White House chief of staff Ronald Klain is once again facing criticism over a retweet this week when he shared a post that categorized recent nationwide economic malaise caused by a supply-chain crunch as “high class problems.”
Late Wednesday, Klain shared a post from Harvard professor Jason Furman and wrote “This” with two emoji hands pointing a finger down at the original tweet.
“Most of the economic problems we’re facing (inflation, supply chains, etc.) are high class problems. We wouldn’t have had them if the unemployment rate was still 10 percent. We would instead have had a much worse problem,” Furman wrote, apparently referring to when Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell said the employment rate in January was around 10 percent.
While Furman, a professor of economic policy, later clarified his comment was not a political analysis but his own “social judgment,” critics slammed Klain for appearing to agree with it and accused him of downplaying urgent issues Americans are dealing with.
“Inflation is NOT a ‘high class problem.’ Inflation is a tax on working Americans & those on fixed incomes,” Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) tweeted. “The Biden/Harris White House is completely out of touch. #InflationIsTaxation.”
The House Republican Policy Committee called Klain’s tweet “outrageous.”
“Just the White House Chief of Staff calling the rising price of gas, food, and housing a ‘high class’ problem. Outrageous! The American people are hurting and deserve better leadership,” the committee’s official twitter account posted.
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), the third-ranking House Republican, and advocacy group Independent Women’s Voice mimicked Klain’s use of emojis, using the same one to criticize his post.
Inflation is NOT a "high class problem." Inflation is a tax on working Americans & those on fixed incomes.
— Congressman Ted Budd (@RepTedBudd) October 14, 2021
“This…is WRONG. Reminder — inflation is a tax on EVERY American,” she said.
“Disconnected from reality,” Independent Women’s Voice wrote, followed by the emoji.
On a separate account, Stefanik highlighted Klain’s post again, telling social media users that “this is what the Biden Administration thinks of the American people.”
“High class intellects and low class American workers. (By the way – working class Americans are the ones who save scrupulously for the holidays for their kids!!)” she wrote. “An absolute disgrace.”
Rep. Kevin Hern (R-Okla.) questioned how the White House chief of staff could be “this out of touch with reality.”
“American families are spending $175+ more per month on living expenses and the White House’s answer is ‘well it could be worse’?!” the representative tweeted.
Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.) accused the administration of switching up its messaging when it comes to inflation.
“First, the Biden Admin said inflation was a ‘short-term’ issue. Now, it’s a ‘high class’ problem. Products Arkansans need to put food on the table, fuel their homes and cars, get to work, and clothe their kids are NOT ‘high-class’ supplies. They impact family budgets daily,” he tweeted.
The White House did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.
Just the White House Chief of Staff calling the rising price of gas, food, and housing a "high class" problem. Outrageous! The American people are hurting and deserve better leadership. https://t.co/pxifShcctD
— House GOP Policy (@GOPpolicy) October 14, 2021
It is not the first time a retweet has put Klain under fire, as just last month, the chief of staff appeared to admit President Biden’s labor-related vaccine mandate was the “ultimate work-around” to issuing a federal vaccine mandate.
The same day as Biden’s speech mandating two-thirds of all US workers to get COVID-19 shots, MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle tweeted that the move is “the ultimate work-around for the Federal govt to require vaccinations” — which Klain retweeted to his feed.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) slammed the move as “foolish” and called it an indication that the “admin knows it’s likely illegal” to force businesses to implement vaccine rules under penalty of massive fines.
“Important. Foolish RT from WH chief of staff,” Cruz wrote at the time, sharing a screenshot of Klain’s retweet. “He said the quiet part out loud. Biden admin knows it’s likely illegal (like the eviction moratorium) but they don’t care.”
Klain’s Wednesday tweet comes as the US faces a massive supply-chain crisis that threatens the timely delivery of everyday consumer goods and holiday gifts.