Last Updated on September 19, 2022
President Joe Biden attempted to downplay decades-high inflation during a rare interview with 60 Minutes. The president pointed to last month’s inflation report that showed minimal increase, though year-to-year inflation still remains at its highest point since the 1980’s.
“Mr. President, as you know, last Tuesday the annual inflation rate came in at 8.3%. The stock market nosedived. People are shocked by their grocery bills. What can you do better and faster?” Biden was asked by Scott Pelley of CBS. “Well, first of all, let’s put this in perspective. Inflation rate month to month was just– just an inch, hardly at all,” Biden replied, attempting to minimize the significant economic impacts of high year-to-year inflation.
“You’re not arguing that 8.3% is good news,” Pelley shot back. “No, I’m not saying it is good news. But it was 8.2% or– 8.2% before. I mean, it’s not– you’re ac– we act– make it sound like all of a sudden, my god, ‘it went to 8.2%,'” Biden said.
Pelley then interjected again to remind the president that 8.3% stands as the highest inflation rate in 40 years. “I got that. But guess what we are. We’re in a position where, for the last several months, it hasn’t spiked. It has just barely– it’s been basically even,” Biden replied. “And in the meantime, we created all these jobs and– and prices– have– have gone up, but they’ve come down for energy. The fact is that we’ve created 10 million new jobs.”
The president went on to tout low unemployment numbers — a figure that currently stands at 3.7% — in order to claim that the economy is in good shape. Biden also claimed that manufacturing jobs are “coming back in a big way.”
“It’s a process,” the president said.
— FreedomWorks (@FreedomWorks) September 19, 2022
Economists have questioned whether unemployment figures can be used as an indicator of economic stability, as exceedingly high inflation has out-paced wage growth. Wages and salaries for civilian workers increased 1.4% in the second quarter and 5.3% over the year ending in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Cost Index released this past July. Wages and salaries declined 3.5% over the past year, however, after surging prices are factored in.
Biden went on to claim that the economy is growing “in a way that it hasn’t in years and years.”
President Biden later told Pelley that the U.S. military would intervene in the event of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. The president’s communications team later walked back the comments, saying that Taiwan policy has not changed. He went on to answer questions about the COVID-19 pandemic, which is now over, according to the president.
Pelley also asked a softball question about Hunter Biden, though he failed to press the president on the details of his son’s questionable business dealings.