President Biden said the United States “has never seen anything like Putin’s tax on both food and gas,” after the Labor Department announced Friday that inflation hit a new four-decade high in May.
The Labor Department said Friday that the consumer price index, a broad measure of the price for everyday goods, including gasoline, groceries and rent, rose 8.6% in May from a year ago. Prices jumped 1% in the one-month period from April. Those figures were both higher than the 8.3% headline figure and 0.7% monthly gain forecast by Refinitiv economists.
It marks the fastest pace of inflation since December 1981.
The president, from the Port of Los Angeles Friday, said fighting inflation is his “top economic priority,” while, again, casting blame on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine for the surge in prices.
“Today I’d like to speak about my top economic priority, fighting inflation,” Biden said. “I understand Americans are anxious and they’re anxious.”
“We’ve never seen anything like Putin’s tax on both food and gas,” Biden said.
The president said America “can tackle inflation from a position of strength, unlike any other country in the world,” saying that every other country in the world “is getting a big bite and a piece of inflation—worse than we are, in the vast majority of countries around the world.”
“But make no mistake about it, I understand inflation is a real challenge for American families,” Biden said.
“Today’s inflation report confirm what America’s already know—Putin’s price hike is hitting America hard,” Biden said. “Gas prices at the pump, energy and food prices account for half of the monthly price increases since May.”
Biden said his administration “could continue everything we can to lower the prices for the American people,” but said it is “Congress” that “has to act.”
“I’m doing everything in my power to blunt Putin’s price hike and bring down the cost of gas and food,” Biden said, touting his administration’s move to coordinate the release of global oil reserves to “boost supply” and to “keep prices from rising even more.”
The president said his administration is continuing to work to bring down the cost of food and gas and “save families more money.”
“My dad used to say it’s all about the standard of living, how much you have left in the paycheck at the end of the month, how much is left to do the basic things,” Biden said. “So if you add up all the things that people need just to do…