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EDITORIAL: Biden shrugs at inflation

Over the past three years, the Biden White House has gradually passed through the five stages of grief when it comes to inflation. President Joe Biden has now reached the “acceptance” stage. The American public, however, may not be so accommodating.

Denial came first. Recall Mr. Biden’s famous assertion in July 2021 that, “There’s nobody suggesting there’s unchecked inflation on the way — no serious economist.” Oops. Within months, inflation had hit a 40-year high and consumers were struggling with soaring prices.

Anger, bargaining and depression all followed as administration officials subsequently insisted at various times that voters didn’t understand the myriad positive “investments” Democrats had made in their efforts to expand Washington’s influence over the private economy, or that the media had failed to adequately communicate to viewers and readers Mr. Biden’s numerous economic achievements.

And now acceptance. On Thursday, the Department of Labor reported that the consumer price index had increased 3.5 percent in March, well above expectations. Administration officials, The Wall Street Journal reported, “said there was no magic bullet to slow rising prices immediately” and the president and his advisers “aren’t planning any major policy or rhetorical shifts.”

Instead, Mr. Biden will do what he does best: attempt to shift blame. The Journal reports the White House spin team will continue to argue that greedy capitalists are raising prices to gouge consumers. This is utter nonsense. The president and his allies in Congress created this issue by embarking upon an unprecedented spending spree as the nation was emerging from a pandemic. Economists across the spectrum warned of the potential consequences.

Mr. Biden has made matters worse by catering to progressive activists predicting climate catastrophe. He entered office promising to “end fossil fuel.” Since then, he has launched an attack on the domestic automobile and energy industries and diverted billions in subsidies to green technologies that are incapable at this point of meeting the nation’s energy needs. The results have been predictable. The Journal reported last week that the cost of electricity has climbed 29.4 percent since the president took office.

“By our calculation, electricity prices have increased 13 times faster under Mr. Biden than across the previous seven years,” the paper editorialized. “His policies aren’t entirely to blame. But most of it is a result of the left’s climate agenda, and the price increases will only get worse.”

The persistently higher prices remained even as inflation fell gradually from its high of 9 percent. That’s a key reason polls show voters have little confidence in this administration when it comes to the economy. It’s also, to the detriment of the president, the reason that many voters likely will never reach the “acceptance” stage.

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