President Joe Biden has become increasingly frustrated at his administration's inability to lower inflation, The Washington Post reported Monday.
Biden has been voicing his anger internally about inflation, the Post said. The consumer price index (CPI) last month jumped 8.6% compared to May 2021.
"The problem has ballooned over the last year, consuming the president’s top aides and threatening his domestic agenda, his international priorities, and his party’s political prospects," the Post reported.
Biden told late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel last week that "inflation is the bane of our existence."
"I think we’re in a really difficult position, because we don’t have successful precedents for having an economy this red hot in terms of low unemployment and high inflation and not having a recession," former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers told the Post.
"It’s going to very, very difficult to achieve a soft landing."
Biden’s frustration has been evident for several months, the Post reported.
After visiting an Iowa biofuels plant in April and announcing a plan to expand the use of ethanol to help bring down gas prices, Biden privately dismissed the policy as ineffective, the Post said. The president questioned the value of the trip, according to two people familiar with the conversations.
Biden even gathered his senior staff, including chief of staff Ron Klain, to ask questions about the event’s purpose.
The Post, citing sources, said the Biden worried even before the announcement that ethanol’s ability to cut gas prices would be exaggerated and his climate goals could be hurt.
Officials, including Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, had encouraged Biden to go to Iowa.
Biden’s job approval rating continues to drop, as voters increasingly express dissatisfaction with his handling of the economy.
The nationwide average price for a gallon of gasoline has topped $5 for the first time ever, AAA said.
More than half — 53% — of voters said they believe the Biden administration is intentionally letting gas prices increase to make Americans use less fossil fuels, according to a recent Convention of States Action and The Trafalgar Group poll.
Americans also are seeing price hikes with food, shelter, airfare, medical care, and clothing, the Post reported.
Two-thirds of Americans expect inflation to go even higher during the next 12 months, according to Washington Post-George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government survey results released Thursday.
A total of 66% of respondents said they expected inflation to get worse, 21% said it will get better, and 12% said it would stay the same.
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., stopped the president’s sweeping “Build Back Better” domestic spending plan in part because of concerns over inflation.
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