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Pennsylvania Democrat blames Putin for inflation despite price increases prior to Ukraine invasion

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Pennsylvania Democrat Rep. Susan Wild recently claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin is to blame for inflation in America, despite warnings that inflation was a political problem for Biden well before Russia invaded Ukraine.

During a candidate night event held by the Muslim Association of the Lehigh Valley last week, Wild, who currently represents Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District, insisted that inflation in the United States is nothing compared to what Europeans are experiencing, and that Putin is to blame for the financial strain placed on Americans.

‘Believe you me, I know the prices have gone up. But, I will also tell you that prices have gone up worldwide,’ Wild said. ‘The inflation that we are seeing in this country, as painful as it is, is nothing compared to the inflation that they’re seeing throughout Europe. And so where did we go wrong is the question? It’s not that we went wrong. It is that Putin is an evil dictator who invaded Ukraine and created a cascade of circumstances that led to the kind of inflation that we have now.’

‘We were just coming out of a pandemic with an excellent economic recovery when that invasion of Ukraine started,’ Wild claimed additionally. ‘That is what started the inflation and it’s going to take a while, unfortunately, to completely tamp it down.’

Drawing a comparison between America and the European countries that have also fallen victim to the crippling effects of high inflation, Wild, who seeks to retain her post in the House later this year, concluded that Americans are ‘still in a better place than most countries in Europe.’

Midway into September, a new report indicated inflation rose more than expected in August, squeezing U.S. households even as the cost of gasoline fell and continued to create a political headache for President Biden. 

The Labor Department said the consumer price index – a broad measure of the price for everyday goods, including gasoline groceries, and rents – rose 8.3% in August from a year ago. Prices climbed 0.1% in the one-month period from July. Those figures were both higher than the 8.1% headline figure and 0.1% monthly decline forecast by Refinitiv economists, a worrisome sign for the Federal Reserve as it seeks to cool price gains and tame consumer demand with an aggressive interest rate hike campaign.

Inflation also reached record highs in nations that use the euro, at 9.1 % in August 2022, which is the highest level since such data was first recorded in 1997.

While Wild’s claim that inflation is worse in Europe than in America is technically true, a rise in inflation throughout the United States was signaled well before Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

In June 2021, more than seven months before Russia’s invasion, the Labor Department stated that consumer prices increased in May 2021 at the fastest annual rate in nearly 13 years.

The consumer price index in May 2021 rose 5% year over year, hotter than the 4.7% increase that was anticipated, according to the Labor Department. At the time, prices jumped 0.6% month over month, quicker than the 0.4% increase that was expected by analysts surveyed by Refinitiv.

Core CPI, which excludes food and energy, in May 2021 rose 3.8% annually at the time, the most since June 1992.

In December 2021, Wild claimed during an appearance on MSNBC that the economic crisis was being ‘greatly exaggerated’ and that America was ‘in really great shape going into 2022.’

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in an August statement that ‘Democrats will pay the price in November for raising taxes on families during a recession’ amid the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which reflects criticism among Republicans that the measure will do the opposite of its intended purpose.

Fox News’ Emma Colton, Bradford Betz, and Megan Henney contributed to this article.

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