Virus Outbreak Nebraska

Neb. Gov. Pete Ricketts

(The Center Square) – Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts criticized President Joe Biden's handling of the economy following the president's speech on Tuesday. 

Biden addressed the nation on Tuesday, saying his policies are helping, not hurting Americans. 

"I come from a family where when the price of gas or food went up, we felt it," Biden said, repeating a phrase he’s used in recent weeks. "It was a discussion at the kitchen table."

Biden also laid blame for record inflation on the pandemic and Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Ricketts responded in a statement that the Biden administration's policies are to blame for inflation and increased energy costs.

“The President’s irresponsible policies have caused runaway inflation,” the governor said. “They’re dragging down our economy and forcing Americans to live on less.” 

“President Biden has failed to grasp the threat posed by inflation,” Ricketts continued. “In July 2021, he downplayed concerns about rising prices, claiming that he expected them to be ‘temporary.’ In the 10 months since then, inflation has accelerated, soaring to its highest point in over 40 years.”

Pointing to the annual inflation rate being up 8.5% over the past 12 months, Ricketts said the “rampant inflation is corrosive and taking a toll on everyone,” from hardworking families to seniors on fixed incomes.

“To stop runaway inflation, he needs to lift regulations to unleash the full potential of American energy production and cut red tape to make it easier for businesses to operate,” he said.

The national average for a gallon of regular gas is $4.40 as of Wednesday, according to AAA. Nebraskans are paying an average of $4.06, up from $3.788 last month. One years ago, Nebraskans were paying an average of $2.87. 

The president has released oil from Strategic Petroleum Reserve to combat rising gas prices, but Ricketts wants Biden to deregulate and “quit obstructing oil and gas leases.”