With persistent inflation eroding Americans’ buying power and tightening their budgets, one may think that the nation’s fiscal policymakers would be all-hands-on-deck to resolve the problems. But for the Biden administration, “Pride Month” takes priority.
Consumer price inflation is currently at 8.3% — the metric’s highest level in four decades. Gas prices are soaring past $4.75 per gallon — with no end in sight. Yet Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen found time this week to raise the rainbow flag.
“For the first time in our history, Treasury is displaying the Pride Flag to express our solidarity with LGBTQ+ Americans during Pride Month,” Yellen announced on Thursday, adding that her department “remains committed to diversity, equity, and equal opportunity for all.”
For the first time in our history, Treasury is displaying the Pride Flag to express our solidarity with LGBTQ+ Americans during Pride Month. @USTreasury remains committed to diversity, equity, and equal opportunity for all. pic.twitter.com/QJK5o2yuGn
— Secretary Janet Yellen (@SecYellen) June 2, 2022
The data speak louder than Yellen’s words. The United States economy shrank at a 1.5% annualized rate in the first quarter of 2022, with two consecutive quarters of negative growth constituting recession territory.
But it is worth remembering that real people living paycheck-to-paycheck are getting hurt while Yellen plays activist.
Over the past few days, I interviewed several residents of West Philadelphia — a Democrat-run, majority-minority neighborhood where median household income is 43% of the national average — on behalf of The Daily Wire. The consistent story was that skyrocketing inflation and gas prices are severely impacting their lives.
“It’s too high. I don’t know what happened, because the price of everything is too high now,” Mohamed, a West Philadelphia resident and immigrant from French-speaking Africa, explained.
“I drive to work and I go home. And anything else in between, I try to do it as I’m going home from work,” added Art, a maintenance worker who lives in Delaware, but commutes to West Philadelphia. “It’s just too expensive.”
“The way prices with everything have gone up, I’ve had to start cutting back on what I spend money on,” Kahil, a high school student, remarked. “There’s only one simple answer. Prices need to go where they used to be.”
“I was using maybe $30 per week. Now I use almost $100,” said Iliassou about his struggles to fill his gas tank. “People don’t have money in their pockets anymore.”
However, it seems that Yellen has thrown in the towel altogether on fixing the economy. “I was wrong,” she confessed earlier this week — forgetting that she was seemingly fully aware that the policies she has been pursuing would create a high price level environment.
I am old enough to remember when Yellen insisted last year that “we’ve been fighting inflation that’s too low and interest rates that are too low now for a decade,” promising any potential inflation “spurt” from Biden’s policies would fade away by 2022.
Yet here we are in 2022 — and the same top fiscal policymaker who entered office on a vow to battle the “crisis of systemic racism” in the economy has nothing better to offer than “I was wrong” on her inflation forecasts — even as disadvantaged Americans suffer the most.
“Economics isn’t just something you find in textbook,” she told her staff at the dawn of the Biden administration. “Nor is it simply a collection of theories. Indeed, the reason I went from academia to government is because I believe economic policy can be a potent tool to improve society.”
Perhaps Secretary Yellen needs to hit the streets of West Philadelphia and see whether society has improved because of her work.