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CNN Desperately Tries to Protect Biden From Any Blame for Inflation

cnn-desperately-tries-to-protect-biden-from-any-blame-for-inflation

During Thursday’s so-called “reality check” segment on CNN’s New Day, John Avlon blamed everything but President Biden for skyrocketing inflation and gas prices that have impacted millions of Americans. Avlon complained that Republicans are criticizing Biden for a struggling economy and suggested that there was “something more sinister at work.”

After implying that Republican concerns with inflation and gas prices are simply “campaign style talking points,” Avlon claimed that oil companies have the power to lower prices and that high prices are a result of rapid COVID economic recovery:

Likewise, the OPEC cartel, which could lower prices by increasing supply, is reaping profits at the expense of people at the pump worldwide. Now, both OPEC and big oil would probably rather have Republicans in charge, for reasons ranging from less emphasis on human rights to climate change denial. But profiteering is guiding their decisions more than just partisan politics. And while gas prices are often a political issue, there is actually very little presidents can do to lower them on their own. Tapping into the strategic petroleum reserve, for example, is seen as more symbolic than market moving. But if you take a big step back, you’ll see that this is a global issue. It is the result of relatively rapid recovery from COVID lockdowns and the spike in demand for oil as the world gets moving again. And that’s the case for inflation as well.

He continued to diminish inflation concerns by citing similar economic struggles globally, as if this indicated Biden’s powerlessness to remedy American policy issues. Avlon dismissed “Republican attempts to blame Biden” as “politically predictable” but “not all that credible,” but then acknowledged that “the trillions in COVID relief payments passed under Trump and Biden may have added somewhat to inflation.

In what should have been no surprise, Avlon turned the discussion into an advertisement for Biden’s liberal spending agenda, claiming that “if politicos actually wanted to help families for whom inflation and gas prices are affecting the most, they’d probably try to pass the Build Back Better plan, ‘cause it would reduce costs for child care and elder care while providing pre-k and paid parental leave.”

In a last cover for Biden, Avlon concluded: “Bottom line, these are global problems reflecting an interrelated world, emerging from an unprecedented pandemic, and blaming Biden alone is about as foolish as Trump saying the virus was part of a plan to rig the election.”

According to CNN, the only person that cannot be blamed for mass economic suffering in the United States is the president himself.

This segment was sponsored by Whole Foods Market and Safelite.

Read the full segment transcript below by clicking Expand:

CNN’s New Day

11/18/21

8:35:12 AM

JOHN BERMAN: New this morning, the Biden administration is asking states and localities to use COVID relief funds for skyrocketing energy costs. Republicans in Congress say this is all Biden’s fault, but are they really? John Avlon with the reality check. 

JOHN AVLON: Yesterday, Paul Gosar became the 24th congressman in history to be censured. The vote came down to whether you think it’s okay to threaten to kill your colleagues. Which really shouldn’t be a tough call at all, right? Especially after January 6th. But of course most Republicans didn’t really want to deal with this. All but two voted against him, deflecting with a flurry of campaign style talking points like this — 

PAUL GOSAR: I voluntarily took the cartoon down, not because it was itself a threat, but because some thought it was. If I must join Alexander Hamilton, the first person attempted to be censured by this House, so be it. 

KEVIN MCCARTHY: Under the Pelosi president, all the members that I have mentioned earlier will need the approval of a majority to keep those positions in the future. 

AVLON: Talking points that really jumped out at me were about gas prices, and inflation and they were hit over and over again. But here’s the question. Republicans blaming Biden for gas prices, inflation, are real concerns. They eat into real wages. Creating the feeling that the economy is in trouble even when most indicators point to a robust recovery. But is it true that Biden’s policies are to blame, or, as the president asked the FTC, is there something more sinister at work? Well, the reality is neither side is going to be totally satisfied with the answers. Let’s tackle gas prices first. They’re at seven-year highs. The price of oil is skyrocketing. And typically, US oil companies used to ramp up production at even the slightest hint of higher prices, as our colleague Matt Egan points out. But now, oil companies are in no rush to solve Biden’s gas price problem. After the massive price crash during COVID, when the cost of a barrel briefly went negative, oil companies are taking in record profits to offset those losses. So even though oil prices have surged more than 65%, oil production is about 14% less than before COVID. Looking after their shareholders, as Wall Street applauds after a dismal decade for oil producers, even as electric vehicles hurt their long-term business. 

Likewise, the OPEC cartel, which could lower prices by increasing supply, is reaping profits at the expense of people at the pump worldwide. Now, both OPEC and big oil would probably rather have Republicans in charge. For reasons ranging from less emphasis on human rights to climate change denial. But profiteering is guiding their decisions more than just partisan politics. And while gas prices are often a political issue, there is actually very little presidents can do to lower them on their own. Tapping into the strategic petroleum reserve, for example, is seen as more symbolic than market moving. But if you take a big step back, you’ll see that this is a global issue. It is the result of relatively rapid recovery from COVID lockdowns and the spike in demand for oil as the world gets moving again. And that’s the case for inflation as well. But global supply chain woes are just that, global. And while there are some signs of improvement, this isn’t turnkey. That’s why we’re seeing inflation around the world. For example, China’s industrial producer price index jumped 13% last month. In the UK, inflation is at a ten-year high. In Germany, it’s a 28-year high. World food prices are up 30% according to the U.N. So this isn’t just a U.S. problem at all. 

And that’s why Republican attempts to blame Biden while politically predictable are not all that credible. While the trillions in COVID relief payments passed under Trump and Biden may have added somewhat to inflation, they also helped families stay afloat to save the economy from sinking. If politicos actually wanted to help families for whom inflation and gas prices are affecting the most, they’d probably try to pass the Build Back Better plan ’cause it would reduce costs for child care and elder care while providing pre-k and paid parental leave. But when it really comes to taming inflation, the biggest impact will be Biden’s upcoming decision about the next Fed chair. Because domestically, this is mostly a question of monetary policy, and that said, most effective inflation hawk who ever served was Paul Volcker, and his decision to raise interest rates definitely didn’t help Jimmy Carter’s re-election prospects. Bottom line, these are global problems, reflecting an interrelated world, emerging from an unprecedented pandemic, and blaming Biden alone is about as foolish as Trump saying the virus was part of a plan to rig the election. And that’s your reality check. 

BERMAN: John Avlon, thank you for that. 

What do you think?

Written by Newsman

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