Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg grew huffy with CNN’s Chris Wallace when the anchor pressed him on claims that Republicans were going to make inflation worse: “Well, but, but hold on!”
The former mayor of South Bend, IN, who once touted that having ridden a bus before made him qualified for his current office, was challenged on the Democrats’ economic policies during the latest edition of “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace.”
Acting as though President Joe Biden’s administration inherited 40-year-record high inflation and that they had led with the Inflation Reduction Act from day one, Buttigieg began digging a hole for himself when he suggested continued support for his party “Because what we’re doing is helping with the cost of living. And because what House Republicans are proposing will hurt.”
However, Wallace was prepared to push back and argued Democrats’ nearly $2 trillion American Rescue Plan alone added roughly three percentage points to inflation and that the oft-touted Inflation Reduction Act would be “negligible” at best in combatting the rise as America falls into a recession.
Leveling claims against the GOP of wanting to raise taxes and side with pharmaceutical companies, Buttigieg may have attempted to pivot away from the topic saying, “So any time anybody wants to debate what to do about inflation, I’m here for that debate. But we have heard nothing from the other side with anything actionable,” but the host didn’t let him off easy.
“Respectfully, sir, you have heard something, which is that spending more than $3 trillion in federal spending at a time when demand so outstrips supply because of supply chain problems–”
“Well, but, but hold on!” the secretary cut in, trying to prevent Wallace from addressing the facts.
The seasoned host would have none of it and asserted control over the interview, “Let me ask the question. That, that spending $3 trillion added, boosted demand, boosted inflation, that the Inflation Reduction Act isn’t gonna actually reduce inflation for the next couple of years, and that because you were so slow, you, the administration, the Federal Reserve, everybody, in terms of dealing with inflation, now you got to overcorrect and we’re going to get a recession.”
“Is that a formula for success?” Wallace fired off.
Buttigieg may have thought he handled the challenge well as he pivoted back to talking points, rhetorically asking, “So do we regret rescuing the American economy? No. Do we regret the actions that brought unemployment below four percent? No,” but Wallace zinged him again, asking, “Do you regret eight percent inflation?”
“Nobody likes inflation,” the secretary responded with a meek non-answer.
Unrelenting, Wallace went on, “And the fact that the administration called it transitory for months when everybody else was saying, people like Larry Summers were saying, you got to start dealing with that?”
Of course, there was no end to the smoke blowing by Buttigieg as he smugly spat forth talking points mimicking Biden’s claim of historic deficit reduction after being responsible for trillions in spending.
“And what we’re doing concretely is creating more breathing room for American families,” argued the secretary who has yet to resolve supply chain issues that have stretched the baby formula shortage for eight months.
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