CNBC analyst Rick Santelli said President Biden’s “debt and spending” agenda is to blame for continuing high levels of inflation.
“The thing that really bothers me with regard to inflation is that everybody here on this panel agreed months ago that one of the reasons inflation was high was because of all the government spending,” Santelli said on the air Tuesday morning.
“After we agreed on that, what did the government do? They spent more,” he said.
The CNBC markets pundit was reacting to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data released Tuesday which showed inflation rose by a robust 8.3% in August — despite falling gasoline prices.
Santelli cited Biden’s student loan debt relief measure as well as the CHIPS Act as key spending initiatives that he believes have sent consumer prices soaring even further.
Earlier his summer, the Biden administration signed into law the CHIPS Act, a $280 billion spending package aimed at boosting domestic semiconductor manufacturing.
Last month, the president announced a student loan forgiveness plan for some 20 million Americans. The estimated cost of the plan is $519 billion.
“[It] seems like nothing is sinking in,” Santelli said.
“These numbers aren’t better than expected…because we continue to go back to that well again of debt and spending,” he said.
While fuel prices fell, the cost of housing, medicine and food remained stubbornly high. Core inflation, which excludes food and gas prices, climbed 6.3% year-over-year — up sharply from the 5.9% clip recorded in both June and July.
The inflation report triggered a massive selloff on Wall Street. As of 11:30 a.m. Eastern time, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 860 points while the Nasdaq was down some 4%.
The S&P 500 shed more than 3%.
The inflation numbers make it more likely that the Federal Reserve will aggressively hike interest rates yet again — increasing the chance the economy could plunge further into a recession.