MacCallum throws down with White House economic adviser over inflation: ‘Hold on, wait a second!’

Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum went toe to toe with White House economic adviser Jared Bernstein over inflation, taking offense to President Biden’s claim that inflation will not increase and is stable during his “60 Minutes” interview.

The exchange took place on Monday and centered around the interview with Biden on Sunday where he discussed inflation and his economic policies with host Scott Pelley. Inflation is way up… 8.3 percent as of August since last year, according to NBC News.

“You’re not arguing that 8.3 is good news?” Pelley incredulously asked President Biden in the interview.

“No, I’m not saying it is good news,” Biden tersely responded. “It was 8.2 before. You’re making it sound like all of a sudden, ‘My God, it went to 8.2 percent.’”

It’s the highest inflation rate, Mr. President, in 40 years,” Pelley pointed out.

(Video Credit: 60 Minutes)

“I got that,” Biden shot back. “But guess what we are? We’re in a position for the last several months it hasn’t spiked. It is just barely — it’s basically even.”

MacCallum wanted Bernstein’s reaction to the inflation numbers and he tried to spin it for all he was worth.

“So, the White House argument is that people are supposed to feel good about the fact that it’s even, even though the core number went up six tenths, which as you know concerned a lot of economists when they dug into that number,” she explained. “But here’s the number over the course of the presidency: from 1.4 percent inflation to 8.3. So the number has absolutely spiked over the 24-month period [sic] of the Biden presidency.”

“I don’t think you’ll hear any White House economist or policy analyst saying Americans should feel good about inflation,” Bernstein defensively responded. “In fact, we know inflation is a significant challenge to households. And that’s why we’ve done so much to try to help.”

(Video Credit: Fox News)

Then Bernstein turned to one of the left’s favorite talking points… declining gas prices.

“You talked about everything spiking,” he stated. “Well, in fact, gas prices have of course spiked in the other direction. They’re down $1.30 per gallon–”

“But they’re still $1.30 higher than when the president took office,” MacCallum correctly interjected.

“Hold on, wait a second! I let you ask your question,” Bernstein snapped at the Fox News host. “Please let me give you my answer.”

“They’re still higher,” she reiterated.

“A dollar thirty-four down,” Bernstein justified. “That’s a savings of about $70 per month for the average driver. And so that’s some real breathing room. But we also have help to make sure that goods are getting through the ports, getting from ship to shelf. Shelves are stocked the way they were before the pandemic and then there’s the Inflation Reduction Act.”

MacCallum had severe doubts about any of the provisions of the Act making a difference in relief for Americans when it comes to inflation. She’s not alone in her reservations concerning that point.

“One issue is, is the government stepping on the fiscal accelerator? Is government fiscal policy contributing to inflation say, this year? The answer, based on over a trillion dollars of deficit reduction, is no,” Bernstein asserted at one point in the interview. “That doesn’t negate the point that inflation is too high, which it is. We’re doing everything we can to help, and as you played in your introduction the last couple months have been a respite, and gas prices have been a real bit of breathing room for American consumers.”

He claimed that the Biden administration had reduced the deficit, which again drew skepticism from MacCallum.

“Isn’t that reduction largely because there was $3.8 trillion flooded into the market in different forms of COVID relief and then that was pulled back? Isn’t that largely the reduction?” she asked him. “I’m not sure that makes a difference for people who have lower wages and they have to pay more for things. Doesn’t seem like these two things actually add up.”

“The problem is that people’s wages are not keeping pace with inflation,” MacCallum doubled down.

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