The country’s economy will worsen, warned billionaire businessman, supermarket chain owner, and radio talk show host John Catsimatidis, who claimed a recession is completely avoidable as he blamed the Biden administration for refusing to “open up the spigots” and allow America to power itself.
Appearing on Fox Business Network’s “Mornings with Maria” on Monday, Catsimatidis weighed in on the country’s economic situation and current record-high gas prices, warning the worst is yet to come.
“It will get worse, which is very, very sad,” he said, adding that it is entirely unnecessary.
“It doesn’t have to happen. As I said before… a recession does not have to happen,” he continued.
Catsimatidis, who serves as chairman and CEO for Red Apple Group, Gristedes Foods, and United Refining, blasted President Biden’s “obsession” with “not turning on the spigots in North America” — spurning homegrown energy via domestic drilling.
“We have a hundred years worth of oil,” he said. “Let them open up the spigots and the price of crude oil will come back down to 55, 60, maybe 65 — half!”
The billionaire supermarket chain owner highlighted the irrationality of the current administration’s policies on the matter.
“Nobody can understand — all the people I talked to — nobody can understand why this obsession with North America,” he said. “[Biden] wants to fly to Saudi Arabia and beg the Saudi Arabians to give us another half a million barrels at $120 a barrel.”
“Does that make any sense at all?” he added. “It makes no sense!”
Catsimatidis also warned that the Federal Reserve raising interest rates will not only not “bring down the price of oil” and control a recession but will “wipe out the real estate industry [and] everything else in America.”
Claiming “somebody” [the president] is on the path to try to destroy America, he called on Democrats to voice opposition.
“I hope we have enough common-sense Democratic senators to say, ‘Enough is enough; why are we destroying America?’” he said.
“Do you know what the cost has been to the American people because of the rising gas prices; because of the rising food prices?” he asked. “It’s gonna go even higher with $120 oil.”
He then pleaded with the current administration to utilize American energy resources and halt U.S. groveling before foreign countries, including those subject to U.S. economic sanctions.
“I’m begging the White House; I am begging President Biden: enough is enough,” he said. “I’m begging the Democratic senators: enough is enough.”
“Turn on the spigot to North America; don’t go and beg Iran for crude oil for $120.00 [and] make them richer,” he added. “Don’t beg Saudi Arabia for crude oil; don’t beg Venezuela for crude oil; we have it.”
Catsimatidis, who runs multiple companies, went on to describe the harm inflation from historically-high energy costs brings to businesses like his.
“Seventy percent of all transportation to grocery stores in the whole country is made by truck and they use diesel fuel,” he said. “Also our factories that make the food, that process the food, use diesel fuel.”
Noting the recent doubling of the price of diesel fuel, he cautioned food prices would continue to rise “unless we grab control.”
“It’s not the problem with the food company,” he said. “It all goes back to the rising prices of oil, crude oil, and what’s happening in America today.”
“We’re transferring our wealth in America to foreign countries,” he added. “That’s what we’re doing.”
Deeming the situation “mind-boggling,” Catsimatidis argued that “if foreign nations elected Joe Biden, they couldn’t have done a better job.”
The billionaire businessman’s warnings come as severe pessimism grips the U.S. economy and Americans report the highest level of dissatisfaction with their financial situation in at least half a century, according to recent polls that show just how much inflation has damaged the U.S. economy and Americans’ perceptions of their own financial well-being.
The Consumer Price Index in March was up the most in 40 years and the April inflation rate was close behind it.
J.P. Morgan Chase chief Jamie Dimon recently warned of turmoil in the near future for the U.S. economy.
“Right now it’s kind of sunny, things are doing fine, everyone thinks the Fed can handle it,” Dimon said. “That hurricane is right out there down the road coming our way.”
“We don’t know if it’s a minor one or Superstorm Sandy,” he added. “You better brace yourself.”
Last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk was reported to have plans to cut ten percent of the jobs at his electric carmaker because he has a “super bad feeling” about the economy.
Last year, Catsimatidis warned inflation was “here to stay” as Americans continued to pay more for goods and services under the Biden administration.
“If we get the people back to work and stop giving out unemployment checks — that will help transportation costs on that end,” he said. “But I don’t see prices going down in the near future. The price of crude oil is not going down and inflation is here to stay.”
Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.