Joe Biden says he’ll gain ‘control’ over inflation and vows to tackle the cost of living crisis

Joe Biden says he’ll gain ‘control’ over inflation and vows to tackle the cost of living crisis crippling US as he declares pandemic is ‘over’ despite HUNDREDS still dying daily

  • President Biden has promised to take ‘control’ of inflation, currently at 8.3%
  • Biden  made the assertion during an interview with CBS 60 Minutes on Sunday
  • During the interview Biden also declared the coronavirus pandemic ‘over’
  • But nearly 400 people a day continue to die from COVID-19 in the United States 
  • On Ukraine, the president said the U.S. commitment to the country was ‘ironclad’ and would remain so for ‘as long as it takes’

President Biden has said he doesn’t believe the economy is as bad as people think, despite inflation being at a 40-year high and that the pandemic is finally ‘over’.

Biden, who rarely does interviews, made the assertions during an interview with CBS 60 Minutes on Sunday.

His optimistic view on the state of the economy came after stocks fell sharply last week when a key August inflation report came in hotter than expected, hurting investor optimism for cooling prices and a less aggressive Federal Reserve.

The August consumer price index report showed a higher-than-expected reading for inflation. Headline inflation rose 0.1% month over month, even with falling gas prices. 

Despite the record rate of inflation, Biden appeared to downplay the news by noting how the rate had barely budged since July.

‘Let’s put this in perspective. Inflation rate month to month was just an inch, hardly at all,’ Biden began. 

Core inflation rose 0.6% month over month – but on a year-over-year basis, inflation is at 8.3%. 

‘We’re in a position where, for the last several months, it hasn’t spiked. It has been basically even. And in the meantime, we created all these jobs and prices have gone up, but they’ve come down for energy,’ the president explained. 

‘The fact is that we’ve created 10 million new jobs. We’re in a situation where the the unemployment rate is about 3.7%. one of the lowest in history. We’re in a situation where manufacturing is coming back to the United States in a big way. And look down the road, we have massive investments being made in computer chips and- and employment. This is a process.’

When asked by reporter Scott Pelley if the economy was going to get worse before it gets better, the president gave a rambling answer with little detail.

We hope we can have what they say, ‘a soft landing,’ a transition to a place where we don’t lose the gains that I ran to make in the first place for middle-class folks, being able to generate good-paying jobs and expansion. And at the same time make sure we are able to continue to grow.

Biden did make one promise to Americans – that he would get inflation ‘under control’ and start to bring down costs. 

‘Their prescription drug prices are gonna be a hell of a lotta lower. Their health care costs are gonna be a lot lower. Their basic costs for everybody, their energy prices are gonna be lower. They’re gonna be in a situation where they begin to gain control again. I’m more optimistic than I’ve been in a long time.’

Biden said that the economy was still continuing to grow and that he believes ‘the introduction of 685,000 manufacturing jobs’ since he became president’ will ‘continue to put people in a position to be able to make a decent living and grow.’

The discussion quickly turned to the pandemic which Biden declared to be ‘over’,  even though the country continues to grapple with coronavirus infections that kill hundreds of Americans daily.

‘The pandemic is over. We still have a problem with COVID. We’re still doing a lot of work on it, but the pandemic is over. If you notice, no one’s wearing masks. Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape and so I think it’s changing. And I think this is a perfect example of it,’ Biden said while walking around the Detroit Auto Show last week – an event which drew thousands of visitors.

The toll of the COVID-19 pandemic has diminished significantly since early in Biden’s term when more than 3,000 Americans per day were dying, as enhanced care, medications and vaccinations have become more widely available.

But nearly 400 people a day continue to die from COVID-19 in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Biden spent more than two weeks isolated in the White House after two bouts with COVID-19, starting in July. His wife Jill contracted the virus in August. Biden has said the mild cases were a testament to the improvements in care during his presidency.

Biden has asked Congress for $22.4 billion more in funding to prepare for a potential fall case surge.

During the wide-ranging interview, discussion turned to Ukraine. 

Biden said that his decision to release a million barrels of oil a day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve has helped bring the price of gasoline down about 26% from the $5 high experienced this past June. 

Prices spiked at the start of the summer in part because Russia cut fuel supplies in its war on Ukraine and Vladimir Putin began throttling energy supplies.

Biden does not see it as a problem going forward. 

‘We, the United States, are in much better shape than anyone else is, and relative to Russia particularly.’

The president said the U.S. commitment to Ukraine was ‘ironclad’ and would remain so ‘as long as it takes.’

Ukrainian troops are engaged in a counteroffensive that has reclaimed towns and cities from Russian troops. Last week Ukrainian forces recaptured about 3,000 square miles from the Russian invasion. But the toll the war has taken is vast, and fresh atrocities are being revealed, including torture chambers and mass graves.

Since January 2021, the U.S. has given more than $13.5 billion in security assistance to Ukraine but Biden feel’s the cost to be justified. 

‘It has been barbaric, what he’s done. His attacks on everything from civilian hospitals to old-age homes, to neighborhoods where just ordinary people live to schools,  it’s just outrageous. And so the price Ukrainian people are paying for this war is extremely high. But we’re gonna stay with ’em as long as they need our help.

‘Ukraine, through the significant help we and our allies are giving them and the incredible bravery and the incredible determination of the Ukrainian people, are not losing a war, and they’re making gains in certain areas. Winning the war in Ukraine is to get Russia out of Ukraine completely and recognizing the sovereignty,’ Biden said.

‘They’re defeating Russia. Russia’s turning out not to be as competent and capable as many people thought they were gonna be. But winning the war? The damage it’s doing, and the citizens, and the innocent people are being killed, it’s awful hard to count that as winning.’ 

Asked what Biden would say to Russia’s President Putin if he were to be considering using chemical or tactical nuclear weapons to secure victory, he had a clear message.

‘Don’t. Don’t. Don’t. You will change the face of war unlike anything since World War II’, Biden urged.

‘They’ll become more of a pariah in the world than they ever have been. And depending on the extent of what they do will determine what response would occur.’

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