Another Obama economist joins public chorus of voices disparaging Biden's handling of inflation

Former Treasury official Steven Rattner writes in the NYT that the president is being "disingenuous" in his approach to U.S. economic issues.
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Joe Biden, Washington, D.C., Feb. 15, 2022
Joe Biden, Washington, D.C., Feb. 15, 2022
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former Obama administration Treasury official Steven Rattner is the latest high-profile Democrat to hit at the Biden administration's handling of the U.S. economy.

In a "guest essay" for the New York Times on Thursday, Rattner criticized the president for the "talking points on inflation" he provided during a recent interview with NBC's Lester Holt. 

During the interview, President Joe Biden told Holt that "the reason for the inflation is the supply chains were cut off."

"Well, no," Rattner responds. "That's both simplistic and misleading."

The Wall Street executive in the essay also argues the Biden administration misunderstands the trials of the U.S. economy as Americans continue to contend with inflation in all sectors. He debunks Biden's talking points and zeroes in on what he thinks the administration needs to be doing to bolster (instead of depress) the economy. (Hint: stop spending).

"The Biden administration needs to shift its approach," he writes. "In particular, with the economy steaming along, it should make deficit reduction as important as its other initiatives. But here again, Mr. Biden has been disingenuous. His Build Back Better plan claims to be deficit neutral, but that assertion is made credible only by using the fuzziest math."

Several weeks ago, Biden stood at the White House podium and said he understood that "Average people are getting clobbered by the cost of everything today."

However, Rattner argues, the president then immediately went on to blame rising prices on supply chain issues and the behavior of "a few giant companies" before, again, trying to sell the audience on his failed Build Back Better agenda.

Larry Summers, the Treasury Secretary under President Bill Clinton and the head of the National Economic Council for President Barack Obama has been routinely warning the Biden administration about the type of inflationary pressures their actions are creating for a year.

Rattner recently joined Summers in his public critique, which Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell quickly caught wind of.

"Even the liberal expert Steven Rattner, another former Obama official, says this spending spree was Democrats' 'original sin' when it comes to inflation," he said while addressing the record inflation numbers that Joe Biden insists he is trying his hardest to bring down.