With the NYT engaging in pre-emptive damage control, calling Biden's demented torrent of fabrications and lies "folklore, with dates that don’t quite add up and details that are exaggerated or wrong, the factual edges shaved off to make them more powerful for audiences", and then going so far as comparing Trump with Biden and concluding that “with Biden, people have decided these are not the kind of lies that matter,” Mr. Alterman added. “These are the kinds of lies that people’s grandfathers tell”, you knew that something epic was about to come out of Biden's mouth.
And that's precisely what happened late on Tuesday, when Joe Biden spoke to CNN and said that a recession in the US is possible but that any downturn would be “very slight” (why note even "transitory") and that the US economy is resilient enough to ride out the turbulence.
“I don’t think there will be a recession. If it is, it’ll be a very slight recession. That is, we’ll move down slightly,” Biden said sparking chaos at the Fed for blowing up their carefully planted narrative that the Fed will somehow not push the economy into a recession.
Responding to a question about his age, Biden ticked through legislative accomplishments intended to cut costs for US households, such as drug price provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act, and said they would cushion the blow of any stagnation or downturn and signaled a distrust in experts’ warnings. Of course, the reality is once again the polar opposite with real wages under the Biden administration falling for a record 17 consecutive months, inflation at a 40 year high, consumer confidence at record lows, the stock market crashing, and with 7% mortgage any home is now unaffordable to all but those who can pay cash up front for the purchase. In short, both the US economy and stock market are a total disaster. Oh, and as for Biden's foreign policies, well there's always World War 3 to look forward to.
“Every six months they say this,” he said of recession warnings. “There’s so much that’s been accomplished that the idea that there’s something -- there’s an automaticity to a recession, and it’s just not -- it’s just not there.”
Asked flatly if the American people should prepare for a recession, Biden replied: “No.” What he meant is that there is no need to prepare for a recession before the midterms; because on November 9, the BLS will suddenly discover that there were 10 million previously uncounted unemployed workers and... well, the rest is history.
Hilarious, for Biden - who has repeatedly said he doesn’t expect a recession, often disagreeing with Republicans or analysts who have warned that a downturn of some measure is a possibility, if not a near-certainty - having a recession is equivalent to failure. And yet, it is his own Fed that is now doing everything in its power to push the economy into recession and spark millions in layoffs, which apparently are urgently needed to contain soaring inflation... even though the Fed has precisely zero control over supply side inflation which is the primary source of exploding costs.
The president told the Associated Press in June that a recession was “not inevitable”; but since then, the Fed has maintained aggressive rate increases and inflation has remained stubbornly high, narrowing the path for a so-called soft landing that cools price growth without a downturn. A month later, Biden said he thought the low jobless rate would carry the economy through without a contraction.
“We’re not going to be in a recession,” he said in July. “We’ll see some coming down. But I don’t think we’re going to -- God willing, I don’t think we’re going to see a recession.”
And therein lies the rub: because as long as Biden orders the Bureau of Labor Statistics to signal a manipulated job market that is artificially rosy, markets will keep crashing and the final collapse will be far worse than if Biden had agreed to controlled demolition.
Needless to say, the dire state of the economy is a huge liability for Democrats heading into the November midterm elections, in which Biden and his party are hoping to hold on to slim majorities in both chambers of Congress. Unfortunately for Biden, warnings abound that the US economy is poised for a slowdown or contraction: none other than JPM's far more expected and non-dementia ridden CEO Jamie Dimon said this week that headwinds are “likely to put the US in some kind of recession six-to-nine months from now.”
And while the Fed isn’t officially forecasting a recession, it is poised to deliver its fourth-straight 75-basis-point hike when it meets early next month, just days before the midterms, in the process pushing the average credit card rate to new record highs and crushing what little purchasing power the middle class may have.
A Monmouth poll conducted in late September showed 82% of Americans called inflation an extremely or very important issue and 30% approve of Biden’s handling of the issue; it wasn't immediately clear if those 30% can walk and breathe at the same time. On jobs and unemployment, 68% said the issue was extremely or very important, with 43% approving of the president. Of course, it's easy to be dismissive of unemployment when it is just allegedly 3.5%. Wait until it hits 7% and everyone in your family is unemployed: something tells us that inflation will suddenly be a far small threat than finding a new job.
It wasn't just the coming depression that was discussed, however.
Asled if he would meet with Vladimir Putin during the upcoming G20 summit in Bali next month to discuss the release of detained basketball star Brittney Griner, Biden said yes, but he would not talk with the Russian leader about resolving the war in Ukraine without Kyiv’s involvement.
“Look, I have no intention of meeting with him,” Biden said, most likely forgetting who "he" is. “But for example, if he came to me at the G-20 and said I want to talk about the release of Griner, I’d meet with him. I mean, it would depend.”
During the same interview, Joe Biden downplayed a report that federal investigators believe they have enough evidence to charge his son Hunter with tax and gun crimes, saying he “has confidence” in him.
“I’m confident,” Biden said that “what he says and does are consistent with what happens.” The Washington Post reported that Hunter Biden purchased a handgun and allegedly filled out a federal form in October 2018 stating that he was not a user of or addicted to drugs. By his own account in a memoir, the younger Biden was using drugs heavily that year. The tax investigation has focused on whether he did not declare income related to his business ventures, including overseas endeavors that dogged his father’s 2020 presidential campaign, according to the Post.
President Biden told CNN he “didn’t know anything” about the situation involving Hunter’s gun purchase but acknowledged his son “wrote about saying no” on the gun form.
“I love him and he’s on the straight and narrow, and he has been for a couple of years now. I’m just so proud of him,” President Biden said.
Of course, charging Biden for an illegal gun purchase is a slap on the wrist compared to his real crimes of selling access to Joe Biden, first in Ukraine (where "energy guru" Hunter was paid tens of thousands to sit on the board of the local energy company, Burisma) and later in China.
Next, the president rambled on, touching on his latest nemesis that humiliated him on the global arena, namely OPEC head Saudi Arabia, and warning that there “will be consequences” after Saudi's decision last week to side with Vladimir Putin and cut oil production.
“There’s going to be some consequences for what they’ve done, with Russia,” the US president said in an interview on CNN. “I’m not going to get into what I’d consider and what I have in mind. But there will be – there will be consequences.” He wouldn't get into it because there is nothing planned for the best customer of the US military industrial complex (except for Ukraine of course).
Earlier in the day, John Kirby, the national security council spokesperson, said Biden believed that the US ought to “review the bilateral relationship with Saudi Arabia and take a look to see if that relationship is where it needs to be and that it is serving our national security interests”, adding that the re-evaluation was “in light of the recent decision by Opec, and Saudi Arabia’s leadership”.
Naturally, Biden's archnemesis, Vladimir Putin was also discussed; here the president said he doesn’t think Russian President Vladimir Putin will use nuclear weapons despite repeated threats to do so — even as the Russian leader continues to press on in the war in Ukraine. “Well, I don’t think he will,” Biden said in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper that was aired Tuesday. “But I think that it’s irresponsible for him to talk about it.” Well, let's hope Joe is right.
Putin has indirectly threatened to use nuclear weapons. In a televised speech in September, he announced a partial military mobilization and said he would “certainly use all the means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people.” He added that he was not bluffing.
* * *
The punchline of Biden's long-winded, rambling interview, however, was his preview of the main event in 2024. Biden told CNN’s Jake Tapper that he’ll focus on whether he’ll seek another term after the midterm elections in November.
“Is one of the calculations that you think you’re the only one who can beat Donald Trump?” Tapper asked.
“I believe I can beat Donald Trump again,” Biden responded.
Biden has in the past indicated he would welcome a rematch with Trump, whom he defeated in the 2020 election. The president told reporters at a NATO summit in March that he would be “very fortunate” to run against Trump again.
While we very much doubt such a rematch will take place - Biden will be 81 on Election Day in 2024, while Trump would be 78 - since a recent CAPS/Harris poll found 67% of voters said Biden should not seek another term, while 57% said Trump should not run for another term, we are confident that with enough mail-in ballots Biden could be a two-term president. Maybe even three.
Biden's full interview for the insomniacs is here.