem. I think it’s a big mistake, ”Galston said.

Others came out in defense of the White House.

Eric Schultz, a former Obama White House spokesman, argued that Biden has made a strong case for economic recovery, but that his message has been drowned out by “the media’s infatuation with inflation that ignores successes. “.

“The bottom line is that confidence in the economy is inextricably linked to anxiety around the pandemic. If COVID continues to recede, people will feel much more confident about our economic future, ”added Schultz.

Republicans are trying to make inflation a problem before the midterm elections, blaming Biden’s policies for contributing to rising costs of goods and arguing that his social spending package will make it worse.

Economists like Larry Summers, who was one of Obama’s top economists, said this week that the social spending bill would not contribute to inflation, even as he argued that the White House had been wrong in its inflation predictions up to moment.

A CNN poll conducted earlier this week showed that the majority of Americans, 72 percent, say that Biden “has not paid enough attention to the nation’s most important issues.”

The survey, conducted before the approval of the infrastructure bill, showed that more than 51 percent of those surveyed said the economy was the most important issue in the country.

But the Democratic-leaning Navigator poll released on Friday showed that Biden’s approval rating saw a seven-point increase after the passage of infrastructure legislation, a sign that Biden may be starting to turn things around.

Democratic strategist Christy Setzer acknowledged that Biden has taken a beating from the economy, but said he is “now armed with two pretty important economic data that he can sell,” pointing to the infrastructure bill and also vaccines for older children. school.

Biden is slated to sign the infrastructure bill at the White House on Monday before taking trips to New Hampshire and Michigan to promote it – three public appearances that will give him a chance to speak about the economic woes of Americans and explain how he will address it. your schedule. them.

“So now you just need to get back to the basics of salesmanship: go local and hit the pavement. Tell the people of Dayton, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Miami why this is all important. Get your cabinet secretaries and financial spokespeople on the wire. Do local events. Press from the whole court. Flip it over, ”Setzer said.

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