White House: Maybe Biden Was ‘Trying to Refer to the Broad Scope’ when He Said Inflation Reduction Act Is a Misnomer

On Wednesday’s broadcast of CNN International’s “Amanpour,” White House Council of Economic Advisers Chair Jared Bernstein stated that President Joe Biden was possibly “trying to refer to the broad scope of” the Inflation Reduction Act when he acknowledged that the law isn’t really about reducing inflation, but “I don’t know what the context was there.”

Guest host Bianna Golodryga asked, “I want to get you to respond to something the President said at a fundraiser recently, and this is what he said about the Inflation Reduction Act specifically, ‘I wish I hadn’t called it that, because it has less to do with reducing inflation than it [has] to do with…providing…alternatives that generate economic growth.’ Why did he say that?”

Bernstein answered, “Well, I don’t know what the context was there. And I can tell you, though, that, as you mentioned in the introduction to the segment, inflation has come down from over 9% last June, June of ’22, to 3.2% last seen. And the amazing thing about that, is as inflation has come down by almost 6 percentage points there, the unemployment rate has basically not budged. It was 3.6% in June of ’22, it’s 3.5%. So, just about the same, that historically low rate in July of ’23. It is very unusual in economics, as you well know, to have that much inflation reduction without having to give up a bunch of percentage points on the unemployment rate. Now, President Biden has consistently said that that’s possible. And I think thusfar, he’s shown that to be the case. Now, when it comes to the IRA, there are definitely inflation reduction elements of the IRA, but there’s also a very deep investment in climate agenda. So, perhaps he was trying to refer to the broad scope of the measure.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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