Biden pins US inflation on Putin, again
Despite the US president's sanctions on Russia and their repercussions on the world, Biden is blaming Putin for the inflation in his country.
US President Joe Biden chastised Russian President Vladimir Putin for the country's record gas prices and 40-year-high inflation on Friday. In the face of dismal polling results, Biden highlighted that his administration is working hard to rein in soaring costs.
Biden spoke at the Port of Los Angeles, applauding his administration's efforts to eliminate supply-chain backlogs and urged Congress to crack down on global shipping companies, accusing them of unfairly boosting their rates after the COVID-19 outbreak.
His statement came only hours after the Bureau of Labor Statistics released a dismal report showing that consumer prices jumped 8.6 percent year on year in May, the fastest rate of inflation since 1981. Food and gasoline prices have risen significantly more than 8.6 percent, with petrol prices increasing by over 50 percent since last year and reaching record highs in June.
Biden attempted to blame Putin for these costs in particular.
“Today’s inflation report confirms what Americans already know. Putin’s price hike is hitting America hard,” he declared. Insisting that the US job market is “the strongest it’s been since World War II,” Biden repeated, “we’ve never seen anything like Putin’s tax on food and gas."
Despite Biden's claims, the US inflation rate has grown substantially after Biden took office last January, rising from 1.4 percent in December 2020 to 7 percent in December 2021, two months before Russia's military operation in Ukraine began. Gas prices grew as well, from an average of $2.28 per gallon in December 2020 to $3.40 the following year.
Conservatives have criticized Biden's administration's spending for pushing up inflation, and his anti-fossil-fuel policies – notably limit on new drilling leases and closure of the Canada-US Keystone XL pipeline during his first week in office – for rising fuel prices. Biden has also imposed a ban on Russian oil and gas imports, which account for a minor portion of US imports.
According to an ABC News poll conducted this weekend, 71 percent of Americans disagree with Biden's handling of inflation. Furthermore, the poll indicated that inflation and the economy are the two concerns that respondents consider "very significant," with inflation being the "single most important issue" for more people than any other.
On Friday, Biden stated that his administration's initiatives to reduce prescription medicine prices and high-speed internet expenses will save working families money, albeit he admitted that these savings would not offset increasing fuel costs.