Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said over the weekend that we’re going to have to “put up with inflation for a while longer,” which means that she has now held just about every possible — and almost always wrong — position on an issue about which she is supposedly an expert. Is it any wonder nobody trusts elites anymore?
Yellen was on CNBC over the weekend and, when asked whether inflation had peaked, said:
“Well, it may have peaked, but … I think the shocks emanating from this unjustified attack on Ukraine will prolong inflationary pressures. So, the outlook is uncertain. As you know, the Fed is taking steps to bring inflation down, but I think we will have to put up with high inflation for a while longer.”
Let’s leave aside Yellen’s dubious claim that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has had any meaningful impact on inflation. Why would it? Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, which was far more disruptive to the global oil market, bumped oil prices up for a short period but had no broader inflationary effect.
The Putin-is-to-blame for skyrocketing prices is one of team Biden’s big lies meant to deflect blame. But the press never calls them on it.
No, what’s really troubling is the fact that Biden’s Treasury secretary has been so utterly clueless about inflation since joining his cabinet.
Let’s look at what Yellen has claimed about inflation since early last year and the actual results. The chart shows what inflation was doing when she made these statements.
- February 2021: “I’ve spent many years studying inflation and worrying about inflation, and I can tell you, we have the tools to deal with that risk if it materializes.”
- March 2021: “I don’t think it’s a significant risk. And if it materializes, we’ll certainly monitor for it, but we have tools to address it.”
- May 2021: “I don’t think there’s going to be an inflationary problem, but if there is, the Fed can be counted on.”
- June 2021: “Supply bottlenecks have developed that have caused inflation. I believe that they’re transitory, but that doesn’t mean they’ll go away over the next several months.”
- October 2021: “I don’t think we’re about to lose control of inflation.”
- November 2021: “If we want to get inflation down, I think continuing to make progress against the pandemic is the most important thing we can do.”
- January 2022: “If we’re successful in controlling the pandemic, I expect inflation to diminish over the course of the year and hopefully revert to normal levels by the end of the year around 2%.”
- February 2022: “I think people heard ‘transitory,’ and to them it meant a couple of months. Maybe a better word could have been chosen.”
- March 2022: “We’re likely to see another year in which 12-month inflation numbers remain very uncomfortably high.”
Keep in mind who we are talking about here. Yellen has a sterling resume. A doctorate in economics from Yale. Professorships at Harvard and the University of California, Berkeley. On the faculty of the London School of Economics. President of the Western Economic Association and vice president of the American Economic Association. Head of the Council of Economic Advisors under President Bill Clinton. President of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Chairwoman of the Federal Reserve.
So how in the world can her pronouncements about inflation under President Joe Biden be as reliable as the weather forecast? Is her understanding of economics tainted by liberal ideology? Is she just doing the bidding of an incompetent and desperate Biden administration?
Does it matter? Yellen is a shining example of why so many in this country feel betrayed by the people who claim lordship over them.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board