OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
A former official in the Obama administration had some bad news for President Joe Biden and his Democrat Party heading into the 2022 midterm elections.
In an interview with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program on Wednesday, former Treasury Department official Steve Rattner predicted that the current high rates of inflation — the most in more than four decades — would not abate ahead of the November elections and thus would negatively impact Democrats.
“Inflation is here to stay,” and argued, adding that it will be “the defining issue” that will make the midterms “a really tough one” for Democrats.
Co-host Mika Brzezinski began the segment by expressing her concerns about inflation, as well as Democrats “hanging their hat” on being able to solve the issue.
“I’m not sure one person, one country, one party can solve this problem with everything that’s happening around the world,” she stated, before saying that Biden had allegedly been traveling the country to hear from Americans on the issue before asking if it was “here to stay.”
“Inflation is here to stay,” Rattner responded, arguing it was “the defining issue in the midterm elections,” and that the Democrats’ continued control over the House and Senate was at stake as well.
Fox News added:
Referring to charts released by the Federal Reserve outlining the change in inflation rates over time, including a slight dip from March to April, Rattner suggested it was possible inflation might have peaked earlier in the spring.
He explained, however, that gas prices were having big impact on the inflation rate and pointed to them reaching record highs in March as inflation hit a 40-year high, but then dipped in April as the inflation rate saw a slight dip.
He added that if you removed gas prices from the calculation, the inflation rate for April would actually have been 0.4% higher than the massive 8.3% recorded rate.
“Look, the president has been blaming everything except himself and the Democrats for the inflation,” Rattner said, going on to argue the only thing in Biden’s favor was that inflation seems to be “a worldwide phenomenon.”
The former official in the Obama-Biden administration explained what he saw as the causes of the dramatic rise in prices.
“There is a fair amount of self-inflicted pain that we’ve put on ourselves with too much stimulus, too big budget deficits, too much bond-buying by the Federal Reserve, too much money printing by the Federal Reserve, and that’s what’s coming home to roost,” Rattner added.
“And look, it’s the number one issue, and it’s going to be a really tough one for Democrats,” he said.
Inflation has reached such high levels during Biden’s administration even some Democrats are blaming him.
“Let me be clear, inflation is a tax, and today’s historic inflation data tells another chilling story about how these taxes on Americans are completely out of control,” Sen Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) said last month as inflation indices spiked.
“Hard-earned wages and financial savings are disappearing faster every month as prices continue to climb, while the pain and frustration of spending more on everyday items linger over us all, especially among those who can afford it the least. Americans are seeing some of the largest increases in goods such as gas up 48 percent, beef up 16 percent, chicken and milk up 13 percent, and staples like coffee and eggs are up 11 percent,” the senator said in a press release.
“When will this end? It is a disservice to the American people to act as if inflation is a new phenomenon. The Federal Reserve and the Administration failed to act fast enough, and today’s data is a snapshot in time of the consequences being felt across the country,” Manchin continued.
“Instead of acting boldly, our elected leaders and the Federal Reserve continue to respond with half-measures and rhetorical failures searching for where to lay the blame. The American people deserve the truth about why record inflation is happening and what must be done to control it,” he noted further.
“Here is the truth, we cannot spend our way to a balanced, healthy economy and continue adding to our $30 trillion national debt. Getting inflation under control will require more aggressive action by a Federal Reserve that waited too long to act. It demands the Administration and Congress, Democrats and Republicans alike, support an all-the-above energy policy because that is the only way to bring down the high price of gas and energy while attacking climate change,” Manching said.
“The United States of America is equipped to be energy independent from Russia and other terror-sponsoring countries while also working to fight global climate change and break our dependence on the critical mineral supply change from China,” he concluded.