Larry Summers, Former Senior Economic Advisor to President ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaHillicon Valley – Justice Department Faces Uber Former Senior Officials Warn Democracy In ‘Danger’ Without Congressional Action On Election Security Democrats Begin Blitz To Sell Infrastructure MOREsaid Wednesday that President BidenJoe BidenJudge Rejects Trump’s Request to Delay Release of Jan.6 Papers Amid Appeal On Money: Biden’s Battle with Inflation Night Defense and National Security: Russia Concerns Increase MOREThe White House has been “behind the curve” in its predictions of rising prices during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I think that, unfortunately, the legislators in Washington have been lagging almost every month,” Summers said on CNN. “They said it was transitory; it doesn’t seem so transitory. They said it was due to some specific factors; There don’t seem to be any specific factors. They said that when September came around and people went back to school, the workforce was going to grow and it didn’t happen. “
Data released Wednesday showed that the consumer price index, which tracks inflation in goods and services, rose 0.9 percent in October and 6.2 percent last year.
Summers, who for months warned of inflation tied to the $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill passed by Congress this spring, said he hoped the Biden administration’s predictions on transient inflation would work, but urged officials to prepare for a more dire scenario.
“My experience is that you should hope for the best and plan for something much less than the best. I think that means stronger actions by the Fed, it means that the administration has to be thinking about inflation, “Summers said.
Summers praised the administration for taking steps to ease bottlenecks at U.S. ports, including a plan implemented earlier this week, but also urged officials to consider removing some of the tariffs on foreign products. and take steps to encourage energy production to lower gasoline prices. .
But Summers also said the bills Biden is pushing through Congress would not contribute to inflation.
“The 10 years of the two expense bills together, A, are less than a year than they did last spring and, B, unlike what they did last spring, are paid for with tax increases,” Summers said. .
“I don’t think it is an inflation problem. I believe that many of them are investments of vital necessity in the future of our country ”.
Biden’s national agenda has been divided into two laws that together will repair infrastructure, address climate change and expand social programs. The infrastructure bill was approved by the House last week and is awaiting Biden’s signature, while the social spending bill is still pending in Congress.
The White House has addressed the price hike in part arguing that Biden’s domestic policy agenda will ease inflation once the bills are signed into law. During a speech at the Port of Baltimore Wednesday afternoon, Biden also highlighted the administration’s efforts to address supply chain disruptions.