Biden economic adviser insists 'real wages have grown', says economy is 'on the right track'

Bernstein glossed over gas prices becoming far higher since Trump left the White House.

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
On Sunday, President Biden's economic advisor Jared Bernstein asserted that the U.S. economy was "moving on the right track."

Bernstein made the claims while appearing on "Fox News Sunday" with host Shannon Bream who pressed him on the average American suffering over high inflation; something that the United States did not experience under former President Donald Trump's administration.

Despite record-breaking inflation under the Biden admin, Bernstein insisted that "real wages have grown." Bream called out the economic adviser for misleading the public because he only cited data from within the last couple of months, which she said doesn't reveal the accurate picture.

While inflation rates may have minorly descended as of recently, the rates are still way up from when Trump was in the White House. So any measure of decrease that Bernstein cited was a decrease in inflation that had increased due to President Biden.

The transcript of the interview is as follows, courtesy of Breitbart News:

Berstein: "Well, I want to try to paint a realistic picture that's nuanced, that takes into account everything you just said. But also reflects not just what on people — what people are saying, which we have to listen to, they are the best arbiters of their economic conditions, but also what they're doing. So we're just coming out of a Black Friday, that is already setting records for online buying between 10 and 16 billion for Black Friday online."

"We are looking at consumer spending that’s been driving this economy forward posting growth rates that are north of 5 percent. We have an unemployment rate that's been below 4 percent for 21 months. Now, what that means in a period where inflation has come down by two-thirds, it peaked at 9 percent. It's now 3.2."

Bream: "And wages have not kept up."

Berstein: "So real wages have grown, real wages, in other words, wages are beating prices now. So is disposable income, by the way."

Bream: "For most of that time, they have not."

Berstein: "Correct. So I'm talking about the last four or five months. So that speaks to both. I think my argument and perhaps your argument — my argument is that we are moving on the right track, but we have a lot more work to do. The question needs to be, in regard to all these polls you just cited, are we moving in a direction that will reach the American people, give them more buying power, continues to see actual declines in gas prices? By the way, you put up a slide there, 3.79 for gas prices. That is a stale picture, Shannon. The average gas price 3.25."

Bream: "Yes, well, listen, I need to find that, you know, around here, D.C., we're not going to find that. But hopefully, out in the country, people are doing a little bit better. You talk about spending on Black Friday, which is always a good indicator to look at where people are. But we've got this headline from The Wall Street Journal this morning: "American borrowers are getting closer to maxing out." They're talking about how close people are to getting to the very last of what they have in savings or at their credit limit. So still spending, yes, but that is going to come due at some point. They say delinquencies are way up between September and October as well."

Bernstein argued about a recent decline in gas prices as a measure of Biden's success but failed to mention that the average price of gas is exponentially higher than when President Trump left the White House in 2021.

At the time of Trump's departure on Jan. 20, 2021, the average price of gasoline in the United States was $2.39 per gallon, according to data from the American Automobile Association, which is much less than the current average of $3.25.

In June 2022, the United States had the highest average gas price on record which was $5.06 per gallon, according to historical data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

In addition to high gas prices, Americans are also struggling to buy groceries as prices increase. Some Americans spend as much as 27 percent of their income on groceries, meaning that inflation strongly impacts poorer families.

The recent Thanksgiving holiday revealed that prices of many holiday staples have soared up to 60 percent, leaving families to come up with clever ways to put food on their tables this holiday season.
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