Politics

WaPo columnist says country should be ‘grateful’ that Biden is doing ‘effectively nothing’ to fight inflation

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Washington Post columnist Megan McArdle said on Monday that President Biden is doing “effectively nothing” to combat the crippling inflation rates, but the country should be “grateful.”

In her op-ed, McArdle pointed out how unlike Biden, lawmakers are calling for aggressive plans to tackle the soaring inflation. But, she said, the demand for more direct action “stands in stark contrast to the Biden administration, whose policy response consists mainly of blaming the pandemic and Russian President Vladimir Putin, railing against Republican tax proposals, and otherwise denying responsibility for the fastest price increases in decades.

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McArdle pointed to Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren, who wants legislation to give the Federal Trade Commission and state governments expanded authority to crack down on corporations that significantly raise prices, supporting her belief that corporate greed is to blame for the recent price hikes.

A gas pump displays current fuel prices, along with a sticker of President Joe Biden, at a gas station in Arlington, Virginia, on March 16, 2022. 

A gas pump displays current fuel prices, along with a sticker of President Joe Biden, at a gas station in Arlington, Virginia, on March 16, 2022. 
(Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

Dismissing Warren’s plan as a “conspiracy theory,” McArdle claimed that Biden’s strategy, or lack thereof, is a “much better” approach — “precisely because it does effectively nothing.”

“It’s not something politicians can go around telling voters, but sometimes ‘nothing’ is the best policy option you have,” she claimed. McArdle went a step further, urging Biden to resist the urge to take aggressive action even if it will score him political points from voters desperate to see some action from the administration.

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The columnist referenced the wage-and-price controls imposed by President Richard M. Nixon in 1971, when the country was last confronted with an inflation crisis of this magnitude. 

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 10: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about inflation and the economy in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus May 10, 2022 in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 10: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about inflation and the economy in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus May 10, 2022 in Washington, D.C.

“Nixon appears to have understood that they wouldn’t work, since they didn’t actually address the underlying problem. But he was facing reelection and wanted voters to see him doing something about one of their most pressing problems,” she told readers, noting that “Nixon resigned in disgrace not long afterward. 

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“Now, I don’t suggest that the cynical economic manipulation led directly to Watergate. (Though one wonders if the economy had been in better shape, would the Nixon campaign have been tempted to burglary?),” writes McArdle, “But it does go to show that there are worse things than being a one-term president.

“So please, Mr. President, keep right on embracing the healing power of inaction,” she concluded, urging Biden to be the “do-nothing president America needs.”

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