Biden Says Recession ‘Not Inevitable,’ Makes Claim About Inflation

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.
June 17, 2022 Updated: June 17, 2022

President Joe Biden said on June 17 that a recession is “not inevitable” and made a dubious claim about inflation.

“First of all, it’s not inevitable,” Biden said, referring to many experts saying a recession is looming. “Secondly, we’re in a stronger position than any nation in the world to overcome this inflation,” he added.

Biden was speaking to the Associated Press in a rare interview.

The Democrat frequently avoids reporters, especially for one-on-one interviews.

Biden’s administration has been trying to battle inflation as prices for gas, food, and other core products spike.

Many experts believe a recession could easily happen soon.

Larry Summers, a treasury secretary during the Obama administration, said the United States is poised to enter a recession in 2023. David Brat, dean of the Liberty University School of Business, said “you’re going to see a recession.” Peter Atwater, a former hedge fund manager, said the U.S. economy is already showing signs of a recession.

Others say a recession can still be avoided, depending on how the administration handles the economy.

The current situation stems in part from the trillions of dollars the government has spent during the pandemic, including the $1.9 trillion bill that Democrats pushed through Congress and Biden signed in 2021, according to a number of experts. Biden has blamed the Russia-Ukraine war and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s other actions as the major factor.

In the new interview, Biden said the spending plan may have had “a minor impact on inflation” but “the idea that it caused inflation is bizarre.” He’s said in the past that the bill had led to “a real problem” because of the lack of goods people could buy due to supply chain issues.

Biden also took on criticism that the economic environment is his fault.

“If it’s my fault, why is it the case in every other major industrial country in the world that inflation is higher? You ask yourself that? I’m not being a wise guy,” he said.

While some countries have higher inflation rates than the United States, many others do not.

Biden also said Americans should not listen to warnings from economists of a potential recession.

“They shouldn’t believe a warning,” he said. “They should just say: ‘Let’s see. Let’s see which is correct.’”

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), the top Republican on the House Committee on Ways and Means, was among the lawmakers reacting to Biden’s comments.

“Regrettably, due to the Biden Administration’s reckless inflation-fueling spending, attacks on American-made energy & crushing worker crisis—all dismissed & denied—the #BidenRecession is inevitable,” Brady wrote on Twitter.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.