CareCredit - Women's Health April 2024

Biden to Corporations: ‘Give the American Consumer a Break’

White House

President Joe Biden has warned corporations to bring down what he says are inflated prices.

“Any corporation that has not brought their prices back down, even as inflation has come down, even as the supply chains have been rebuilt, it’s time to stop the price gouging,” Biden said at the launch of a new White House supply chain program Monday (Nov. 28). “Give the American consumer a break.”

The president’s comments were reported by CNBC, which points out that the White House has looked to link the continued pattern of strong consumer spending to its “Bidenomics” agenda, even as consumers are unhappy with the economy.

“We understand that people are still not feeling it, we get that,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Monday, per CNBC.

The report also notes that the president’s campaign against “junk fees,” which Biden said “companies sneak into your bill,” gives the White House a way to show voters what Biden is doing on their behalf.

“Junk fees take real money out of the pockets of average Americans,” Biden said Monday. “They can add up to hundreds of dollars, weighing down family budgets and making it harder for families to pay their bills.”

Consumers, said Biden, “feel like they’re being played for suckers. Which they are.”

The White House efforts are happening at a moment when the perception among consumers is that “inflation is a staple of everyday life, that no one should trust a lull, and that economic conditions are challenging,” as PYMNTS wrote last week.

This was after the University of Michigan’s monthly report on sentiment among U.S. consumers, which declined for the fourth month in a row. Those consumers view inflation as something that will stick around for some time.

Meanwhile, the latest Paycheck-to-Paycheck report, a collaboration between PYMNTS Intelligence and LendingClub, found that 40% of consumers see themselves worse off relative to 2022.

“Sixty-eight percent of consumers living paycheck to paycheck (a designation that applies to 60% of the population) said their financial situation has worsened in the past year,” that report said. “As many as 62% of consumers surveyed are very or extremely concerned about the economic outlook, and 58% are still seeing inflation exceed growth in their paychecks.”