NY Times: Biden contributing to ‘own political woes’ by downplaying inflation, economic anxiety
Media top headlines January 21
In media news today, Biden takes a swipe at a Fox News reporter for pressing him on the growing Russia-Ukraine conflict, Pete Buttigieg pushes back against Joy Reid’s claim that the infrastructure bill was a ‘White guy employment act,’ and an NPR public editor admits the SCOTUS masking story ‘merits clarification.’
The New York Times agrees President Biden is attributing to his own downfall by paying no mind to the current state of the economy and American interest.
In an editorial board op-ed, the Times explained that even though the president has been praised for his economic achievements, such as passing the $1.9 trillion aid bill, the American people are still staring everyday concerns like inflation in the face. Meanwhile, benefits from Biden’s longer-term economic initiatives such as antitrust enforcement and childcare subsidies would “not be felt for some time.”
“Mr. Biden, however, has contributed to his own political woes. Through much of the fall, the president and other administration officials seemed to be downplaying the dangers of inflation,” the editors wrote. “Mr. Biden’s insistence on this implausible narrative may be contributing to a sense that he is not taking inflation seriously.”
The Times argued it’s hard for the American people to feel grateful for the president’s economic triumphs while the outlook is nothing but high prices.
President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the debt ceiling during an event in the State Dining Room of the White House, Monday, Oct. 4 in Washington. AP Photo/Evan Vucci
“The White House finds itself in the position of a physician who has administered a successful course of treatment but who has neglected to prepare the patient for the side effects or to give the timeline for a full recovery,” they wrote. “A lot of pain was averted, but it’s hard to feel gratitude for things that didn’t happen… Right now, the pain of inflation is front and center for most.”
When put to the test against The Economist’s Big Mac Index – measuring the price of fast-food hamburgers in various currencies – the Times revealed that the average employee’s paycheck cannot purchase as many hamburgers as last year. Since American workers are now consistently watching their dinner bill increase, Biden’s approval rating remains low, and polls reflect distaste for his economic management.
The Times admitted that the president has not taken action in areas he could have to tame inflation, pointing out that former President Trump’s tariffs on Chinese imports remain in place while legal immigration continues to decline and labor shortages worsen.
Controlling inflation will be largely left up to the Federal Reserve instead of the administration, but, according to the Times, the challenge will be getting the economy in check without undermining recovery.
The Times reported last week that President Biden has a lot of work to do in order to potentially rescue his presidency from failure. Columnist Bret Stephens suggested the president should be focusing on answering American needs instead of liberal wishes.
President Biden listens to a question during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
“Universal Pre-K might be popular. But Americans have spent the past two years suffering from the government’s inability to meet basic needs,” he wrote. “Public health. Price stability. Safe streets. Secure borders. Functioning supply chains. Public schools that open their doors to children.”
Voters have been increasingly disenchanted with Biden and his economic agenda, which has in part been blamed for his low approval rating. A recent New York Times focus group of indenpendent voters ripped the president for not doing more to address the economic crises.
“It affects my everyday life, from everything that I do and choose to do throughout the day,” Pennsylvania voter Nick said. “I’ve had COVID multiple times, and I’m concerned with that, but inflation is hitting us every day in our pockets and everything that we do.”
“Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd spoke with several other voters on Sunday who shared the same sentiments.
“We got a lot of problems,” Georgia voter Jason Murphy said. “We’ve got high inflation. We have supply chain issues.”
“I think he’s listening to too many liberals,” Murphy later added.
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