Rand two-thirds of Americans see the economy in bad shape despite full employment. Just as many find the high prices to be a heavy burden, according to Yougov, a pollster commissioned by CBS. President Joe Biden threatens to swim away a few months from the midterm elections that will decide a majority in Congress.
Biden sees fighting inflation and reducing the cost of living for families as one of the most important tasks for the government and the Federal Reserve. Speaking at the White House, he attributed the inflation to the disruptions in global supply chains caused by the pandemic and to Russia’s war of aggression, which has pushed up energy prices. Biden spoke of the Putin price increase in connection with the sharp increase in the price of gasoline.
Biden also referred to initial successes in fighting inflation: the release of one million barrels of crude oil a day had stabilized prices. Congress could contribute to further cost reductions by approving clean energy legislation and taxing unused oil wells. His plan includes low prices for medicines, childcare and food, the president said. He repeated the accusation that four big butchers dominated the meat market.
In his 20-minute speech, Biden contrasted his government program with Republican Senator Rick Scott’s eleven-point plan, which includes a vote on the continuation of social security programs every five years and an expansion of income taxes to broader sections of the population. While Republicans wanted to raise taxes and shut down the Social Security system, he would ensure that families’ costs came down while billionaires and corporations finally got their fair share of the tax bill. He also pointed out that his predecessor had produced record budget deficits, while deficits were shrinking under his aegis.
Florida Senator Rick Scott’s ominous eleven-point plan has updated old Republican Party demands such as protecting the southern border with a border wall named after Donald Trump or shrinking the government apparatus. This offers the Democrats the long-awaited leverage to attack the Republicans. However, the program does not find the blessing of the party leadership. Mitch McConnell, leader of the Republican faction in the Senate, has already made it clear that his party is not going into the midterm elections on a program that increases taxes and puts the most important social programs up for grabs.