Trump warns of 'massive inflation,' says under Biden energy independence is 'gone'
Former President Trump warns of ‘massive inflation’
Former President Trump also argues that energy independence now ‘gone’ under President Biden and his energy policies.
Former President Trump warned of "massive inflation" on Monday, adding that U.S. energy independence is "gone" under President Biden.
Trump told "Varney & Co." that he is currently "very concerned" about the state of the economy.
He noted that he thinks inflation is "going to be rampant" and "very bad" and that the U.S. is already experiencing higher prices for food, gas and lumber.
"We had energy independence when I left [office]. Gasoline was $1.87, now it’s going to be double that. It’s going to be triple and quadruple that," Trump told host Stuart Varney.
Gas prices reached a national average of $3.05 a gallon as of Monday, which is $1.03 cents higher than the same time in 2020, according to AAA.
AAA noted in a news release on Monday that crude prices increased to their highest price point in more than two years last week and pointed out that "since crude accounts for more than 50% of the price at the pump, when it goes up, so does the price motorists pay."
AAA also noted that crude may not stay at the higher level as The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies including Russia, announced last week that they still plan to gradually increase crude production in July, which could lead to a decrease in crude oil prices.
Trump blamed the Biden administration’s energy policies for the recent spike in gas prices.
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In a series of orders aimed at combating climate change, President Biden temporarily suspended the issuance of oil and gas permits on federal lands and waters and canceled the Keystone XL oil pipeline project.
President Biden revoked the permit for the 1,700-mile pipeline on his first day in office, ending a project that was expected to employ more than 11,000 Americans this year.
A White House spokesperson did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for comment.
"Food prices, everything, lumber for a house is up at a level that it’s never been so it costs much more for housing. It’s inflation," Trump added.
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Soaring lumber prices have likely been holding back the U.S. housing market with homebuilding falling more than expected in April, Reuters reported.
Housing starts tumbled 9.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.569 million units in April, Reuters reported last month, citing data from the Commerce Department.
Trump also told Varney he believes boosted unemployment benefits are preventing people from wanting to go back to work, causing a labor shortage.
"Nobody wants to go back to work so that’s a problem," Trump said, adding that "nobody has ever seen anything like this."
At least 25 states are ending participation in federal supplemental unemployment benefits designed to help out-of-work Americans weather the coronavirus pandemic, a move they say will help businesses struggling to hire employees.
The GOP-led states, including Florida, Texas and Utah, decided in May and June to prematurely cut off the sweetened aid, which provided an extra $300 a week on top of regular state unemployment benefits. The supplemental benefit is not slated to expire until Sept. 6, 2021.
The new measures come in light of the Labor Department's April payroll report, which revealed the economy added just 266,000 jobs last month – sharply missing the 1 million forecast by Refinitiv economists. GOP lawmakers were quick to blame the extra unemployment aid for the lackluster job growth, although experts have also cited a lack of child care and fears of contracting COVID-19 for the hiring shortage.
Trump told Varney he believes there is "a different feeling out there" regarding the labor force.
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He said that he thinks the supplemental unemployment benefits "may have changed the level and degree of people wanting to work."
"There’s no question about it because you see such a difference," he added.
Trump: Bitcoin ‘seems like a scam’
Former President Trump on Bitcoin and whether he’s investing in today’s markets.
On Monday, Trump also slammed Bitcoin saying he believes the cryptocurrency "seems like a scam."
"I don’t like it because it’s another currency competing against the dollar. Essentially it’s a currency competing against a dollar," Trump said. "I want the dollar to be the currency of the world."
Trump made the comments following the Bitcoin 2021 conference, which took place in Miami, Fla. over the weekend, where speakers, investors and scholars came together to talk about Bitcoin’s rapid growth and potentially promising future. Conference organizers estimated about 50,000 people attended the event.
Bitcoin, along with many other cryptocurrencies, faced recent drastic drops. Investors suffered one of their biggest losses on May 19 when China announced that it would ban financial and payment institutions from providing digital currency services.
The drastic drop in cryptocurrencies began when Tesla announced that it would not accept digital currency as payment for their vehicles, which was a reversal from an earlier announcement. The reason given was the potential environmental damage that can result from Bitcoin mining.
Trump also said he is not investing in the stock market at the moment because he thinks "it’s high."
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FOX Business’ Megan Henney, Ken Martin and Audrey Conklin contributed to this report.
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