President Joe Biden said on Wednesday it was unlikely his administration would be able to bring down the cost of inflation, including gas and food prices, any time soon.
“We can’t take immediate action that I’m aware of yet to figure out how we’re bringing down the prices of gasoline back to $3 a gallon,” said the president. He also flagged that Washington would impose a price cap on certain Russian crude sales as Europe moved toward cutting down purchases of Russian oil.
It came as prices are now above $4 per gallon in all 50 states, with seven states seeing prices exceeding $5 per gallon.
Yet lower costs to “compensate” families is still achievable, according to the president. “There’s more than one way to maintain the standard of living for people,” he said, referring to federal funding for prescription drug costs and child care, as well as plans to shrink the deficit by taxing the rich.
“At the same time, by increasing the tax rate that should go up on some corporations that are paying no taxes at all [...] pay a minimum tax—and the very wealthy,” he added. “It’d reduce the deficit even further, and it would provide relief for families.”
Polls also show over a third of Americans blamed Biden and his policies for triggering inflation. Such concerns were also echoed by lawmakers, economists, and market experts who had raised concerns over his stimulus and relief efforts as early as when Biden took office—yet denied by the administration.
Once prices were elevated, the Oval Office parroted the Fed and claimed that it would be transitory. By the end of 2021, Biden insisted that inflation had peaked.
High consumer prices have turned out to be a top priority ahead of the November midterms for Biden, who asserted Wednesday that his administration’s efforts to keep gas prices from running even higher.
The economic hardships, however, are far from the only near-term anxieties faced by Democrats, who would lose one or both chambers of Congress this fall over its dealing with crises such as the Ukraine war, border security, and the baby formula shortage.