President Biden openly acknowledged on Thursday that the Inflation Reduction Act, a centerpiece of the Democratic agenda, had a different focus than its initial portrayal. Rather than being solely aimed at curbing the historically high inflation that gripped the nation, the President admitted that the emphasis had shifted towards implementing alternatives that could spur economic growth.
In transcript provided by Fox, during an address at a campaign fundraiser in Park City, Utah, President Biden conceded, “I wish I hadn’t called it that. It has less to do with reducing inflation than it does providing for alternatives that generate economic growth.”
He further explained, “And so, we’re now in a situation where if you take a look at what we’re doing in the Inflation Reduction Act, we’re literally reducing the cost of people being able to make their — meet their basic needs. Even when there is inflation there is a way to provide breathing room.”
President Biden highlighted instances such as negotiating medical expenses as strategies for alleviating the impact of inflation. These remarks marked a distinct departure from his earlier stance in July 2022, preceding the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act through a party-line vote in Congress.
Back then, as the nation grappled with inflation rates nearing a four-decade high, President Biden championed the bill, asserting, “The Inflation Reduction Act stands as an unequivocally robust piece of legislation. Its scope encompasses not only reining in inflation but also encompassing deficit reduction, mitigation of healthcare expenses, addressing environmental challenges, and bolstering energy security.”
Contrary to this optimistic portrayal, multiple analyses at the time contested the bill’s efficacy in curbing inflation. The Congressional Budget Office, for instance, projected that the impact of the bill on inflation in 2022 would be minimal. Furthermore, its estimated effect on inflation in 2023 ranged from a 0.1% reduction to a 0.1% increase, underscoring a marked contrast from the earlier sweeping claims.