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Sen. Katie Britt questions Jared Bernstein on inflation

Britt made the case that Dr. Bernstein simply wants to double down on policies that have fueled inflation.

Senator Katie Britt, R-Ala., Tuesday at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.
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Senator Katie Britt, R-Ala., Tuesday at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs questioned Dr. Jared Bernstein, President Biden’s nominee to be Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, on his steadfast support for the most radical of the Biden Administration’s economic agenda items.

Senator Britt noted previous statements by Dr. Bernstein downplaying inflation by claiming it was merely “transitory.” Responding to Senator Britt’s questioning, Dr. Bernstein today asserted that categorizing inflation as “transitory” was “correct” but “too ambiguous.” He would not say that the term “transitory” should not have been used by the Administration, but he did admit after being pressed that persistently high inflation has lasted longer than the Administration anticipated when they first used the “transitory” messaging.

Additionally, Senator Britt made the case that Dr. Bernstein, a current member of the CEA, simply wants to double down on the very policies that have fueled inflation since January 2021.

As she noted in her line of questioning, Dr. Bernstein’s insistence on advising the President to continue pushing an irresponsible, partisan tax-and-spend agenda makes him unfit to serve as our nation’s chief economist – a role which traditionally is reserved for a nonpartisan, serious expert. Bernstein’s nomination is the wrong answer at the wrong time and is an insult to the hardworking families facing a kitchen table crisis across Alabama and our nation.

“The last thing the American people need is a continuation of crushing inflation,” said Senator Britt.“Instead of owning up to this Administration’s failures and committing to a course correction, Dr. Bernstein used his testimony today to deflect blame, shirk responsibility, and even claim that this economy is a success. This is a stark departure from the harsh reality facing hardworking Alabamians around their kitchen table every day. Since President Biden took office, inflation is up 15.4 percent. As a mom of two school-aged children, I see this firsthand every time I walk the aisles at the grocery store or fill up at the gas pump: grocery prices are up nearly 20 percent, while energy costs are up 36 percent. Simply put, the American Dream is slipping further and further out of reach. Dr. Bernstein made it clear today that we can only expect more of the same under his counsel. He should be fired, not promoted.”

While Dr. Bernstein touted the Administration’s economy, real wages have fallen for 24 consecutive months, while rising prices have cost the typical household approximately $10,000 in the same time span. In 2022 alone, real disposable income fell more than $1 trillion nationwide, the largest drop since 1932. At the end of the day, there is a clear reason why just 16 percent of Americans consider economic conditions “excellent” or “good,” while 72 percent of the population thinks economic conditions are getting worse and 58 percent of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.

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