Jared Bernstein Trades Barbs With CNBC Host After He’s Accused Of ‘Spreading’ White House Spinpin


Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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CNBC’s “Squawk Box” host Joe Kernen traded barbs with White House Economic Adviser Jared Bernstein on Monday after the former accused the latter of “spreading” the White House’s messaging.

The duo were discussing the yield on 10-year treasury bonds, with the benchmark falling to 3.732% in mid-November, according to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). The yield is below the federal-funds rate, which sits at 3.83%, the outlet reported.

Kernen argued China needs to re-open in order to help lower the cost of fuel. Bernstien said he wouldn’t delve into foreign policy details, but noted Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping recently spoke about global commodities before adding that Biden’s goal is “to get the best deal for the American middle class.”

Kernen then accused Bernstein of failing to provide a “straight answer.” (RELATED: Wall Street Is Freaking Out About One Major Recession Indicator)

“So you’re an economist, but because of your new job, you even had trouble just giving me the straight answer on the ten-year because you’re just there to, I don’t know, to walk the line or to spread the White House’s message,” Kernen said. “I don’t even know if I can —”

“I don’t know if that’s fair, wait a second, I don’t think that’s fair,” Bernstein responded. “Here’s the thing, it is actually a very important and very conscious policy to pursue fed independence from the —”

“I know,” Kernen said. “I want to go to this next thing.”

“We know there are economies who have been just brought to their knees by compromising that independence,” Bernstein said.

“But this next one I know you’re not going to answer now, because you’re not going to be able to —” Kernen said.

“As an economist, we have a divided government now, are you at least a little bit relieved that the certain parts of the Democratic Party do not need now to be appeased with more spending? Can you just — can you just sit back for the next two years and go, ‘No, we can’t even pretend we’re going to pass more crazy legislation to blow out about that.’ Really, you’re not happy that that happened, Jared?”

“As an economist aren’t you happy?” Kernen pressed.

“I am, I am happy right now, but it’s not because I am an economist,” Bernstein began.

“Not because of that, okay,” Kernen said. “Not because of gridlock. You’re not welcoming gridlock. I think you are secretly.”

“No, I mean, I think, like, basically the idea that we would sit on our hands, it’s just … kind of nuts,” Bernstein said before Kernen could finish his sentence.

“Well, nuts.”

“Kind of nuts,” Bernstein reiterated, before touting the Biden administration’s implementation of the so-called Inflation Reduction Act and the CHIPS and Science Act.