President Biden skirted blame for rising prices in his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, insisting it’s a global problem caused by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Inflation has been a global problem because of the pandemic that disrupted supply chains and Putin’s war that disrupted energy and food supplies,” Mr. Biden said.
Mr. Biden has frequently pointed the finger squarely at his Russian counterpart for rising inflation, even going so far as to call it “Putin’s price hike.”
While the conflict in Ukraine has impacted inflation, which reached a 40-year high last year, the prices of food and gasoline were rising before Russia’s incursion in February 2022.
Inflation eased to 6.5% in December compared to 7.1% in November, marking the sixth straight monthly slowdown. Prices also dropped by 0.1% in December compared to November, the first such drop since May 2020.
In the speech, the president assured the nation that declining inflation shows the U.S. is better prepared to deal with rising prices “than any country on Earth.”
“We have more to do, but here at home, inflation is coming down,” Mr. Biden said. “Here at home, gas prices are down $1.50 a gallon since their peak.”
However, the average gas price remains at $3.46 per gallon, according to auto group AAA. That is still more than a dollar higher than the $2.39 per gallon average price across the country when Mr. Biden took office in January 2021.