CNN Host Pushes Back On Biden Adviser Who Tries To Say Economy Is Doing Well

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Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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CNN’s Poppy Harlow pushed back on Director of the National Economic Council Lael Brainard Wednesday after Brainard tried to say the economy is doing well.

Brainard claimed the economy seems to be trending in the opposite direction despite worrisome forecasts from 2022.

“You look a year ago, lots of forecasts of recession,” Brainard said. “They thought to get where we are today on inflation, which is inflation moving now, it’s 3%, I expect that it will move below 3%. In order to get there, a lot of forecasts said unemployment would have to surge and the economy would have to slow a lot. We haven’t seen that. We have seen in particular the labor market coming back into balance because Americans are coming back into the labor force. Another 3.3 million Americans getting jobs over the last year. That’s because the job market has been very good. Wages have been strong and we’ve seen those great union contracts.”

“Can I ask, despite all these indicators, the polling is not good. None of the polls for the economy are strong for the president. You just heard our reporting that he is frustrated with that. I wonder, when you look at polls like The New York Times’ saying 34% of voters list the economy as the top issue and CNN’s polling showed seven in 10 Americans rate the country’s economic conditions as poor. When you look at that polling compared with the facts you just laid out, are you personally disappointed how the president is polling on the economy?” Harlow asked.

“I just look back to where we were just two years ago or when the president came to office,” Brainard replied. ” And I think how much Americans have been through in terms of seeing small businesses having to close their doors, people temporarily laid off. Supply chains were so broken that it was hard for Americans to get a lot of goods. You could wait months for a washing machine when your washing machine broke down. And then with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, gas and food prices soared. Where we are today is so much more secure with ample job opportunities —”

“I guess what I’m asking is why is that not reflected —” Harlow tried to interject. (RELATED: CNN’s Data Reporter Lays Out Massive Economic Indicator That Spells Bad News For Biden)

“It takes a while,” Brainard continued. “It takes a while. I think it takes a while. And it’s also that there are few areas that Americans are worried are not as affordable. If you look at health care in particular, two to three times more expensive on prescription drugs than other countries. That’s just not right. And that’s why we’re fighting so hard to get prescription drug prices down, whether it be insulin for seniors at $35 a month, down from $400. We are capping out-of-pocket costs for seniors at $2,000 per year. We have to chip away at some of these areas where Americans feel it’s just not right. Or that they are tired of being ripped off in the area of junk fees, we are fighting really hard to get rid of overdraft fees and bounced check fees. Baggage fees. Seating fees. All of those things add up.”

Several economic indicators paint a sour picture for the American public. The consumer price index, which measures inflation, rose just 0.1% overall in November, totaling 3.1% for the year, but prices still remain elevated. Prices for rent, transportation services and food have increased. Total prices are still up 17.2% since Biden took office in January of 2021, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Real wages have also declined by 2.1% during the same time frame.

Job growth is also only up in three major sectors: Government, private education and health services, and leisure and hospitality. Other sectors, like transportation and warehousing, saw a decrease in jobs or no improvement at all.