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White House seeks to 'provide context' before CPI report is released

Jul. 13, 2022 4:05 AM ETBy: Yoel Minkoff, SA News Editor310 Comments

Wooden blocks with "CPI" text of concept and coins.

Seiya Tabuchi/iStock via Getty Images

The White House appears to be preparing the nation for a red-hot inflation report Wednesday morning as the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its latest Consumer Price Index. The headline figure is expected to show

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“Milton Friedman isn’t running the show anymore.” April 25, 2020
“Today I’m going to be signing shortly an executive order promoting competition to lower price — to lower prices.” July 9, 2021
“Our experts believe and the data shows that most of the price increases we’ve seen are — were expected and expected to be temporary.” July 19, 2021
“Right now, our experts believe — the major independent forecasters agree as well — that these bottlenecks and price spikes will reduce as our economy continues to heal. And while today’s consumer price report points in that direction, we will keep a careful eye on inflation each month, and trust the Fed to take appropriate action if and when it’s needed.” August 11, 2021
“If you want to talk about actually lowering the cost of living for people in this country, my plan does just that.” September 16, 2021
“CNN: The Wall Street Journal recently talked to like 67 financial experts who said that they saw high inflation going all the way — or deep into 2022. Do you think it’s going to last for a while? BIDEN: I — I don’t think so.” October 22, 2021
“I’m confident that Chair Powell and Dr. Brainard’s focus on keeping inflation low, prices stable, and delivering full employment will make our economy stronger than ever before.” November 22, 2021
“Today, we’re launching a major effort to moderate the price of oil.” November 23, 2021
“It’s the peak of the crisis. … You’ll see it change sooner, quicker, more rapidly than people think.” December 10, 2021
“We are making progress in slowing the rate of price increases.” January 12, 2022
“The American people think the reason for inflation is the government is spending more money. Simply not true.” March 11, 2022
“I’m doing everything I can to bring down the price to address Putin’s price hike.” April 21, 2022
“Some of the roots of the inflation are outside of our control, to state the obvious.” May 10, 2022
“I’m doing everything in my power to blunt Putin’s price hike and bring down the cost of gas and food.” June 10, 2022
Robert NYC profile picture
If you voted for it, congratulate yourself when you top off the tank.
I live in San Francisco, one of the most expensive cities in the world. I shop at Trader Joe's. Butter went from 2.99 to 3.19. ditto on milk. All of their spices are holding steady at 1.99. I don't drink soda, booze or drive a car but I shop regularly and understand that junk food has shot up; Oreo cookies and Doritos were on sale at Walgreens 2 for $9. I don't buy these items but it seems high. My point is, it evens out. If u see that % as low, understand that other folks with different spending habits see it as high (all of my veggies and fruit are exactly the same price as last year). My stock portfolio is in the toilet, but that has more to do with domestic panic than the price of tea in China (or the price of gas in Russia, as it were). It may take a bit more effort and require stepping out of ur comfort zone, but the deals are out there. Safeway isn't the only game in town (or Winn Dixie or whatever ur regular store happens to be). Walgreens has great weekly sales. We're recovering from an unprecedented pandemic, folks... things could be a LOT worse. Quit wasting energy on the blame game and clip some coupons.
@EvaMluvsPM curious, how do you get around if you do not drive a car?
Robert NYC profile picture
@EvaMluvsPM So your response to the US having the highest inflation rate in 40 years is to use coupons? I am sure that will fix everything. The poor get hit the hardest. I thought Democrats and liberals actually cared about the poor. My mistake I guess.

On the other hand, if DC did not print and spend way, by the trillions, way too many US dollars, we would not have this in the first place.

If she lives in downtown SF, and seldom leaves town, she does not need a car. SF has great public transportation. And lots of Uber drivers, too.
CPI comes in at 9.1% for June. GOOD !!!!

All the worse for Biden and his sociopaths in the White House and Congress.

yes, the sociopath appointees, mostly in the WH, are clearly responsible for reigniting dangerous inflation. But they will NEVER own up to that error. NEVER

And ole Joe only sees inflation as a campaign season problem.

He wants a short-term optics fix tailored for November perceptions. That means he is seeking the proper response to public ire in skillful "messaging". To inside the beltway types, "clever messaging" means a "manipulative narrative".

The damage inflation does to the real economy, to industrial productivity, to labor input prices, to rational long term planning, sane management, all these seem to be outside the President's mid-20th century worldview.

The FED kept rates near zero for more than 10 years WITHOUT igniting inflation . Let's remember that.

But the pandemic clearly demanded at least some fiscal stimulus.

The good quality stimulus came in two helpful parts: safety net and infrastructure spending.

The safety net for people thrown out of work by the political decision to lockdown many productive enterprises. And infrastructure spending to replace long neglected roads, airports, harbors, rails, grid, rural wifi, and even some pump priming for EV charging stations.

But the Administration then took fiscal stimulus spending a few partisan steps too far. What a shame !

They gave away about a 2/3 of a TRILLION in stimulus checks, including to people who were still working, couples making 6 figures even, voters who did not require such a reckless hand out. And next the WH tried to ram through a huge, reckless over-sized social agenda, the much-storied, and tragic, Build Back Butter agenda (BBB).

Fortunately, BBB stalled-out, with insufficient Congressional support, because moderate sanity derailed the massive spin - messaging optics blarney campaign.

The inflation we have today would have been so much worse if that monstrosity had gone through.

American inflation was re-ignited in the 21 st century by a too massive, and insufficiently targeted, fiscal stimulus. And half of that planned ruinous over-stimulus was effectively derailed by just 2 DEM senators, .... thank goodness.

Now, about gasoline,....
Very high priced retail fuel just helps the President sell his longer term EV claims. He genuinely NEEDS EXPENSIVE gasoline, ...... to sell his sustainable vision,...... EXCEPT not so close to elections.

So he needs to deflect the responsibility for 2nd half 2022 expensive gasoline onto others. For example, onto his most reliable enemies, onto "big oil" or "big banks" or some other convenient 'big boogie man'. Putin will do nicely. Or, McConnell, or someone such as that.

Certainly, no one in the WH should be blamed for expensive gasoline or any inflation. Oh, no. The lack of sufficient US refining capacity has nothing to do with regulatory (EPA and other) obstructions that stopped new construction for more than 15 years.

Ask Carl Icahn about how certain regs stopped his investment in new refinery capacity just 2-3 years ago. If he had made that investment back then, then US gasoline might still be 3.00 a gallon today. There is plenty of domestic crude to refine more distillates. The bottleneck is the refinery capacity.

So what if refining inadequacy forced Americans to buy Russian refined products to serve US demand in the NE? How could that reliance hurt US citizens, or EU citizens, or anyone? How ? I'll let the reader ponder that one.

The above may explain why the President's energy solutions approach is so schizo, so incoherent. And why he is now trying to persuade the Saudi Prince, whom he disdained so rudely 15 months ago, to please, please sell more product to the EU or to the US or to anyone who can refine it.

The refining bottleneck is one of the key drivers of rising US prices. Yes, there are others. What? Selected semi-conductors, and not necessarily the most sophisticated ones. The world auto industry is hampered by shortages of a dozen different types of fairly pedestrian semi-conductors. WE can and should be fabricating these domestically. No, they US sited capacity cannot be replaced quickly. But it can and should be replaced. Chips act anyone?

The real economic solution, even if it takes 2-3 years, is to build more US based refining capacity, and semi-conductor fabrication capacity, enough for ourselves and our allies. Is the WH interested in real solutions?

Remember, Joe only needs more gasoline for a few months, until November. He wants the longer term price to remain high, remember? So that expensive, range-limited EVs look better in comparison to ICE vehicles. Keeping gasoline prices sky-high is their answer.
That's the brilliant EU climate plan, remember?
@Hank890 Good post.

Thanks. Been a sucker for complements my whole life.
Firstly: "The headline figure is expected to show an annual gain of 8.8% for June, which would mark the strongest figure in 41 years." Refering to inflation as "strongest" gives away the game, can't increase actual demand so why not jack up prices. Unsustainable.
Secondly: The job figures are a fraud. When the county data actually comes in six months from now, the current "modelling" estimates will be downward revised below 0. Layoffs are already in progress. Ex: Tesla plans to lay off 10% of salaried workforce. So not only layoffs, but the best jobs they have.
Third: CPI and Unemployment numbers are already a fraud thanks to the one of the biggest morons in history, Alan Greenspan changing the calculations. Personally, the only surprise is that it took 25 years.
CPI will soon be higher than Jerpy Brandone's approval rating.
@tboucher1 If both numbers were accurate, inflation would already be higher than the President's approval rating.
Can you name anything you purchase regularly that has ONLY gone up 8.8% ? Inflation is being way under reported .
@Big Lew

Has been for years. It's running about 20% using the pre-1990s methodology.
Yes. Most of the groceries i buy are actually the exact same; butter and milk have gone up 10%, but all my veggies and fruit are exactly the same as last year...I don't know how Trader Joe's can afford to keep their prices so low, but they do and I am infinitely grateful.
@Big Lew

9.1 % is the core inflation rate, not the "headline" inflation rate, which is higher.

The FED is mandated to track the core rate, not the headline rate.

My property insurance and property taxes have gone up, but my mortgage rate is the same.

gas and electric is rising in small increments every year, about 3-5%.

My milk products have gone up 10-15% But my bread products less.

Gasoline has gone up over $4.50 from about $3.50 last summer. But I drive longer distances much less. I totally stopped commuting in late 2014. But I had stopped daily commuting in the mid 90s.
racerkeith profile picture
"will largely not reflect the substantial declines in gas prices we've seen since the middle of June," Their definition of "Substantial declines" is differs substantially from the general public's.
@racerkeith premium gas has dropped about 30 - 50 cents per gallon in my area, that is a substantial decline, especially if it continues.
racerkeith profile picture
@23043993 After "they" raised the prices 100% in the last 18 months....
@racerkeith Well, 200% in my area. We're down 50 cents, but I am waiting for the next few dollars.
Oh great, they are going to announce the news to us so we can be told what to think about the fact that everything we buy is 100% more expensive than it was 2 years ago?!?! What a joke.
Tell that to my vendors who just raised prices again by 15% across the board.
richjoy403 profile picture
I've often said I fear we may have 2 consecutive failed presidencies--very bad for the country, and at least equally bad for the free world.

Today, it's obvious nothing can/will be done to save Biden's presidency, and we will have 2 consecutive failed presidencies.

Biden has neither the political courage nor rational ability to reverse course on his most avoidable and disastrous policy mistakes:
#1 His unrelenting attacks the oil industry from day 1
#2 His ignoring the border crisis--making it greater instead of lesser
#3 His failure to act when needed to lessen inflation now at new 41-yr high
#4 His disregard for the surge in violent crime in cities across the nation
#5 His Justice Department's war on parents of children in schools
#6 His over-management of COVID

Will the D & R parties go for 3-in-a-row by allowing Biden & Trump to run again in 2024?
racerkeith profile picture
@richjoy403 At least you're acknowledging Biden's failure to lead. Not sure what the failures are that you're referring to in the previous administration's governance.
@racerkeith Trump was a very successful President from a policy/results stand point. More of a failed person in my book.
Long Time Running profile picture
@richjoy403 , 1) US oil production is increasing.

Trump shut down the oil industry with his Failure to handle the pandemic. The price of oil went negative in March 2020. Oil companies either went bankrupt, stopped drilling, capped wells and laid off thousands of staff. Slow to recover to get things back running again.

1 million barrels of refining capacity was permanently closed under trump.

Trump went to Saudi Arabia and threatened them to cut production for TWO YEARS or he would cut military aid. That 2 years ends this July but SA just can't turn the taps back on overnight.

2) the border is an ongoing crisis of refugees from failed states in Central America (guess who had a hand in that) and Trump's failure to address the issues creates a much larger problem now. He insisted 3rd country policy which is not even legal and puts vulnerable people in danger.

3) several actions take reduce inflation including SPR release, examining import tariffs, reducing drug prices, student debt, stimulus, increasing minimum wage.

4) guns laws need stricter measures but the republicans don't want to see restrictions.

5) SCOTUS isbthe new Taliban.

6) the freedom fighters in the US have resulted in the highest COVID deaths per capita than any other developed country.
Next stop is manipulating the CPI data down. The leftist globalists will never give up on their green nightmare.
craftbrewinfo profile picture
"Snapshot: As inflation becomes one of the top priorities for Americans, especially ahead of midterm elections, Biden administration officials held a briefing for reporters to "provide context" for the upcoming CPI report"

Translation- SPIN
Chancer profile picture
All lies from Biden and Fed. Inflation getting worse and faster than I expected. Defeat all Democrat legislation and agenda, as they only increase inflation. How do you think we got where we are?
Long Time Running profile picture
@Chancer , gas is coming down and natural gas is being restricted from export by LNG terminal fire.

Energy is core to inflation, gasoline inventories are building, further reductions ahead.

I think the FED could soon look at pausing, the consumer is strong, debt levels manageable.
@Long Time Running the CPI does not include energy cost.
@Long Time Running

Consumers are tapped out, going into debt just for essentials. Got an email today from Ford touting new incentives. Been a while since that happened.
tjcons profile picture
The current Biden manifesto is not working. Need to issue another 5 year plan.

We need a president who has practical experience in economics, finance, engineering, logistics and industrial organization. Not just inside the beltway chess.

Joe was elected to the Senate at 29, and knows little beyond stump speeches, sloganeering, and horse-trading politics. He actually seems to have little interest in policy , unlike Obama.
Robert NYC profile picture
Provide context? Inflation is here mostly because the Administration spent too much damned money.

Now they have excuses?
Long Time Running profile picture
@Robert NYC , they needed to spend otherwise you would be in a depression era lineup.

That was a criticism of the Obama era, after the Great Recession there was not enough stimulus prolonging the pain of the recovery.

And where is the bipartisanship leadership, there is none but obstructionist hacks.
@Robert NYC

All they do have are excuses.

But they have plenty, no shortage.
@Long Time Running

Your misguided and inaccurate comments are examples of obstructionist hacks.

Yeah, the WH did need to spend stimulus. But Biden went WAY OVER-BOARD with loose spending. Obama did the stimulus correctly. The criticism from the left wing was idiotic, and now everyone sees why.

Biden wasted close to a TRILLON dollars on inappropriate targets.

Heal thyself physician. Obstructionist hacks can well describe many on your side of the fence.

You need to do more than simply parrot weak WH talking points to be taken seriously.

As a moderate DEM, I believe the most dangerous segment of the US political establishment is now the ill-informed, ranting hate-spew coming out of the narrow, insular, isolated, House left wing. Their delusions border on criminal.
scarp1952 profile picture
No doubt when they trot out spokesmen 48 hours in advance saying it’s not as bad as it looks and tell July is already better before they have July data you know it’s bad. Until Biden rescinds his executive orders on energy transportation, drilling and energy equity it will get worse. Over 50% of the strategic reserves are now gone.
Tim Dunn profile picture
...from another administration

The domestic supply of crude is not the key problem.

It is refining capacity. The crude releases from the strategic reserve are not solving the gasoline and diesel supply problem, they are merely a band aid, a misdirection, and a diversion.

Biden seems hardly concerned at all with solving the REAL problem, but deeply occupied with trying to look good by going on TV constantly, reading from a teleprompter, shouting about all the noble things his Administration is doing, and struggling to look busy, to look Presidential, for his voters prior to elections.

Why can't he be honest about what he has done ? Because to be honest would mean taking responsibility for poor decisions and misguided Senate votes going back many years, not just in 2021 and 2022. He cannot do that now and retain viability.
scarp1952 profile picture
@Hank890 You’re preaching to the choir here. For many years I made a great living out of the coastal refineries by selling their spent acids. By luck I was promoted a year or so prior to the shutdowns and restricted capacities occurring on both the west and east coasts. Talk abou good fortune.
And they swear the moon is made out of Blue cheese too.
Tim Dunn profile picture
@D. Rockefeller
since we get to have a supermoon this week, we have a moon full of blue cheese - all thanks to out of control inflation from an administration that doesn't understand basic economic principles - such as asking gas station owners to reduce their prices.
Nice, futures up on CPI that was higher than expected. More context please Joe.
MathMan1959 profile picture

Futures are down as of 9am.
At least there aren't anymore mean tweets
scarp1952 profile picture
@Lessco Brandon you’re right. I believe that’s what that election came down too. If Trump had cut that nonsense out he would be in office.
Nope. They would have found something else. The next Republican, if there ever is one, can expect the same abuse.
@Lessco Brandon


And in place of the obnoxious tweets, we get a barrage of Biden messages via free TV time, reading from a teleprompter, explaining to us with great emotion and drama how wonderful his Administration's actions are and how dastardly his opponents are behaving.

Is this really that much better than the mean tweets? I dunno. Maybe a modest but better.

But America needs something MUCH BETTER than either of those two posturing bunglers.
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