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June 29, 2022

Fed Chair Powell: "No Guarantee" We Can Stop Inflation Now Without Crashing Job Market
Stephen Moore: We're Already In a "Soft Recession"

Stagflation is back, baby!

That's the double-whammy of both killer economic woes-- both inflation, which usually hits you during periods of growth, and economic stagnation or even contraction.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell warned Wednesday that there is "no guarantee" the central bank will be able to bring inflation to heel without sacrifices in the job market, while reiterating policymakers' aim to achieve a soft landing in their effort to rein in surging prices.

Speaking at the European Central Bank's policy conference in Portugal, Powell said that supply and demand are "really out of balance in many parts of the U.S. economy," and pointed to the labor market as "being a big example of that."

He said those imbalances need to be evened out in order to bring inflation down.


"It's gotten harder," he said. "The pathways have gotten narrower."

Other sites quote him as also saying: "I think we now understand better how little we understand about inflation."

Great. They always get humble after the catastrophe. Never before it.

Meanwhile Stephen Moore says we're already in a "soft recession."

That's a recession that's so depressing you can't even put the stick in your bomb-pop, if you know what I'm saying.

Economist Stephen Moore warned on Monday that the United States is already in a "soft recession," noting that the "real question" is now whether the Federal Reserve can achieve a soft landing.

Moore, a visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation, provided the insight on "Varney & Co." Monday, reacting to former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers contradicting President Biden on Sunday by saying that a recession was "almost inevitable" in the next two years.


Moore noted on Monday that he didn't agree with Biden nor Summers and that he believed the U.S. was already in a mild recession.

A recession refers to a contraction in gross domestic product (GDP) activity, the broadest measure of goods and services produced across the economy, for two consecutive quarters.


The Commerce Department said last month, in its second reading of the data, that real GDP decreased at an annual rate of 1.5% in the first quarter of this year, which was slightly higher than the department's first reading.

Moore pointed to the GDP data on Monday, noting that the "first six months of the year have been negative for growth."

He also noted that the figure is "not a catastrophic loss in GDP, but we're probably down 1% from where we were six months ago."

"And then when you add to that the fact that people's incomes in real terms are falling really fast, something like $2,000 to $3,000 a year, that's a recession," he continued. "So yeah, we're in a recession."

Moore then said that he believes "the only real question right now is whether we're going to have a soft landing or we are going to have a crash landing."


"Right now I'm not hearing much positive out of this White House in terms of how to combat a recession when they talk about higher taxes, more price controls, more regulations and more spending," he continued. "That's going to make the problem worse."

Last year Biden claimed -- hilariously, because inflation was already taking a bite -- that your Fourth of July meal would actually cost sixteen cents less.

Well, there's no hiding the huge impact of inflation on this year's July 4th feast -- it's up a full ten dollars.

Americans are forking out over $10 more this year on their Independence Day barbecues, one year after the White House was lampooned for a tweet celebrating a 16-cent discount.

The White House was slammed last Fourth of July after it celebrated a report from the American Farm Bureau Federation saying the average cost of a summer cookout was "stable" at $59.50 for 10 people, which was down 16 cents (less than 1%) from 2020, but 8% higher than in 2019.

"Planning a cookout this year? Ketchup on the news," the White House tweeted July 1, 2021. "According to the Farm Bureau, the cost of a 4th of July BBQ is down from last year. It's a fact you must-hear(d). Hot dog, the Biden economic plan is working. And that's something we can all relish."

At the time of the White House's tweet, gas prices had already risen more than $1 since President Joe Biden took office, and the Bureau of Economic Analysis was reporting that overall food prices were also on the rise. Former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki mocked Biden’s critics at the time, telling Fox News’ Peter Doocy, "I would say, if you don't like hot dogs, you may not care of the reduction of cost. You don't have to like hot dogs."

But this year, the White House is not celebrating. According to the Farm Bureau's new report, U.S. consumers are paying $69.68 for their favorite Independence Day cookout foods, including cheeseburgers, pork chops, chicken breasts, potato salad, strawberries and ice cream.

That's an increase of over $10, or 17%, compared to last year, with the largest year-to-year price increase occurring among ground beef, which is up 36% from last year.

Thanks, NeverTrump!

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