White House: The Economy Is Better, But Home ‘Affordability Challenge Is Very Great’

On Wednesday’s broadcast of “CNN This Morning,” White House National Economic Council Director Lael Brainard argued that the economy is better off than it was before, but home affordability challenges are still “very great,” and that people are also upset about healthcare costs and junk fees.

After Brainard stated that the economy is better off than it was a year ago, two years ago, and three years ago, co-host Poppy Harlow asked about people who feel Bidenomics isn’t working, especially on housing prices. Brainard responded, “We are very focused on a few areas where affordability is still a challenge for many families. Housing is one of those areas where people who already have homes — and that percentage has actually increased a great deal over the last few years — they are feeling pretty good. But people who are not able yet to purchase homes, looking at high mortgage rates is a real challenge. We’ve seen the mortgage rate come down by about 1.5 percentage points just in recent weeks, but even so, the affordability challenge is very great, and, as you said, on the most affordable housing, we have a real supply shortfall. And so, the president is going to keep pushing for a set of policies that would go a long way in creating a much more affordable home supply through low-income housing tax credits, affordable tax credits, and down payment assistance.”

Later, Harlow asked about poor economic polling data, Brainard responded that people went through a lot, things have improved, but “I think it takes a while, and it’s also that there are a few areas that Americans are worried are not as affordable. If you look at health care in particular, two to three times more expensive on prescription drugs than other countries. That’s just not right. And that’s why we’re fighting so hard to get prescription drug prices down, whether it be insulin for seniors at $35 a month, down from $400. We’re capping out-of-pocket costs for seniors at $2,000 per year. We’ve got to chip away at some of these areas where Americans feel it’s just not right or that they’re tired of being ripped off like in the area of junk fees, where we’re fighting really hard to get rid of overdraft fees and bounced check fees, baggage fees, seating fees, all of those things add up.”

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