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Lawrence Summers, a Harvard economist and former Secretary of the Treasury under President Bill Clinton and a top economic advisor to President Barack Obama, stated Wednesday morning that the United States has a “serious inflation problem.”
Summers’ comment came in response to a report from Axios that the Biden White House is looking to downplay economic woes by comparing U.S. rising prices of goods to prices globally as well as the overall, potential downward trend of inflation in 2022. Still, the liberal economist noted that inflation is “running well ahead of anything seen” during historic highs in the 1970s.
According to Axios, White House officials “are trying to temper public expectations and minimize the bad-news blow.” To do so, they hope to show that inflation will be down from 7% to 3% over the next two years.
Regardless of their efforts, Summers tweeted that America has a “serious inflation problem whatever the precise CPI reading. Inflation is running well ahead of anything seen during the guns and butter Vietnam episode and 50 percent above where it was when Pres Nixon imposed wage price controls.”
Summers also noted that economic experts have been wrong about inflation before, so he cautioned trusting the prediction that inflation will decrease anytime soon.
“White House cites leading economists as foreseeing sharp declines in inflation over next two years. Certainly could happen. On other hand same kind of consensus was looking for inflation at well below 3 percent this year and it turned out to be 7,” he wrote.
White House cites leading economists as foreseeing sharp declines in inflation over next two years. Certainly could happen. On other hand same kind of consensus was looking for inflation at well below 3 percent this year and it turned out to be 7.
— Lawrence H. Summers (@LHSummers) January 12, 2022
As noted by former Trump advisor Steve Cortes, “Larry Summers is hardly MAGA, but he is an economist who sees the reality of what’s happening to working class Americans under Biden’s Inflation surge.”
Larry Summers is hardly MAGA, but he is an economist who sees the reality of what’s happening to working class Americans under Biden’s Inflation surge. pic.twitter.com/fTG5hZBa3m
— Steve Cortes (@CortesSteve) January 12, 2022
Summers has been one of the lone voices on the Left warning about rising inflation for quite some time. In November, Summers wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post that the cost of goods would get worse before improving.
“Excessive inflation and a sense that it was not being controlled helped elect Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, and risks bringing Donald Trump back to power,” Summers wrote at the time. “While an overheating economy is a relatively good problem to have compared to a pandemic or a financial crisis, it will metastasize and threaten prosperity and public trust unless clearly acknowledged and addressed.”
As The Daily Wire reported on Wednesday, the Labor Department revealed data showing that in December, consumer prices rose by 7% over the previous year, the fastest increase in roughly 40 years.
In response to those figures, Republican National Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel slammed the Biden administration for failing to rein in the price of pretty much everything.
“Under Joe Biden everything costs more, store shelves are empty, and small businesses are struggling to hire workers and stay open,” McDaniel said in a statement given to The Daily Wire. “Joe Biden does not care about the hurt he’s brought on millions of Americans – with inflation at the highest level since 1982. Americans are paying the price for Biden’s failures, and Biden doesn’t care.”