Joe Biden gives a rare take on interest rates by saying the latest jobs numbers show the economy is in a ‘sweep spot’ and that rate hikes aren’t needed

Joe Biden gives a rare take on interest rates by saying the latest jobs numbers show the economy is in a ‘sweep spot’ and that rate hikes aren’t needed

President Joe Biden said Friday’s jobs report shows the labor market remains resilient as inflation continues to ease, an economic “sweet spot” that he said shouldn’t prompt the Federal Reserve to raise rates further.

The comments marked a rare example of Biden weighing in on central bank policy making. They came as the president gears up for a reelection campaign that will be decided in part on his stewardship of the US economy, which voters have rated poorly, polls show.

The US labor market unexpectedly strengthened in November, adding 199,000 jobs and showing wage growth that tempered bets the Fed would cut rates early next year. That should be considered a “solid, steady” increase, Biden said Friday.

The president called the figure “a sweet spot that’s needed for stable growth and lower inflation, not encouraging the Fed to raise interest rates,” during a speech in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the president’s remarks.

Recent presidents have refrained from routinely commenting on the Fed, wary of eroding the bank’s traditional independence to set monetary policy and giving the impression that decisions are driven by politics.

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Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, however, repeatedly attacked Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell over the bank’s policy. Trump nominated Powell to lead the Fed in 2017, and Powell took over the next year.

To hear Donald Trump tell it, the US economy is on life support thanks to Joe Biden, and the only one who can save it is Donald Trump. While this claim, like virtually everything Trump has ever said, has no basis in reality, the notion that Biden has been terrible for the country’s finances is a pervasive one, with a recent CNN poll showing 71% of Americans believe the nation’s economic conditions are poor and just 33% saying they approve of Biden’s handling of the matter.

One reason we know the economy is faring far, far better than Trump would have people believe? The actual numbers—Friday’s jobs report revealed employers added 199,00 new jobs last month, unemployment fell to 3.7%, and wages were up 0.4%. Another? Even an anchor on the Rupert Murdoch–controlled Fox Business Network is admitting, on live TV, that the economy is doing well.

Responding to the jobs report Friday morning, Fox’s Maria Bartiromo told viewers, in moment that seemed to pain her: “Overall, you’ve got to look at this report as a big positive. We’ve got more jobs created than expected.” Turning to panelist Joseph Lavorgna, the former chief economist of the National Economic Council under Trump, she remarked, “Joe Lavorgna, you’ve been saying this for a long time, saying that the economy is a lot stronger than anybody understands.” He responded: “The numbers are good numbers, no question. The fact that the unemployment rate fell is good. It was because household employment was up over 700,000.”

LOS ANGELES (CNS) — President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden flew separately to the Los Angeles area Friday for a fundraising swing that will include a star-studded event in Holmby Hills featuring a host of Hollywood’s elite.

According to the White House, the president will be in Los Angeles from Friday to Sunday, with fundraising activities planned Friday and Saturday nights.

Jill Biden arrived in the area first, landing early Friday afternoon at Hollywood Burbank Airport. She traveled directly to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center to tour research laboratories as part of the White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research. She toured the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center and Smidt Heart Institute, according to the White House.

“Research on women’s health has been underfunded for decades and many conditions that mostly and only affect women or affect women differently have received limited attention like those debilitating migraines and undiagnosed heart attacks,” Biden told a crowd of about 300 people following her tour.

She added that because of those funding gaps, “we understand far too little about these conditions and how to help the millions of women who struggle with them. And these gaps are even greater for communities that historically have been excluded from research, including women of color and women with disabilities.”

The White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research is aimed at “galvanizing the federal government and the private and philanthropic sectors to spur innovation, unleash transformative investment to close research gaps, and improve women’s health,” according to the White House.

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President Joe Biden arrived at Los Angeles International Airport around 5 p.m. He quickly walked out of Air Force One and entered a military helicopter for a flight to Santa Monica, where he then entered a motorcade to attend an evening fundraiser.

Friday night’s fundraiser will take place in the Holmby Hills area. It is expected to be attended by Hollywood heavyweights including Steven Spielberg, Shonda Rhimes, Peter Chernin, Jim Gianopulos and Rob Reiner, while former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is among those expected to attend, according to multiple media reports.

The Associated Press reported that Jeffrey Katzenberg, co-founder of DreamWorks, will also host a fundraising gathering for Biden during the presidential visit.

Not surprisingly, Republican Party officials condemned Biden’s fundraising swing.

“Today, Biden will listen to the concerns of Hollywood elitists instead of ordinary Californians suffering a violent crime epidemic, increased cost of living and Gavin Newsom’s record $68 billion deficit,” National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Ben Petersen said in a statement. “No wonder Biden is dragging down Democrats in competitive House races.”

California Republican Party Chairwoman Jessica Millan Patterson said in a statement Biden’s approval level in California is a “record lows.”

“It seems even deep-blue California can’t get behind his disastrous agenda of high inflation, open borders, weak foreign policy, failing schools, and rampant crime,” Patterson said. “No amount of time spent rubbing elbows with Hollywood elites while bragging about the imaginary merits of ‘Bidenomics’ will change the fact that Joe Biden’s presidency is an abject failure.”

As with any presidential visit, motorists can anticipate sporadic traffic headaches as Biden moves around town, prompting temporary rolling street or freeway closures.

Presidential visits also traditionally generate protests, particularly given tensions sparked by the Israel-Hamas war. Dozens of pro-Palestinian protesters gathered Friday afternoon and evening at Holmby Park, near the planned evening fundraiser, condemning U.S. funding of Israeli military strikes in Gaza.

The Los Angeles Police Department issued a statement Thursday saying it is coordinating with the Secret Service, and “additional uniformed personnel and other resources will be deployed to ensure the highest level of public safety.”

“The department will continue to work with any protest organizers to facilitate lawful demonstrations while protecting the safety of all involved including surrounding communities,” according to the department. “Violence of any kind will not be tolerated. The Los Angeles Police Department is asking that all individuals and groups involved in protest or counter-protest activities not allow individuals who express the intent to commit violence of property (damage) to compromise the otherwise lawful demonstration.”