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Tipsheet

Former Obama Economist Identifies Key 'Culprit' of Inflation

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Obama administration economist Steve Rattner said Thursday that President Biden’s spending policies are partially to blame for record-high inflation.

During an interview on MSNBC, host Joe Scarborough wondered whether it was “utter nonsense” that people are blaming the president for higher prices.

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While noting there are “several culprits” that have led to inflation, Rattner pointed to the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan as an example.

“There is Biden and what he’s done, and it’s not irrelevant, but it’s not –”

“And what is that?” Scarborough interjected. 

“Well, that is all the spending, basically,” he explained.  “The $1,400 tax, the $2 trillion that you and I have talked about a lot that’s on the sidelines, half of that’s government money that we gave people to spend, and now they’re trying to spend it, so you get inflation.”

Rattner also pointed to the Fed for inflation, which he said “completely blew it” in a way he hasn’t seen in decades. 

“I love the Fed, but there’s nothing good to say about it,” he stated. “And it is absolutely true that there are unforced problems out there. Putin, I wouldn’t call this Putin’s inflation, but there’s no question that Ukraine and Russia have had a major impact on the inflation.”

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President Biden, meanwhile, has said criticism that the legislation caused inflation is "bizarre."

On Monday, Rattner said people should "thank Joe Manchin" for blocking Build Back Better "because $6.5 trillion of spending in this economy would make these [inflation and interest rate] numbers look small." 

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