"That's the one thing he is correct about," says Peter St. Onge, research fellow for The Heritage Foundation, a center-right think headquartered in Washington, D.C. "This administration has no plan, boots on the grounds are saying it's getting worse, and Wall Street and companies are warning [the issue could persist into] 2022, possibly even 2023."
Buttigieg made his comments to Jake Tapper on CNN's "State of the Union" program, adding that part of what is happening isn't just the supply side:
"It's the demand side. Demand is off the charts. Retail sales are through the roof. And if you think about those images of ships, for example, waiting at anchor on the West Coast? Every one of those ships is full of record amounts of goods that Americans are buying – because demand is up, because income is up, [and] because the president has successfully guided this economy out of the teeth of a terrifying recession.
"Now, the issue is, even though our ports are handling more than they ever have, record amounts of goods coming through, our supply chains can't keep up. And of course, our supply chains – that's a complicated system that is mostly in private hands, and rightly so. Our role is to be an honest broker, bring together all of the different players, secure commitments, and get solutions that are going to make it easier."
"That's pure marketing spin," Onge tells AFN, referring to the secretary's comments. "Everything this administration has done has made it worse."
When asked for examples, Onge points to labor and environmental rules, government handouts incentivizing people not to work, as well as union control of ports.
"They're not going to say no to activists, they're not going to say no to unions – that'll be the day; and if anything, they're trying to drive up the handouts," says Onge. "Yes, people are worried about Christmas … but it's starting to bite in the pantry because people can't find bread, eggs, meat, milk. This could be quite serious."
Speaking on Fox News earlier today, Cassie Smedile – the executive director of America Rising PAC – pointed out that products made in the U.S. aren't having supply chain issues, noting that was part of the Trump-era "America First" agenda.