On Tuesday’s “CNN Tonight,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg reacted to a question on whether the American Rescue Plan’s spending is partly to blame for inflation.
He reacted by saying that the American Rescue Plan “has a lot of the issues that are associated with those very low unemployment rates.”
Mayor Pete Butt-edge-edge
Buttigieg on Inflation: We Have ‘Issues’ ‘Associated with’ Unemployment Rates Due to Stimulus https://t.co/wBwibazePv
— Curtis Golden (@CurtisGolden18) May 11, 2022
“President Biden is blaming the pandemic and Putin’s war for inflation,” host Don Lemon said. ” But what about the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan? Secretary, of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, concluded last year that the stimulus contributed to inflation. Shouldn’t at least part of the blame be placed on that?”
“Look, at the time, the country was facing continued economic collapse, action had to be taken to bring the economy back, to make sure that Americans had more money in their pockets, and that jobs that would have been lost, perhaps forever, were saved,” Buttigieg responded.
He went on to say, “now, it is true, right now, we have a lot of the issues that are associated with those very low unemployment rates. Right now, we have fewer people on unemployment than we’ve had, I think, since 1970. And when that happens, that does create pressures in labor markets.”
“But if you consider the alternative, the possibility that we could have seen the kind of economic collapse that was a very real risk before the American Rescue Plan, there’s no question that that was the right thing to do.” Pete continued.
“It has saved countless jobs, likely millions and millions of jobs, and it’s one of the reasons why the job creation record of this president in his first year is one that is the swiftest creation of jobs in American history.” He concluded.
Lemon responded, “But did it contribute to inflation as economists say?”
“Look, I think that historians and economists will be debating the early 2020s and what happened for many years and decades. But right now, we’re still living in that moment. Right now, what we’ve got to do is focus on the tools that are in our hands that will actually help right now,” Buttigieg answered.