The Republican governor of New Hampshire appealed to the president Joe Biden to fire Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Sunday, claiming officials had “misled America” about the state of the economy amid the coming recession.
Governor Chris Sununu accused Yellen of not embracing the bleak economic outlook after she said in a speech last month that she expected the economy to slow in the coming months but that a recession was “by no means inevitable.”
“A recession is coming,” the moderate Republican firmly stated CNNState of the Union on Sunday.
It comes as a new poll shows most Americans believe a recession is already here — and a whopping 96 percent said they feel at least some impact from the decade inflation with a jack cost of living throughout the country.
Meanwhile, the president is spending the weekend riding his bike near his vacation home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. He was photographed wearing a navy blue shirt, black shorts and Ray-Ban sunglasses on a bicycle with his Secret Service entourage.
Taking aim at the president’s legislative actions to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, Sununu said, “You can’t add $5 trillion to America’s balance sheet and just hope it goes away.”
The figure appears to refer to a combination of two stimulus bills passed by Donald Trump and Joe Biden, respectively, to jump-start markets that have been shut down for two years due to the global pandemic.
Republican lawmakers argue that the packages — particularly Biden’s package — were to blame for overstimulating the economy and driving inflation to a recent 40-year high of 8.6 percent.
New Hampshire Republican Gov. Chris Sununu criticized the Biden administration for downplaying the state of the economy for months before acknowledging the effects of inflation
Sununu suggested that Biden officials saw a recession on the horizon months before the current panic and criticized them for downplaying the problem rather than implementing the solutions they are putting in place now.
‘The [Federal Reserve], I think knew it for a while. They kind of ignored it. They should have softened us in the right rates and where we should have gone over a year ago,” he said, referring to the Fed’s recent interest rate actions.
“You had a finance minister saying, oh well, it’s inevitable.”
He continued, “Well, of course it’s inevitable. You don’t need four years of economics at Dartmouth to know that if you add that $5 trillion, there has to be some result.”
Asked what he would do to ease the current economic burden, Sununu bluntly replied: “Look, first I would fire the finance minister.”
“I think she completely misled America because she didn’t want to own the bad news. But this is part of the civil service. You have to own the good and the bad,” the governor said. “But the more this administration continues to tell people that a recession is not inevitable, of course it is.”
He warned that the burden would come at “the most difficult times”, such as when families and people on fixed incomes have to heat their homes in winter or pay for gas at the pump.
“We now have high energy prices. It costs twice as much to fill up the gas tank. It costs about twice as much to create baseload,” said Sununu. “And all of that really comes into play. And it’s not going away anytime soon.”
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden is at home at his beachfront residence in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
Biden waved to reporters as he was seen riding a bicycle with security officers
He spoke briefly to the press about the fight to expand access to abortion after Roe v. Wade was overturned
A new poll by The Economist/YouGov released on Saturday shows that Sununu’s view of Americans is correct.
Fifty-seven percent of respondents to a survey conducted in early July said they believe the U.S. is currently in a recession, compared to just 19 percent who said it is not. About a quarter were not sure.
Most people (51 percent) see high prices for goods and services as the strongest indicator of the recession, suggesting that Americans are having a harder time keeping up with the cost of living.
Meanwhile, both progressives and Republicans are increasingly unhappy with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen
The second-most-chosen indicators were the unemployment rate and the labor market, both of which are relatively healthy, although gains were overshadowed by a sharp rise in the consumer price index.
Biden’s Commerce Secretary, Gina Raimondo, defended her boss’s administration and said the economy was “strong” despite a sharp spike in inflation on Sunday.
“Obviously it’s unpleasant. You know, if you asked me what I think about the economy, I’d say it’s a very strong economy, you know?” she said on NBC’s Meet The Press.
“Unemployment is decreasing. We have restored all jobs after the pandemic. People’s balance sheets are strong. However, when you go to the grocery store, the prices are high. When you fill up your car, the prices are high. And consumers, Americans feel it.”
Pledged to be “laser-focused” on reducing high prices in May, Biden’s leadership has largely been to give Yellen and Fed Chair Jerome Powell a wide berth to ride out economic uncertainty.
Meanwhile, gasoline prices soared to daily records in June before falling and gradually falling again, although the average price remains above $4 a gallon in all 50 states.
The latest inflation data for May shows that the average cost of consumer goods increased the most since 1981.
According to Saturday’s survey, only four percent of people said they do not feel any effects of inflation.
Fifty-eight percent said they felt a “great deal” of personal impact, and 38 percent said they felt “somewhat.”