Buttigieg Says Biden Prevented Economy From Going Into ‘Freefall’ As Inflation Reaches Record Highs

[Twitter/Screenshot/This Week ABC]

Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Sunday while on ABC’s “This Week” that President Joe Biden prevented the economy from “going into freefall” as the U.S. sees record high inflation rates.

Host George Stephanopoulos said one of the “first achievements” of the Biden administration was the American Rescue Plan, which gave out $1,400 stimulus checks and extended the child tax credit.

Buttigieg said Democrats “are proud of those accomplishments.”

“Remember, we have our challenges right now, but when the president took office, we were facing an economy that was at risk of going into freefall. The American Rescue Plan stopped that, and it went directly into easing the burden for Americans with those tax benefits that Americans got,” the secretary said.

“I do think we run the risk — because there have been so many accomplishments — right, the CHIPS Act which is bringing manufacturing back to the United States, the PACT Act, getting veterans the benefits they deserve, of course the infrastructure bill, the Inflation Reduction Act, on top of that American Rescue Plan … in some ways having achieved so much legislatively makes it hard to talk about it all at once because there are just so many accomplishments.” (RELATED: Pelosi Says Inflation Reduction Act, Which Won’t Reduce Inflation, Is ‘So Beautifully Named’)

Americans are fearing a recession as the U.S. economy reaches record high inflation rates. Inflation increased at 0.4% in September from August while “core” inflation, which measures the price of goods excluding food and energy, hit a 40-year-high, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show. Core inflation rose 6.6% year-over-year while the Consumer Price Index fell to 8.2% overall year-over-year despite spiking 0.4% in August.

Economists have also pointed the American Rescue Plan as one of the drivers of rising inflation, despite Buttigieg’s insistence the legislation helped prevent the economy from going into a “freefall.”

President Joe Biden signed the nearly $2 trillion American Rescue Plan in March of 2021. Economist Dean Baker, who works with the left-leaning Center for Economic and Policy Research, estimated the plan increased inflation by about two percentage points, according to Politifact. Meanwhile economic adviser for former President Barack Obama, Lawrence Summers, said the plan contributed to the rise in inflation, according to The Washington Post.

Meanwhile Democrats’ new spending bill dubbed the “Inflation Reduction Act of 2022” will have an insignificant impact on inflation. The legislation will only cut the deficit by $248 billion and fail to have any measurable impact on inflation, an analysis by the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Wharton Budget Model found.

“The Act would slightly increase inflation until 2024 and decrease inflation thereafter,” the analysis found. “These point estimates are statistically indistinguishable from zero, thereby indicating low confidence that the legislation will have any impact on inflation.”