Biden scrambles to paint a misleading picture of the economy a week out from midterms

Biden scrambles to paint a misleading picture of the economy a week out from midterms

President Biden and White House officials have been scrambling to downplay Americans’ economic concerns about inflation and gas prices ahead of the midterm elections.

In recent weeks, the White House has suggested the US is in the midst of a ‘historic’ economic recovery, the gas price narrative is wrong and the economy is poised for ‘soft ground’ , not a recession. .

Biden and his top advisers have also touted Democrats’ big infrastructure and climate spending plans as key measures boosting economic productivity and blunting record price increases.

“Today we got further evidence that our economic recovery continues to move forward,” Biden said in a statement Thursday after the Commerce Department released a key economic report. “It’s a testament to the resilience of the American people. As I’ve said before, it’s never a good bet to bet against the American people.”

“Even with our historic economic recovery, gasoline prices are falling — down $1.26 since the summer and down over the past three weeks,” he continued.


The Commerce Department report released on Thursday showed that U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an annualized rate of 2.6% during the third quarter, the July-September period. GDP had shown negative growth in the first two quarters of the year.

Also in response to the report, Ron Klain, the White House chief of staff, retweeted a message from Mark Zandi, an economist with Moody’s Analytics, who argued that GDP growth was proof that a recession was less likely.


“Last week’s data suggests the economy is on the right path. GDP posted a solid gain in the third quarter, further dispelling fears that we may have suffered a recession,” Zandi wrote. “And while GDP hasn’t gone anywhere this year despite the Q3 gain, that’s what it takes to stifle inflation without a recession.”

Biden also told reporters the economy was “strong as hell” and played down inflation concerns when he spoke to reporters Oct. 16. A week later, Klain called economic concerns “noise.”

However, many economists, including a majority recently polled by the National Association for Business Economics, believe that the United States has already entered a recession or will probably enter a recession soon. And economists polled by The Wall Street Journal in mid-October said there was a 63% chance of a recession within the next 12 months.

President Joe Biden delivers a speech

President Biden speaks on the economy on October 21. (Tom Brenner for The Washington Post via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Economists argued Thursday’s positive GDP figures signaled poor economic conditions.

“Conditions continue to deteriorate and all the indicators I’m following are pointing in the wrong direction,” Heritage Foundation researcher EJ Antoni told FOX Business in an interview.

“The idea of ​​a soft landing is complete nonsense at this point,” he continued. “If you look at, for example, new orders, they continue to deteriorate. The latest report came out of the Texas Federal Reserve this morning and it shows, again, that new orders continue to deteriorate. So, companies are working on pandemic backlogs and as soon as it’s gone, the party is over.”


Antoni noted that the GDP report last week was only positive due to a temporary spike in net exports. He said the figure had increased because Americans were consuming less due to higher prices and therefore importing fewer goods.

“I would say the Biden administration’s talking point on the economy is ‘never let the facts get in the way of their political turn.’ It’s absolutely amazing how they can proclaim one thing from the podium when the Americans feel the exact opposite,” Antoni added.

Additionally, the White House has applauded lower gasoline prices, and Biden falsely stated last week that the average gasoline price when he took office was $5 a gallon.

However, the nationwide average gasoline price was $2.39 per gallon on Jan. 25, 2021, or about 48% of what Biden claimed to be, according to the Energy Information Administration. The current average price at the pump nationwide sits at $3.76 a gallon, 57% higher than when Biden took office, according to AAA data.


The president, however, largely blamed the rise in gas prices on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the decision of Middle Eastern countries to cut oil production. Antoni argued that gas prices would be lower had Biden continued former President Trump’s policies on energy production.

“I would like to know how Russia canceled the construction of American pipelines or how Russia raised taxes on American oil and gas producers,” he told FOX Business. “Or how Russia prevented drilling leases on US federal lands. It was all done by the Biden administration and it all drove prices up.”

Chevron gas prices

Fuel prices are pictured at a Chevron gas station in San Francisco, California. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Finally, the White House sought to portray Republicans as extreme ahead of the election as well. For example, Biden has argued that Republicans are “coming after Social Security” and Medicare.

But the comments, which are based on a plan presented by Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., misrepresent the GOP’s economic plans. Scott and other top Republican lawmakers have denied wanting to end popular welfare programs.

“As far as I know, nobody wants to take away Medicare or Social Security, but what we’re doing is we’re not even talking about it,” Scott said recently.


“Medicare goes bankrupt in four years. Social Security goes bankrupt in 12 years. I think we have to figure out how we preserve those programs. Every program that is close to our hearts, we must stop and take the time to preserve these programs.

With the midterm elections scheduled for Nov. 8 a week away, the economy, inflation and gas prices continue to be major concerns for voters.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Fox News Digital reporter Jessica Chasmar contributed to this report.

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