MSNBC’s Ruhle: Inflation is High But The Economy Is Great

According to a new Harris-Guardian poll, more than half of Americans think that we are currently experiencing a recession, but on Thursday, MSNBC’s host of The 11th Hour, Stephanie Ruhle could not seem to believe why people would believe that.

She did acknowledge that inflation is high by conceding, “I will give it to you, inflation is a problem, right? Rent is high, mortgages are high, insurance is high, buying a car is high, groceries cost a lot of money, but a recession?”

Peter Spiegel, U.S. Managing Editor of the Financial Times, discussed how detrimental this inflation is for the Biden’s  campaign, “They know that they can’t win on this. It’s not like inflation is going to turn around in six months, and people will forget that prices were cheaper two years ago.” Followed by a suggestion to the Biden administration to “neutralize” it so they can focus on other important issues.

Even when we were in a recession, Ruhle defended Biden by spinning the economy was doing great.

Nevertheless, according to Ruhle, the president doesn’t have anything to do with inflation, “But the president also doesn’t control prices, he doesn’t control inflation…” The yearly inflation rate under Trump was recorded as 1.9 percent, whereas the yearly inflation rate under the Biden  is currently at 5.7 percent and Ruhle wants to act as if all of Biden’s stimulus spending had nothing to do with it.

Barry Ritholtz, founder of Ritholtz Wealth Management, spoke up, calling the poll “nonsensible” since most people do not respond to unknown phone numbers. He also criticized how surveys have been proven to be wrong in the past, however those were more candidate preferences than economic perceptions.

Breaking down inflation, Ruhle  looked at the price of groceries and the prices at different outlets. “Aldi, Walmart, Target, some fast food places like McDonald’s, are cutting prices to offer deals to draw in more customers. Does that not tell you that maybe they did not raise the prices? Maybe they did not need to raise prices as much as they did over the last two years?”

In September, food prices jumped, adding to the inflation, as did medical care costs and rent.

Click “Expand” to view the transcripts:

MSNBC The 11th Hour

5/23/2024

11:36:31-11:40:04

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: MORE THAN HALF OF AMERICANS BELIEVE U.S. IN RECESSION]

STEPHANIE RUHLE: All right. Related topic, we have a strong but complicated economy. There is a new Harris-Guardian poll that everyone is talking about. It found that more than half of the Americans polled think that we are in a recession. I will give it to you, inflation is a problem, right? Rent is high, mortgages are high, insurance is high, buying a car is high, groceries cost a lot of money, but a recession? What do you think of that?

PETER SPIEGEL (FINANCIAL TIMES U.S. MANAGING EDITOR): Yeah. Well, I mean talked about this last time I was on the show. Joe Biden is not getting any credit for what is actually an incredibly strong economy. Tight labor market, GDP growth, but you have put your finger on the problem. Inflation is huge. We’re drowning everything else out. You go to the store, we go to the store, eggs, meat, you try to fill up your car with gas, this is the thing that everyday Americans are looking at and it’s particularly Biden voters. It tends to be more middle-class or working-class voters who are showing up and have to pay the money for their gas, they have to pay the money for their groceries and we have seen it poll after poll. We had our own poll that came out last week said the same thing and the issue for the Biden Administration is, and I’ve talked to the White House, I was there last week. They know that they can’t win on this. It’s not like inflation is going to turn around in six months, and people will forget that prices were cheaper two years ago.

RUHLE: But the president also doesn’t control prices, he doesn’t control inflation, and it is not like former President Trump has offered a single policy solution to address any of these things.

SPIEGEL: They need to neutralize it, though. They need to neutralize it so they can talk about the other issues like democracy and the threat to democracy that Trump poses. What they are trying to do is at least neutralize the issue because they know they can’t win on the issue.

BARRY RITHOLTZ (RITHOLTZ WEALTH MANAGEMENT CO-FOUNDER, CHAIRMAN AND CIO): Can I call BS on a lot of these polls? Can I?

RUHLE: Yes, you can.

RITHOLTZ: So first, half the country thinks the stock market is falling this year? There were like 12 all-time highs set this year, the market was up substantially last year.

SPIEGEL: And today, a two day, high, yes.

RITHOLTZ: I just don’t — I find a lot of these polls to be nonsensible. Who the hell is answering their cell phone when an unknown number or text comes in?

RUHLE: I don’t even answer it for people I know.

RITHOLTZ: That is number one. There was a poll the other day, one in five people think Joe Biden is responsible for Roe v. Wade being overturned? It was 17 percent – it’s almost one in five. That’s absolutely ridiculous. Polling, let me remind everybody, they got the Trump election in 2016 wrong, they totally got the margin of victory in 2020 wrong. The red wave in 2022 politically, they got that wrong. I don’t know why we think that making a few hundred or a few thousand calls, to people who aren’t answering their phones, is going to give you a representative sample of America.

RUHLE: Okay on the topic of prices, though, and inflation, you just walk through when you look at meat, when you look at eggs, some of those prices are changing, we just saw the stories this week. Aldi, Walmart, Target, some fast food places like McDonald’s, are cutting prices to offer deals to draw in more customers. Does that not tell you that maybe they did not raise the prices? Maybe they did not need to raise prices as much as they did over the last two years?

SPIEGEL: Well the other thing, and you’re hundred percent right about the polls, so take this with a grain of salt. The other thing the polls do show though is-

RUGLE: Which is cheaper at Aldi this week.

SPIEGEL: They show that the American people blame corporate America as much if not more than politicians for what is going on. So, when you hear frequently, the messaging now you’re hearing from the White House is very much,

“hey not our fault, the big corporations are raising your taxes.” And that is very much actually where the American people are right now. So again, if you talk about this — you try to neutralize this issue, that’s where you’re gonna see the messaging.  It’s going to be on corporate America because they do believe, the polls show this, that that is where their voters believe is the fault.

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