While President Joe Biden is denying a recession due to low unemployment numbers, former White House trade adviser Peter Navarro told Newsmax on Thursday that the administration's selective use of economic data is misleading Americans.
"It's a terrible job market," Navarro said on "Rob Schmitt Tonight." "What they're trying to convince us is that there's no recession because the unemployment rate is low. It's just as simple as that.
"But the reason why the unemployment rate is low is because of a combination of pandemic-related supply chain issues and policy-related issues, forced vaccinations, things like that, that forced a lot of people out of the market: people over 50 retiring early and droves, people just leaving."
That phenomenon has been called the "Great Resignation" amid the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, mandates, and protocols.
"The definitive definition is two quarters of negative growth. You can't get around that," Navarro said.
Thursday's economic report noted that the U.S. economy has a negative-0.9% gross domestic product in the second quarter after the first quarter revealed negative-1.6% GDP.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen "knows better" than to deny that definition, Navarro told host Rob Schmitt, even if Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell may not.
"There's a real ethical issue for Janet Yellen, because she knows better," Navarro said. "Jay Powell doesn't know better: He's not even an economist; he's a flap — always has been.
"But she knows better."
Navarro declared that the latest 9.1% inflation number, along with negative growth, has put the U.S. in the dreaded — and predicted by Navarro and his fellow economic advisers — "stagflation."
"Now, here's [the] problem we're in: On one hand they're saying there's no recession, but on the same day they're saying that, they're passing yet another Keynesian fiscal stimulus bill," Navarro said.
He continued: "At the same time, they're engaging in contractionary monetary policy by raising interest rates, which is going to exacerbate the recession. There's no recognition that what we're really in is stagflation brought about by structural problems, many of them policy-induced."
"And, at the top of my list is the attack on energy. We've lost our strategic energy dominance."
Navarro also rebuked Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for his role in pushing through massive subsidies for semiconductor manufacturing with the caveat that the Senate would not push more Build Back Better spending plans.
"Well, McConnell is an easy dupe," Navarro said. "I mean, he basically turned on [former President Donald] Trump, thinking that he'd controlled [the] Senate and the Democrats might control the House, and he'd be the most powerful person in Washington.
"Didn't work that way, Mitch! This is a broken promise to McConnell — maybe he'll speak up this time. But boy, everything they do, Rob, is absolutely wrong and in the opposite direction from Main Street."
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Eric Mack ✉
Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.
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