In op-ed, Biden outlines plan for fighting inflation by putting ball in Fed's court
"We now have a chance to build on a historic recovery with an economy that works for working families," wrote the president.–
President Joe Biden says in a new Wall Street Journal op-ed that he has a three-part plan to lower the country's record inflation.
The first prong of the president's plan is to allow the Federal Reserve to operate unimpeded by executive input. "My predecessor demeaned the Fed, and past presidents have sought to influence its decisions inappropriately during periods of elevated inflation. I won’t do this," Biden wrote in op-ed published late Monday.
The second order of business, wrote the president, is making "things more affordable for families during this moment of economic uncertainty."
He argues that to do so, Congress should pass a clean energy tax credit and investment plan. He also said his administration led "the largest release from global oil reserves in history," though it is unclear if that effort had any meaningful impact on the prices Americans are currently seeing at the gas pump.
"We can also reduce the cost of everyday goods by fixing broken supply chains, improving infrastructure, and cracking down on the exorbitant fees that foreign ocean freight companies charge to move products," Biden writes.
To answer these issues, Biden proposes setting into motion his Housing Supply Action Plan, giving Medicare "the power to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies" and lowering the cost of child and elder care.
Without discussing the details of how those plans would be set into action, or what their details are, Biden writes, "I've done what I can on my own to help working families during this challenging time – and will keep acting to lower costs where I can – but now Congress needs to act too."
Annualized Inflation in the U.S. in April hit a 40-year high, at 8.3%
Finally, Biden suggests continuing to reduce the federal deficit – arguably something of a contradiction to his previous point. "Last week the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected that the deficit will fall by $1.7 trillion this year – the largest reduction in history," he writes.
His plan includes what he calls "more by making common-sense reforms to the tax code," which including allowing the the Internal Revenue Service "to collect taxes that Americans already owe." It also includes ending the "outrageous unfairness in the tax code that allows a billionaire to pay lower rates than a teacher or firefighter."
Recent polls show that most Americans by far have a pessimistic view of the U.S. economy, and 8 in 10 say the government is not doing enough to combat inflation. Biden is earning a 66% disapproval rate from Americans over his handling of the economy, which is even lower than his general disapproval rating of 59%, according to a CNN poll.
In his op-ed, Biden warns that, should his economic policies take effect and go to plan, "We will likely see fewer record job-creation numbers."
"But this won’t be cause for concern," he continues. "Rather, if average monthly job creation shifts in the next year from current levels of 500,000 to something closer to 150,000, it will be a sign that we are successfully moving into the next phase of recovery – as this kind of job growth is consistent with a low unemployment rate and a healthy economy."