Labor Secretary Marty Walsh was asked Friday what short-term measures the Biden administration can take to reduce inflation and stop the growing economic crisis dead in its tracks.
But Walsh offered only excuses — and no solutions.
What is the background?
The latest report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the consumer price index rose to an annual rate of 7.5% in January, the highest rate in 40 years. Unfortunately, economists believe inflation will continue to grip Americans, especially as prices of good continue to grow while wage growth remains stagnant.
What did Walsh say?
During an appearance on "Bloomberg the Open," host Jonathan Ferro questioned Walsh over short-term solutions to the inflation crisis. But Walsh was unable to name a single measure the Biden administration is taking to provide relief for Americans.
Instead, Walsh only pointed to the COVID-19 pandemic, the supply chain, and the Russia-Ukraine war as inflation-driving problems.
"Well, I think if you’re talking about inflation, I think what’s happening here is— I mean, we’re in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, certainly, that’s one. We’re in the midst of dealing with supply chain issues. Now we have a major conflict in the world — that all eyes of the world are on the Ukrainian people and Ukraine," Walsh said.
"And I think that as we move forward here — and the question earlier — as oil supply gets cut back from Russia, if that’s what ultimately happens, we’re going to see an increase in gas prices. And I think that there’s a point here that we have to just continue to move forward," he continued.
In fact, Walsh was extremely vague, saying "lots of conversations" and "lots of actions" will be had and taken in the coming weeks and months to address inflation, but he did not offer any specific details.
"The president has been very clear on bringing down inflation, he talked about it at the State of the Union. But we’re living in very interesting dynamic and times are happening here," Walsh said. "So, again, there’s lots of conversations and lots of actions that we’ll be taking over the next weeks and months."
The relevant portion of the interview begins at 30:57:
During his State of the Union address, Biden pushed his social agenda plan — the "Build Back Better" plan, which
has since been rebranded as "Building a Better America" — as the solution to inflation and other economic woes.
Although any form of Biden's social spending plan is unlikely to ever pass Congress, economists believe the plan would contribute to inflation — not relieve economic problems.