“The president does not have some super-secret special dial on his desk that can adjust gas prices, but many voters believe otherwise,” she wrote.
She said that there isn’t much President Biden and Congress can do about oil production or to combat inflation.
“Neither party has a serious plan for dealing with inflation overall or gas prices specifically,” Rampell wrote.
The Washington Post columnist also noted that Democratic infighting slashed Biden’s ambitions to pass a bill on climate change, but added that their ideas were “no longer terribly relevant” ahead of the midterm elections.
Rampell criticized Republican priorities, saying “Republicans seem to care about tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations. They want to find ways to repeal Obamacare, or otherwise reduce access to health care by (for example) slashing Medicaid.”
The author said that while she’s frustrated with gas prices as well, she fears “the much worse policy choices looming in the years ahead if Democrats don’t get their act together — and effectively cede the agenda to Republicans.”
In a column published on Monday, Rampell argued that the president’s claim that a recession is not inevitable was the “least bad framing of the problem.”
She noted that the president and the administration “dragged its feet” with regard to acting on efforts to reduce prices.
“Bringing down gas prices, for example, might involve insuring energy producers against downside risks — that is, making it less likely that fossil-fuel companies would suffer from smaller profits or even losses, so that taking on expensive new investments to ramp up output looks less risky to them. How does the administration finagle that, while publicly blasting these same companies for obscene profits and insufficient patriotism?” Rampell wrote on Monday.
She also called on Biden to respond and ensure Americans that the government has the capacity to do so.
Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers said Monday that the U.S. unemployment rate had to rise in order to combat inflation.
Biden said Monday that a recession was not inevitable, and said he spoke to Summers that morning.
“Now you sound like a Republican politician. I’m joking, that was a joke, that was a joke,” Biden said. “But all kidding aside, no I don’t think it is. I was talking to Larry Summers this morning, there’s nothing inevitable about a recession.”