On Fox News Sunday, Jared Bernstein of the Council of Economic Advisers described the strong state of the labor market and our jobs recovery, while re-emphasizing that bringing down prices is the President’s top priority. As part of that, he encouraged bipartisan support for measures to make prescription drugs, one of the biggest costs Americans face, much more affordable. As he noted, Americans often pay two to three times as much for the same drugs as Europeans, and for years both parties including President Trump have claimed they are in favor of addressing this issue.
BERNSTEIN: So, you made what I think is a really important point here, which is that, yes, savings — elevated savings from the Rescue Plan and other measures are very much helping to support consumer spending, the real buffer in this time of elevated inflation. But you said that can’t go on forever, and you’re exactly right.
What you need in the backdrop is a strong labor market, because that’s where most people get their incomes from. We have the strongest labor market on record in history by many conventional metrics. Nine million jobs since this president got here.
There’s a lot of talk about all these economic headwinds. If you look at this tailwind of job growth, 375,000 jobs per month in the past three months.
Now, you made a point about wage growth. Wage growth is actually pretty strong in nominal terms, but inflation is so high. And that’s what the president’s agenda is all about. Helping families afford prescription drugs, lowering their health insurance premium, something that Congress — I’m looking at the Capitol of the window here — something that Congress needs to act on before the August recess, and I’m talking bipartisan.
You know, I have heard Republicans say for the many decades I’ve been here — they want to lower prescription drugs. President Trump talked about lowering prescription drug costs.
We pay two to three times what people in other countries pay for the very same drugs. That is just an unconscionable tax on our seniors.
And we shouldn’t — not only does that help people’s bottom line in terms of affordability, it saves Medicare $100 billion over ten years. So we should do that tomorrow to answer your question on affordability.