- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 31, 2022

President Biden is scheduled to meet with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Tuesday and will underscore the White House message that the economy is on the right track despite the pain of soaring inflation.

The Oval Office meeting will be the first time Mr. Biden has met with Mr. Powell since nominating him in November to serve a second term as the central bank chairman.

The two plan to discuss the state of the economy and the administration’s plan for tackling inflation, which ranks as “the president’s top economic priority,” according to a White House announcement.

Mr. Biden previewed this plan in a Wall Street Journal op-ed Tuesday in which he touted the comparatively strong economic position the U.S. is in, despite “serious challenges” to the global economy.

He also highlighted his administration’s moves to reduce the federal deficit, citing a Congressional Budget Office projection from last week that forecasts a $1.7 trillion reduction this year.

“We now have a chance to build on a historic recovery with an economy that works for working families,” the president wrote. “The most important thing we can do now to transition from rapid recovery to stable, steady growth is to bring inflation down.”

Mr. Biden said his relationship with the Federal Reserve, which has “a primary responsibility to control inflation,” is key to reducing costs for American families.

“My predecessor demeaned the Fed, and past presidents have sought to influence its decisions inappropriately during periods of elevated inflation,” he said. “I won’t do this. I have appointed highly qualified people from both parties to lead that institution.”

Beyond highlighting the central bank’s role, the president’s plan calls for further measures to fix broken supply chains, build affordable housing, and reduce the cost of perception drugs.

Mr. Biden‘s plan calls on Congress to pass clean energy tax credits, which he said would reduce utility bills by $500 per year for the average American family, “and accelerate our transition from energy produced by autocrats.”

He also proposed “common-sense” tax reforms and giving the IRS “the resources to collect taxes that Americans already owe.”

The White House is gearing up for a fight with Congressional Republicans over its legislative proposals to fight inflation.

In the op-ed, Mr. Biden contrasts his plan to Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott’s “11 Point Plan to Rescue America” put forward in the spring, which the White House says would “would raise taxes on people making less than $100,000 and require that Congress reauthorize bedrock programs like Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid every five years.”

“That would make American families poorer and more economically insecure,” Mr. Biden wrote.

Mr. Biden‘s meeting with Mr. Powell on Tuesday is part of an effort to communicate White House accomplishments on the economy to date and will kickstart a campaign to lay out its plan going forward.

“Talking about the economy and how we can put more money in the pockets of working families will be the key message being driven by the White House all month, in addition to work will continue to communicate on along parallel tracks, including combatting gun violence,” a White House official said.

• Joseph Clark can be reached at jclark@washingtontimes.com.

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