Biden Tells AP 'Recession' Is Not Inevitable
President Joe Biden said Thursday (June 17, 2022, in Manila) that the American people are "really, really down" after a tumultuous two years marked by the coronavirus pandemic, economic volatility, and now surging gasoline prices that are squeezing family budgets, Josh Boak reported for the Associated Press (AP).
Photo Insert: It has not helped the US economy that the President's economic agenda has been met with staunch GOP opposition, and has likewise been blocked by moderate Democrats, namely Joe Manchin.
However, he emphasized that a recession was "not inevitable" and expressed hope that the country would gain confidence. “First of all, it’s not inevitable,” he stated.
“Secondly, we’re in a stronger position than any nation in the world to overcome this inflation,” the president said in a 30-minute Oval Office interview, emphasizing the battered economy he inherited and the psychological scars left by a pandemic that disrupted people's sense of identity.
He scoffed at Republican lawmakers' claims that last year's COVID-19 aid package was entirely to blame for inflation reaching a 40-year high, calling the claim "bizarre."
"People are really, really down," Biden said of the general American mood. "Their need for mental health in America has skyrocketed because people have seen everything upset," Biden added.
“Everything they’ve counted on upset. But most of it’s the consequence of what happened, what happened as a consequence of the COVID crisis.”
That pessimism has permeated the economy, as record gas prices and persistent inflation have jeopardized Democrats' ability to retain control of the House and Senate in the upcoming midterm elections. In terms of the causes of inflation, Biden displayed some defensiveness.
“If it’s my fault, why is it the case in every other major industrial country in the world that inflation is higher? You ask yourself that? I’m not being a wise guy,” he said.