White House press secretary Jen Psaki lamented at Wednesday's press briefing that people are comparing what goods cost 8 to 12 months ago to what they are now.
Q I think — to put a finer point on it, I just mean that, you know, you — everyone is saying transitory in February and March.
MS. PSAKI: Yeah.
Q I understand the nuance and the economics of what’s going on here, but —
MS. PSAKI: Yes, I know you do, but —
Q — but when the deceleration is happening slower perhaps than people expected a few months ago, and people are still paying 10 or 15 or 20 percent more for meat, and they’re saying, “Why was it supposed to be transitory three months ago, four months ago, and we’re still here?,” does that make things more difficult to explain as to why that’s the case?
MS. PSAKI: Well, it requires us explaining — and through working with all of you as well — that the cost of meat is also related to competition and the small number of large meat producers who have a dominance over the market; and the fact that a lot of these issues are not as simple as a one-sentence explanation; and that different industries have different issues in the supply chains — different issues that are causing some increases in prices.
And also because we all understand the American people are not looking at cost-to-cost comparisons from this year to two years ago; they’re looking at cost-to-cost comparisons to their checkbooks from 8 months ago or 12 months ago. And even though, factually, if you look back to two years ago, things may be comparative, that’s not how people look at things.
So, our objective here is to tackle each of these issues with the approach that we think will help address it in the shortest term.