Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday expressed concern over the status of the national economy, stating that he fears President Joe Biden will plunge the United States into a recession, citing continually rising inflation and the high cost of goods.
The comments came following the release of the state’s most recent estimate for the economic intake of Florida’s economy in the month of April, positing that the state brought in roughly $760 million above the anticipated margin, furthering the surplus that has been built throughout the fiscal year. DeSantis also approximated that by the end of the current fiscal year on June 30, Florida will have well over $20 billion in reserve.
“It’s important that we govern [our money] that way because I think it’s very likely that Biden is going to plunge this country into a recession,” said DeSantis. “Florida has been doing well, and we’re happy about that, but when you have the inflation headwinds when you have the Fed raising interest rates, and some of the other things happening in the markets there is a possibility of seeing a downturn, and unfortunately I think that downturn will be precipitated by bad policy coming out of Washington.”
Despite the concern, DeSantis assured that the state would be impacted as minimally as possible in the case of a bad recession because of the reserves and preservation of a low taxation rate.
“Hopefully this doesn’t happen, but I think prudent statesmanship is to be prepared in case something like that does happen,” continued DeSantis. “We have the reserves ready, we would not miss a beat when meeting our priorities like education, water resources, and infrastructure.”
Upon the publicization of the inflation report for March, state Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis shared a similar concern as Desantis, criticizing Biden over the highest rate of inflation in over four decades at 8.5 percent.
The largest cost increases across March occurred in the indexes for gasoline, shelter, and food. Gasoline in particular saw skyrocketing prices, rising by as much as 18.9 percent in the span of a month and bringing the year-over-year price increase upwards of 48 percent.
“As the Fed is expected to increase interest rates, major banks are also beginning to think that a recession is a real possibility,” said Patronis. “I have always believed in hoping for the best while preparing for the worst, and if our country is about to enter a recession, Florida needs to be prepared to weather this storm. As the budget has yet to be sent to the Governor, his veto pen will be an important tool in protecting critical services for hard times – and I hope he uses it.”
Patronis has long been a critic of Biden’s handling of the ongoing inflation crisis, recently penning an article for Newsmax where he explains how unbridled inflation is affecting everyday Floridians.
“These families are dropping their kids off at school, going to work, buying groceries, and under the Biden economy, their savings are dwindling. That’s how inflation works: it’s a redistribution of income from the low-and-mid level income earners to the rich,” wrote Patronis. “Inflation also impacts the nearly 6 million Floridians, over age 60, who live on a fixed income. They saved up to live on a certain budget, and now their money just isn’t going as far. They’re having serious conversations about the things they need to cut to pay the bills.”
The state has taken several measures in the proposed state budget, which DeSantis has yet to sign, to combat inflation, including a gas tax holiday and various cost-control measures.