Messaging Roundup: May 10, 2023

Talking Points: MAGA Default

Today in New York, the President will highlight the historic progress we’ve made growing the economy from the bottom up and middle out—and how MAGA House Republicans are threatening to undo that progress by refusing to take the threat of default off the table. 

The President’s economic agenda has already produced:

  • 7 million jobs;
  • 4% unemployment rate;
  • A made-in-America manufacturing boom; and
  • $1.7 trillion in deficit reduction—a record

A default would undermine that progress and be catastrophic for the American people. It would erase millions of jobs, trigger a recession,
devastate retirement accounts, and increase borrowing costs.

The President has made clear that default is not an option. America is not a deadbeat nation. We pay our bills. Avoiding default is a basic duty of Congress. They did it 3 times under the Trump administration without once creating a crisis.

The President told Congressional leaders yesterday that he is prepared to begin a separate discussion about budget and spending
priorities—but not under the threat of default.

The President cut the deficit by $1.7 trillion during his first two years in office. His Budget reduces the deficit by another nearly $3 trillion over ten years by cutting wasteful spending on special interests and asking the wealthiest Americans to begin paying their fair share. It:

  • Cuts $200 billion in spending by strengthening Medicare’s power to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices;
  • Cuts $30 billion in spending on tax subsidies on big oil companies; and
  • Reduces the deficit by $100 billion by going after wealthy tax cheats  

Speaker McCarthy has offered a different way forward—proposing cuts that will hurt America’s families.

  • Millions who rely on Medicaid for their health care would be at risk of losing it;
  • There would be 30 million fewer outpatient visits for veterans; and
  • 100,000 teachers and support personnel would lose their jobs

When the President met with the Speaker in February, he committed to releasing a budget and said the Speaker should submit his. The President put out his Budget on March 9. The Speaker passed his plan in late April—and the President invited him to a meeting five days later.

The President and Congressional leaders agreed to have their staffs continue meeting over the coming days, and the President asked
Congressional leaders to meet at the White House again on Friday.

Kevin McCarthy’s Default Crisis:

  • McCarthy’s default crisis is the greatest risk to our economy today.
  • Speaker McCarthy and his caucus are taking the economy hostage by having America skip out on its bills. We are better than this.
  • This is not a “showdown” or a “stalemate” in which two sides have legitimate differences and negotiation is in order. It’s Speaker McCarthy trying to play chicken with America’s economy and good name.
  • If Speaker McCarthy and Congress fail to pay America’s bills, we will default. The middle class, working people and seniors will pay the price.
  • If Speaker McCarthy forces a default:
  • It could delay Social Security payments, harming seniors who have earned it and are counting on it.
  • It will increase costs for working people by driving up interest rates on items like credit cards, car loans, and mortgage rates at the same time families are struggling with high prices.
  • It will hurt people who work for a living.
  • If default lasted for even a few weeks, it could cause a recession that could result in the loss of nearly six million jobs, the unemployment rate could double and it could wipe out $12 trillion in household wealth.
  • It could slash retirees’ 401k savings, ripping the rug out from under them.
  • Americans don’t skip out on our bills, when we have the means to pay, which we do. We are a country that has always lived up to our obligations and paid what we’ve owed.
  • We’ve had a tough few years, but we’ve added 12.7 million jobs since President Biden took office, unemployment is at a 54-year low, and inflation is finally slowing. Middle class Americans are finally getting more control over their lives and finances. If Kevin McCarthy and his caucus default on the debt and fail to pay the bills, middle class families who’ve worked hard and played by the rules will be harmed.

Talking Points: Today's Inflation Data

Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that consumer prices increased 4.9 percent before seasonal adjustments over the past 12 months. 

  • Today we saw the lowest annual inflation in two years. But even more important than that is the clear downward trend we’ve seen for months now. Annual inflation has declined in each of the last ten months.
  • Despite seasonal pressures, gas prices continue to remain significantly lower than their record highs last year.
  • The price of many foods such as pork, fish, eggs and fruits and vegetables, all declined in April, providing much needed relief to families.
  • These are all signs that we are moving towards the type of stable economic growth that can balance a strong labor market with moderating inflation.
  • We are far from the only country facing price pressures. Annual inflationwas 4.9% in the United States, while it is 7.4% in Germany, 8.9% in the United Kingdom, and 7.7% across OECD member countries.
  • Still, we know that families need more relief from high costs for many key items–which is why President Biden is continuing to make fighting inflation and reducing costs his top domestic priority-but we’re making progress.
  • But our economic progress is at risk. The biggest threat to the economy right now is Speaker McCarthy and the House majority gambling with millions of middle-class Americans’ economic futures by threatening to default. Economists predict default would likely tank the economy, causing a recession, skyrocketing unemployment, and a market crash.
  • The biggest threat to the economic progress we have made is the potential self-inflicted crisis of default. It could cost millions of jobs, cause a recession, and increase costs for families.

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