For the second time in two months, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed during a press briefing that the United States is “stronger economically than we have been in history.”
Speaking to reporters during a press briefing on Thursday afternoon, Jean-Pierre cited the unemployment rate and job growth in recent months, asserting that those numbers prove that the U.S. economy is strong — despite the fact that inflation and gas prices have hit record highs during Joe Biden’s tenure as president.
“When we look at where we are economically — and we are stronger economically than we have been in history,” the press secretary said. “When you look at the unemployment numbers at 3.6%, when you look at the jobs numbers, more than 8.7 million of new jobs created, that is important.”
WOW: Karine Jean-Pierre actually just said, "We are stronger economically than we have been in history." pic.twitter.com/xbAcYpYfk2
— John Cooper (@thejcoop) July 7, 2022
This is not the first time Jean-Pierre has made this assertion. While talking to reporters in early June, the press secretary pushed the same claim while attempting to explain that the economic state of the country put it in a “good position” to address inflation.
“What I’m trying to say to you is that the economy is in a better place than it has been historically. And so we feel here at this administration, and other experts as well, is that we feel that we are in a good position to take on inflation,” Jean-Pierre said.
The repeated attempts by the press secretary and other members of the Biden administration to reassure Americans of the “strength” of the U.S. economy have done little to quell the frustration and fear felt by the American people as they see the effects that inflation and high gas prices have on their wallets and savings accounts.
Over the previous decade, Americans’ personal saving rate — the portion of disposable income that they devote to savings — typically ranged between 7% to 9%. As of May, that number dropped to 5.4%, according to a report from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. That number has remained below 6% for every month of 2022. Clearly, the American people are having trouble putting money away as the pressure of inflation has taken a toll on their budget.
According to a June poll from LendingClub and PYMNTS, more than 150 million Americans are having trouble saving any money at all, and are instead living paycheck to paycheck.
The survey of over 4,000 Americans revealed that “consumers in all income brackets — including those who make more than $100,000 annually” — are devoting nearly their entire salaries to paying their expenses, with little to nothing left over to put away for savings.
Despite overwhelming evidence that the U.S. economy has been affected by his policies, Biden has continued to deflect blame for skyrocketing inflation and record-high gas prices onto any possible scapegoat he can find, including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, corporate greed, and even privately owned gas stations. The president has even falsely claimed that inflation is “worse everywhere but here.”
“Under my plan for the economy, we’ve made extraordinary progress,” Biden said during an appearance at an AFL-CIO labor conference in June. “And we put America in a position to tackle the … worldwide problem that’s worse everywhere but here: inflation.”