Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) appeared Thursday on Newsmax and said that reported improvements in the American jobs market are “sort of a red herring” in the context of Joe Biden’s claims of economic growth.
Paul said Biden failed to mention negative Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in the first quarter of 2022 and continues to ignore the price inflation hammering all working Americans as summer nears.
Paul said that the added jobs being reported are still, in large part, only restarts of jobs that were decimated by government shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. He said that number amounts to untold “millions of jobs.”
Paul went on to say that another thing the Biden administration has been doing to pump up employment numbers to claim growth has been spurred is “printing up money.” He noted that the obvious downside to a loose fiscal policy is the rapid loss of purchasing power provided by lagging wages.
He said that if there is 3% growth, but 8 or 9% inflation, Americans are not coming out ahead; they are falling further behind. He noted a statistic he saw recently that an average family has $3,300 more cash this year than last year, but when inflation is considered, they are coming out $1,600 in the hole.
First-quarter GDP contracted worse than originally thought as well. Weak business investment failed to offset strong consumer spending, according to a report Thursday from the Commerce Department. The second estimate of GDP for the first three months of the year from the Bureau of Economic Analysis indicated the contraction was actually 1.5% annually. That was a downward adjustment from the negative 1.4% originally reported.
Paul said last week that many experts are now predicting that second-quarter GDP will show that the country will “be lucky if we’re at zero growth for the year.”
Thursday reporting also indicated that the Consumer Price Index rose in May by 8.6% on an annual basis over a year ago. That is the highest such increase in inflation since December 1981. Core inflation, which excludes food and energy costs, rose 6%.
According to AAA, the national average price for a gallon of regular gas on Saturday reached another all-time record high of $5.004. That is up from $4.40 one month ago and $3.08 one year ago.