Why Biden’s inflation blitz falls flat after major miscalculation


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President Biden, who is mounting a media campaign to air his concern over inflation, is said to be frustrated with his team’s handling of the issue that could decimate his party in November.

But after his administration continued to cling to the idea that the price hike was temporary, he has few tools to use beyond empathy.

Once he pulled out little-known Treasury Secretary Janet Yellin — who told CNN ‘I think I was wrong then about the path inflation would take’ — it was time to move on.

But to what?

An Oval Office photo op with Yellen and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell isn’t going to change much of their minds. Moreover, the president’s message was mixed. “My plan to fight inflation starts with a simple proposition: respect the Fed, respect the independence of the Fed.”

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Well, Biden has no choice, since the Federal Reserve is an independent agency, even if he tried to contrast Donald Trump’s public harassment of the Fed. Moreover, it is the job of the Fed to manage the money supply without letting inflation get out of control, and on this point, it is failing. The blame-Putin retort also appears to have been dropped.

US President Joe Biden (C) meets with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, in the Oval Office of the White House May 31, 2022 in Washington, DC. The three met to discuss the Biden administration’s plan to tackle record high inflation.
(Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Biden also wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed on inflation that barely made a ripple because it contained nothing new. He also asked senior officials to go around the cable newspapers to talk about the economy.

“The flurry of activity,” states the Washington Post, “comes after Biden privately scolded senior White House officials about the administration’s handling of inflation, expressing frustration over the past few months. last few months that helpers were not doing enough to confront the problem directly.”

But between Ukraine, the coronavirus and soaring gas prices during the summer driving season, “there may not be much Biden can do about it.”

Politico sees “a vicious blame game” between the White House and business leaders, especially with the stock market crash.

“Some senior executives, particularly in banking, are now complaining that while Biden pays lip service to caring about their views on how to fix things, he’s not actually listening to them and soliciting their contribution.”

An unnamed bank CEO reportedly said, “Now they’re going to get slaughtered mid-term. And they deserve to be slaughtered because they really haven’t accomplished anything except maybe raise inflation.”

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Thursday she was wrong about the path of inflation after downplaying the issue for months.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Thursday she was wrong about the path of inflation after downplaying the issue for months.
(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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There are always tensions between Wall Street and Democratic presidents, especially when the latter rages over excessive profits and higher corporate taxes.

The corrosive thing about inflation is that it hurts just about everyone. When you pay more for beef and chicken, or spend $70 or $80 on gas for your car, it feels like that money is being taken out of your pocket. Biden, with his working-class roots, knows this all too well.

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Now the president can argue that he has created a record number of jobs, that the economy is buzzing for those with solid jobs, but no one wants to hear it. If the administration had poured less money into the economy after the pandemic, inflation would be lower, but more people would be out of work. It was the choice, but it left us with the scourge of 8% inflation.

President Joe Biden's plan to cancel $10,000 in student loans per borrower has been criticized by the editorial board of The Washington Post.

President Joe Biden’s plan to cancel $10,000 in student loans per borrower has been criticized by the editorial board of The Washington Post.
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

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No wonder Biden is frustrated. His claim that the price spike was “transient” proved far from accurate, and for that he is likely to pay a steep political price.


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