We should get something on the record: While President Joe Biden was recently at the beach, he snapped at a reporter who asked about swirling predictions of a coming recession: "C’mon, don’t make things up…now you sound like a Republican."
To be clear: this isn’t a partisan political issue. If a recession comes, Americans across the country will experience the pain. We’re talking about lost jobs, working class families struggling to buy food or fuel, and young adults having to forgo college. Unlike the president, Americans are concerned that we are already there.
In fact, while Biden is claiming inflation fears are made up, the latest IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index found 53 percent of Americans already think the economy has gone into a recession.
While 3 in 4 Americans recognize that the economy is "bad" according to the latest CBS News poll. Americans are feeling economic pain every day at the gas pump and the grocery store. Whether we are already in a "technical" recession or not, a recession is what working- and middle-class Americans are experiencing – despite what Biden may believe.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Biden has waved off a massive point of national angst. Almost one year ago, he said inflation was "going to pop up a little bit and then go back down." Now is at the highest rate in 40 years. As recently as April, Biden touted his economic performance claiming that the "economy had gone from being on the mend to being the move." No one should be fooled by his economic fantasies.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell recently testified before Congress after the Fed hiked the Fed funds by 0.75 of a percentage-point – the highest clip in 28 years. Powell said "we can’t fail on this. We really have to get inflation down." Rate hikes should help recalibrate supply and demand, the argument goes, and push inflation back down. Powell also recently admitted that those rate increases mean that a recession "is certainly a possibility." Does Biden believe he too "sounds like a Republican"?
So why is Biden waving off recession concerns? He even said point-blank on April 28: "I’m not concerned about a recession."
First, it’s worth remembering that Biden – or whoever drafts his economic cue cards – has a pattern of making terrible economic predictions. It’s not surprising. He has surrounded himself with a team that fuels his deceptions.
For example, last July Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen downplayed inflation as "transitory" only to whisk her carelessness away later with "it’s time to retire the word transitory." Guess what she said at a press event in Germany just last month, that perhaps the liberal press doesn’t want to amplify? She said: "I really don’t expect the United States to fall into a recession." Let’s remember that. History can have a strange way of repeating itself. She may eventually have "to retire the word "recovery."
Those who have been right on economic predictions before are speaking out again. Former Clinton and Obama economist Larry Summers – who Biden’s team ignored last year as he rang the inflation alarm bell – recently said: "the optimists were wrong a year ago in saying we’d have no inflation, and I think they’re wrong now." In fact, he just said a recession is "almost inevitable" at this point.
On May 2, Former Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve, Roger Ferguson, similarly stated that "a recession is at this stage almost inevitable." Economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal have "dramatically" raised the probability of a recession – moving it to 44 percent in the next year.
Best-case scenario – God willing – our country does not fall into a recession and the Fed brings inflation under control. But we shouldn’t even be in a position of holding our breath now, at the mercy of monetary policy.
Where Biden and Democrats had agency, they failed miserably. They pumped trillions into the economy which fueled inflation, essentially paying Americans not to work and preventing businesses from reopening. Simultaneously, they destroyed American energy independence. As a result, gas prices have doubled since Biden came into office. And they can’t blame Putin like they’ve tried: even Fed Chairman Powell admitted Biden’s "Putin Price Hike" claim is untrue.
And the beat goes on. Biden and his Democrat allies in Congress want to slap billions more in tax hikes on gas companies, sock Americans with higher taxes, overregulate employers and drag the entire economy down with trillions more in inflation inflaming, work discouraging government spending. I mean, you really can’t make this stuff up.
It’s economic insanity and Americans are worried. You see angst across the board, especially in polls. Americans have a real hunger for change. Remember when Ron Klain said that inflation was a "high class" problem? He wasn’t just wrong – he exemplified the sneering elitism and "DC bubble" mentality that has come to embody the radical Democrat Party. It’s a reflection of the fact that the Republican Party has become the working-class party while Democrats represent the coastal elite.
So, let’s get this on the record: Biden has waved off recession concerns. Hopefully, luck is with him because economic reality is not. Biden’s refusal to acknowledge the negative impact of his policies has rendered him incapable of implementing realistic policy solutions. Democrats in Congress who enable him share the blame – and that’s a problem we can solve in November.
Andy Puzder was chief executive officer of CKE Restaurants for more than 16 years, following a career as an attorney. He is currently the executive chairman for 2ndVote Value Investments, Inc. and a Senior Fellow at both the Pepperdine University School of Public Policy and the America First Policy Institute. He was nominated by President Trump to serve as U.S. Labor Secretary.