Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen blamed consumers’ excessive spending habits as a primary cause for the near 40-year-high in inflation on Wednesday.
The Biden official appeared on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” where she was asked about the price increases that have plagued the U.S. for more than a year.
Colbert asked her to explain to his audience how inflation got out of hand when “two years ago everything seemed fine.” The late-night host, known for his sycophantic boosting of President Biden and Democrats, even noted the Biden administration dismissed inflation as a “small risk” as recently as last year.
Yellen argued the administration managed the COVID-19 pandemic so well that consumers felt comfortable to “splurge” on goods.
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“So we had a rapid recovery from the pandemic,” she said, arguing Biden’s policies brought unemployment down from 7% to 3.7%.
“It turned out the pandemic had very special impacts on the economy. Remember, everybody stopped spending on services,” she pointed out, as businesses were shut down. Instead, people spent more money on “grills,” “technology” and office equipment as they were working from home.
“They were in their homes for a year or more, they wanted to buy grills and office furniture, they were working from home, they suddenly started splurging on goods, buying technology,” she claimed, which led to supply chain “bottlenecks.”
Later in the interview, Yellen also blamed Russia for the increase in food and gas prices.
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There was no mention during the remarks about multitrillion-dollar spending bills that have been passed and signed during Biden’s administration. She also isn’t the only White House official who’s blamed inflation on Americans spending recklessly or who has dismissed economic concerns.
White House chief of staff Ron Klain was mocked for suggesting rising costs and supply chain issues were a “high class” problem last year.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm was also criticized for laughing at rising gas prices and offering Americans tax credits for installing solar panels on their homes.
Liberal journalists like MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle have also argued consumers could afford to spend more money on groceries and utilities.
In October, the Consumer Price Index rose 0.4% from September.
Despite prices still being near the 40-year high, Biden told a reporter last month that the economy was “strong as hell.”
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