Again attempting to pin the blame for what he first predicted would be “transitory” inflation, Joe Biden is doubling down on his dubious “Putin price hike” narrative.
During a recent event in Greensboro, North Carolina, Biden said in response to inflation as measured by the consumer price index clocking in at 8.5% in March, “Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has driven up gas prices and food prices all over the world. Ukraine and Russia are the one and two largest wheat producers in the world. We’re three. They’re shut down. We saw that in yesterday’s inflation data. “What people don’t know is that 70% of the increase in inflation was the consequence of Putin’s Price Hike because of the impact on oil prices. Seventy percent.”
He was at least specific enough to claim that the 70% of the increase he’s blaming on Putin was only for March, but even if we were to take him at his word, that would prove that only a miniscule percentage of total Bidenflation is due to Putin, as can be seen on the chart below:
In other words, inflation went from averaging under 2% a month (on a year-over-year basis) under Biden to 8.5% in March, and Biden is blaming 70% of the jump from February’s 7.9% inflation to 8.5% inflation on Putin. Despite its phrasing, one can only conclude that Biden was hoping people would be misled into thinking most of all the recent inflation was due to Putin from his comments. After all, when put into context, it basically proves the opposite of the Biden narrative.
And with little exception, the media’s alleged fact checkers were happy to either ignore this comment from Biden, or handle it with kid gloves when examining its merits.
The Washington Post’s partisan hack fact checker Glenn Kessler (known for fact joking obvious jokes and hyperbole from Trump during his presidency) looked at the claim, and didn’t award it any “Pinocchio’s” (but claimed he was tempted to award it two Pinocchios).
“Many people might believe the president was referring to the headline annual number in the inflation report — 8.5 percent … We certainly did when we first heard this line,” Kessler admitted, adding that he believes Biden’s claim is still defensible since it’s specific to March. “Biden’s math is defensible … but at the same time, ordinary people might certainly have assumed he was referring to the 12-month inflation rate, not the one-month figure.” No kidding.
In the end, it’s apparently up to the reader to decipher Biden’s comments, with Kessler concluding “But he did refer to the invasion that began 50 days ago. So we will leave this unrated and let readers decide for themselves.” And that’s exactly what Biden was hoping people would do – decide for themselves incorrectly.
If only there was someone to check the facts.
Matt Palumbo is the author of The Man Behind the Curtain: Inside the Secret Network of George Soros
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