You know the Biden administration is struggling when even former Obama administration officials are calling out its policy failures.
Enter the former Treasury Department official and current economic analyst Steven Rattner. Rattner just slammed the president over inflation, calling his landmark “stimulus” legislation an “extraordinary policy mistake.” In a New York Times op-ed , Rattner described the painful steps now needed to contain inflation. This, he said, is “the price we pay for poor economic policies delivered by the White House, by Congress and by the Federal Reserve.”
“Those poor policies include far too much budgetary stimulus as we addressed Covid challenges,” Rattner declared. “The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan passed in the early days of the Biden administration will go down in history as an extraordinary policy mistake.” He continued, “And the [Federal Reserve] — an esteemed, independent steward of our monetary policy — similarly overestimated the amount of support the economy needed and pumped trillions of dollars into the system.”
Rattner is right on both counts. As I’ve previously explained , the Federal Reserve’s money-printing binge has absolutely played a huge role in the inflation surge. But even more interesting is his accurate assessment of Democrats’ landmark “stimulus” legislation as an abject failure.
This level of honesty is rare among political operatives aligned with the Democratic Party. Most continue to parrot talking points mindlessly and claim that their “COVID relief” and “stimulus” spending bonanza worked wonders. But the facts just couldn’t be more diametrically opposed to these claims. For one, we actually ended up with fewer jobs under this “stimulus plan” than we were projected to get without spending any money at all. As I wrote for the Washington Examiner magazine:
“The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected that without passing the American Rescue Plan, the economy would create 6.25 million jobs. This projection served as the baseline for the Biden administration. The White House called it a ‘dire’ outcome and promised that the rescue plan would add another 4 million. What’s worse than ‘dire?’ As the American Enterprise Institute’s Matt Weidinger found, 2021 ended with fewer jobs than expected under the CBO’s baseline scenario, even though the Biden administration spent $1.9 trillion — roughly $13,250 per federal taxpayer.”
But didn’t the legislation at least help address the pandemic, as top elected Democrats often claim ?
Not really. Even the left-leaning fact-checker PolitiFact has acknowledged that less than 10% of the bill’s spending went directly to addressing the health effects of the pandemic — and only 1% went to vaccines! Put simply, President Joe Biden’s landmark legislation utterly failed as “stimulus” and did very little to address the pandemic. But it did help fuel inflation.
If that’s not an “extraordinary policy mistake,” I don’t know what is!
This article originally appeared in the Washington Examiner.
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