Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy left White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stumbling on her first official day behind the lectern after Jen Psaki’s departure.
The topic? Inflation and President Joe Biden’s claim that raising corporate taxes will help the ongoing economic crisis.
Referring to a tweet that Biden published last week, Doocy lobbed a softball question at Jean-Pierre, “How does raising taxes on corporations reduce inflation?”
But the new press secretary appeared unaware that such a tweet from Biden existed, asking if Doocy was, in fact, referring to a specific tweet.
When Doocy informed her that Biden’s official Twitter account made such a connection between corporate taxes and inflation last week, Jean-Pierre stumbled her way through recycling Democratic talking points about taxes and corporations paying their “fair share.”
Look, you know, we have talked about — we have talked about this this past year, about making sure that the wealthiest among us are paying their fair share. And that is important to do. And that is something that, you know, the president has been, you know, working on every day when we talk about inflation and lowering costs. And so it’s very important that, you know, as we’re seeing costs rise, as we’re talking about how to, you know — you know, build an America that is safe, that’s equal for everyone, and doesn’t leave anyone behind, that is an important part of that as well.
05/16/22: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre
Because Jean-Pierre did not answer the question, Doocy then asked again, “But how does raising taxes on corporations lower the cost of gas, the cost of a used car, the cost of food for everyday Americans?”
This time Jean-Pierre invoked climate change and collective bargaining rights while injecting several mentions of a “fairer tax code,” but she still did not answer the question.
“Look, it is — you know, by not — if — without having a fairer tax code, which is what I’m talking about, then all — every — like manufacturing workers, cops — you know, it’s not fair for them to have to pay higher taxes than the folks that — who are — who are — who are not paying taxes at all or barely have,” Jean-Pierre added.
Doocy then asked his question a third time and included criticism from Jeff Bezos. But Jean-Pierre, again, refused to answer the question and instead attacked Bezos and regurgitated debunked talking points about deficit reduction.
“It’s not a huge mystery why one of the wealthiest individuals on Earth — right? — opposes an economic agenda that is for the middle class, that cuts some of the biggest costs families face, fights inflation for the long haul — right? — and that’s what we’re talking about; that’s why we’re talking about lowering inflation here — and adds to the historic deficit reduction the president is achieving by asking the richest taxpayers and corporations to pay their fair share. That is what we’re talking about,” she said.
Larry Summers, who has been highly critical of the Biden administration amid the inflation crisis, explained Monday that he actually agrees with Biden that hiking corporate taxes would positively impact inflation.
“I think @JeffBezos is mostly wrong in his recent attack on the @JoeBiden Admin,” Summers declared. “It is perfectly reasonable to believe, as I do and @POTUS asserts, that we should raise taxes to reduce demand to contain inflation and that the increases should be as progressive as possible.”
He added, “I say this even though I have argued vigorously that excessively expansionary macro policy from the @federalreserve and the government have contributed to inflation. I have rejected rhetoric about inflation caused by corporate gouging as preposterous.”