Biden’s Far-Left Economist, Jared Bernstein, Was Disastrously Wrong On Inflation And Shouldn’t Get A Promotion

In A Rush To Implement Left-Wing Priorities, Jared Bernstein Dismissed Inflation Risks, Called Inflation ‘Transitory,’ And Does Not Think Biden Should Change Course On Economic Policies, All While Advocating For A Far-Left Wishlist Featuring Higher Gas Prices, Higher Taxes, More IRS Agents, And More Abortions


“President Joe Biden’s next pick to lead the Council of Economic Advisers is bracing for a barrage of political attacks centered on how the White House has tackled inflation. Jared Bernstein is a longtime member of Biden’s inner circle who has served in top administration roles as well as progressive think tanks focusing on economic policy. … Frequently appearing on TV, Bernstein was one of the most visible White House proponents that the inflation first seen in 2021 was ‘transitory’ and would soon fade. He was a chief advocate of the sweeping, $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, which critics say triggered the persistent high prices that have become a political and economic headache for Biden.” (“Biden’s Pick For Top WH Economist Faces Senate Grilling,” The Associated Press, 4/17/2023)


‘Joe Biden’s Man On The Left,’ Jared ‘Bernstein Is What Lefties Wish They Had In Their Candidate,’ ‘His Inclination On Many Economic Issues Has Been Close To Agreement With Bernie Sanders’s’

“Before leaving the [Obama] administration in 2011, Bernstein was one of the White House’s rare lefties, his voice routinely drowned out by a chorus of moderates. … With that solid left-wing track record, Bernstein landed the Biden job as a thank-you to labor unions who had helped Barack Obama win the election. ‘On daily economic briefings in the Oval Office with the president, Jared was always at the table,’ says Christina Romer, a Berkeley economist who was Obama’s chair of the Council of Economic Advisers. Progressives hoped that Bernstein would be a savvy insider whose backroom machinations would give the administration one H-E–double hockey sticks of a shove to the left. Whenever lefties wanted something from the White House, they went to Jared. ‘Bernstein was always a conduit that progressives had to get into Obamaland,’ says Alex Lawson, the director of Social Security Works, who tangled with Team Obama. Early on, Bernstein wrangled a three-hour dinner with a handful of top progressives at the vice president’s residence, a rare chance for them to present their views directly to Biden himself.” (“Joe Biden’s Man On The Left,” The Atlantic, 10/29/2020)

“Bernstein is what lefties wish they had in their candidate... Those same progressives love Bernstein. ‘His inclination on many economic issues has been close to agreement with Bernie Sanders’s,’ Faiz Shakir, Sanders’s 2020 campaign manager, told me.” (“Joe Biden’s Man On The Left,” The Atlantic, 10/29/2020)

  • “But even Biden’s been sounding Bernsteinian of late, and progressives are salivating over some of his policy promises. … Biden’s climate plan sounds a whole lot like a Green New Deal, even though he won’t call it that. And on labor, housing, the minimum wage, bankruptcy reform, and free college, Biden has unleashed a fusillade of left-wing plans that are the most progressive ever for a Democratic nominee.” (“Joe Biden’s Man On The Left,” The Atlantic, 10/29/2020)

‘One Adviser To The White House Described Bernstein As Biden’s “Economic Brain”’

“One adviser to the White House described Bernstein as Biden’s ‘economic brain.’” (“Biden Builds A New Team To Carry Him Across Landmines,” Politico, 2/22/2023)


After More Than A Year Of Higher Inflation From Biden’s Reckless Spending, Bernstein Claimed The White House Should Not Pivot On Its Economic Policies

FOX NEWS’ BILL HEMMER: “Is it time for this White House and the Biden administration to pivot on its economic policies?”
JARED BERNSTEIN, Member of the Council of Economic Advisers: “No…”
HEMMER: “I asked you that question and you said no. So are you saying no change? Are you saying no change in policy?”
BERNSTEIN: “Let me explain why, because the policies that we’re doing to help mitigate and ease price pressures are having effect.” (Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom,” 10/13/2022)


Despite Dismissing Inflation For Months, Bernstein Said The White House Didn’t Miss Anything On Inflation

BERNSTEIN: “Well, first of all, we’re having an inflationary story in every advanced economy in the globe, and in fact, inflation is historically elevated everywhere. So it is certainly not just one country’s fiscal or monetary policy.”
CNBC’S ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: “But then the question is, what did the White House miss [on inflation]? And what is the lesson of that?”
BERNSTEIN: “I don’t think the White House missed much at all [on inflation]…” (CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” 6/13/2022)

Before Biden’s Reckless Spending Spree Became Law, Bernstein Downplayed Its Inflation Risks

BERNSTEIN:I think [Larry Summers is] wrong. I think he is wrong in a pretty profound way about that -- about that claim in the following sense. And there’s a way in which Larry’s offering a warning that we’ve actually already heeded. So let me get into this a little bit. … But what Larry is worrying about here is inflation overheating. And right now we have inflation that’s been below the Fed’s target rate of 2 percent for well over a decade. And so we also have tremendous unused capacity in this economy. … That’s not overheating. It doesn’t mean there won’t be some heat. And where Larry got something importantly wrong, by the way, is by suggesting that the administration was being dismissive of any inflation -- potential inflationary pressures.” (CNN, 2/05/2021)

BERNSTEIN: “I mean, one thing is just wrong, which is that that our team is dismissive of inflationary risks. We’ve constantly argued that the risks of doing too little are far greater than the risk of going big, providing families and businesses with the relief they need to finally put this virus behind us. … I’m more concerned about…the damage that will do not just to their lives, but to the United States economy, to the productive capacity of the economy.  I’m more concerned about that than about the possibility which exists of higher inflation. So, this is risk management. This is balancing risks. And in our view, the risks of doing too little are far greater than the risks of doing too much.The risk is a deflationary risk, which motivates us to go home — or to go big or to go home.  And the costs of inaction, of not addressing these risks, are too steep and too costly to these vulnerable — to these vulnerable groups, relative to the likelihood of overheating.  That’s the way I think about it.” (White House Press Briefing, 2/05/2021)

  • BERNSTEIN: “Yes. I think we have to distinguish between heat and overheat. So by overheating, Larry is talking about the possibility of inflation really taking off. Well, we have an unemployment rate that is almost twice what it was before this crisis. … And with inflation running well below 2%, which is the Federal Reserve’s target for almost a decade now. Again, we need to generate heat that’s not going to be overheat.” (CNN, 1/22/2021)

“Jared Bernstein, a member of Mr. Biden’s Council of Economic Advisers, said the administration believes the risks of high and persistent unemployment, hunger, eviction and other fallout from Covid-19 without stimulus outweigh the risks of inflation with stimulus.” (“Is Inflation a Risk? Not Now, but Some See Danger Ahead,” The Wall Street Journal, 3/01/2021)

After Biden’s Reckless Spending Spree, Bernstein Called The Emerging Inflation Modest And ‘Transitory’

JARED BERNSTEIN AND ERNIE TEDESCHI: “We think the likeliest outlook over the next several months is for inflation to rise modestly due to the three temporary factors we discuss above, and to fade back to a lower pace thereafter as actual inflation begins to run more in line with longer-run expectations. Such a transitory rise in inflation would be consistent with some prior episodes in American history coming out of a pandemic or when the labor market has quickly shifted, such as demobilization from wars.” (“Pandemic Prices: Assessing Inflation In The Months And Years Ahead,” The White House, Release, 4/12/2021)


Bernstein Said ‘One Of My Favorites’ In Biden’s Reckless Taxing And Spending Spree Was The 87,000 New IRS Agents

BERNSTEIN “Of the many great parts of the Inflation Reduction Act, one of my favorites is finally giving the IRS the resources it needs to go after high-end tax evasion.” (Jared Bernstein, @econjared, Twitter, 8/09/2022)


Bernstein Has Repeatedly Attacked Affordable Oil And Gas And Said ‘Fossil Fuel Costs Should Be Higher’ Even As He Acknowledges That It ‘Will Disproportionately Hurt The Least Advantaged’

BERNSTEIN: “[T]here are sound environmental reasons for increasing the price on carbon. But because of a uniquely timed collision between increased supply and weakened demand, the prices of oil and gas are extremely low right now. From the perspective of the environmental damage they cause–the transportation sector accounts for 30 percent of our greenhouse gas emissions–they’re too cheap. That’s why I like the new idea from the White House to phase in, over five years, a $10 fee per barrel of oil, both domestic and imported. Here’s a useful explainer from Vox. As you’ll see, they’re thinking of this as far more than just another way to boost the federal gas tax. It’s part of an agenda to clean up transportation writ large. To be clear, I’m totally cognizant of the distributional burden of higher energy costs on low and middle-income families. … Now, the fact that the statutory incidence is on the oil companies doesn’t tell you much about who pays the proposed fee. They’ll pass it forward to consumers, and that will disproportionately hurt the least advantaged.” (“Obama’s New Oil Fee Idea And The Increase In Miles Driven,” “On The Economy” Jared Bernstein Blog, 2/05/2016)

BERNSTEIN: “Fossil fuels were already underpriced from the perspective of carbon emissions. The fact that gas prices are heading back to numbers I remember as a kid driving around with my mother many decades ago exacerbates this problem, with long-term consequences that go far beyond the economic cycle. Those are downsides, and there are, of course, upsides. You’ve filled your gas tank recently, right? I’m saving about $15 per fill-up. There’s a debate as to whether households are spending their cheap-gas dividend, but it looks as though many are, and in a 70 percent consumption economy, that’s seriously pro-growth. As I’ve often stressed, when inflation is running about zero, nominal wage gains don’t have to rise for them to become real wage gains: Increased buying power is driven by slower inflation, not faster wage growth.” (“Why Cheap Oil Is Not An Economic Blessing,” The Washington Post, 1/19/2016)

BERNSTEIN:So, what’s not to like about $60-a-barrel oil? Well, there’s the fact that it’s melting the planet. That’s hyperbole meant to get your attention, but the fact is that cheap oil is totally inconsistent with sustainable growth. This creates both a potential crisis — one that is already playing out in the accelerated effects of global warming, including the increased frequency of intense storms — and a potential opportunity.” (Jared Bernstein, Op-Ed, “Oil, Wages And Climate,” The Washington Post, 11/12/2018)

In 2019, Bernstein Complained That ‘Fossil Fuels Are Severely Underpriced’ And With $2.59 Gas ‘Fossil Fuel Costs Should Be Higher’

BERNSTEIN: “And yet, there’s a key area where prices fail us every day. They fail us every time you fill up your gas tank: Fossil fuels are severely underpriced. What do I mean by that? I mean that fossil fuels are imposing costs on our environment, our economy, and our future that are not being captured by their price. That underpricing has consequences. Energy costs are so low and so unresponsive to the environmental challenge we face that they send us a signal to literally keep cruising along, ignoring the pressing reality of climate change.” (Jared Bernstein, Op-Ed, “The Climate Crisis And The Failure Of Economics,” Vox, 10/11/2019)

  • BERNSTEIN: “Over the last decade, energy costs grew on an annual basis at a mere 1.4 percent, a touch slower than overall prices, which were up 1.5 percent per year. Last month, the average price of a gallon of gas was $2.59; 10 years prior, in September 2009, that price — in nominal terms — was an almost identical $2.55. How can that be? Given the increasing awareness of the urgency of climate change over the past 10 years, fossil fuel costs should be higher and they should be growing faster than overall prices, signaling their contribution to global warming. Why is the price system failing so miserably in such an important facet of our lives and our children’s lives?” (Jared Bernstein, Op-Ed, “The Climate Crisis And The Failure Of Economics,” Vox, 10/11/2019)

Bernstein Supports The Green New Deal

BERNSTEIN: “This diagnosis matters because we need to either unjam the model and attach a sustainable price on carbon or recognize that politics as currently practiced won’t allow us to do that, in which case we’ll need to figure out other, bolder ways to fight climate change. The Green New Deal may well play a role in that alternative vision.” (Jared Bernstein, Op-Ed, “The Climate Crisis And The Failure Of Economics,” Vox, 10/11/2019)

  • BERNSTEIN: “Clearly, a different approach is necessary. Which is why we really should take the Green New Deal seriously. The GND potentially works precisely because it does not try to hit the problem head-on. It doesn’t adjust price signals by taxing carbon or try to convince people that there’s a big problem out there beyond their discounting horizon. Instead, the GND puts action against climate change in an immediate and broad social justice context that recognizes the urgency of present needs — better jobs (many in green sectors, a way in which action on climate can be pro-growth, for the record) and health care — while plotting an ambitious course to 100 percent renewable and emission-free electricity in the relatively near future.” (Jared Bernstein, Op-Ed, “The Climate Crisis And The Failure Of Economics,” Vox, 10/11/2019)


Bernstein Claimed Abortion ‘At Its Core’ Is An Economic Issue And Was Good For Personal Finances

BERNSTEIN: “Some of our most rigorous and high-quality economic research -- and by that, I mean research that really establishes causation -- asks about this very question. And it finds that when you deny access to reproductive rights in general but abortion rights in particular to women, they have persistently worse economic outcomes. Financially, it’s like losing a job. It’s like being evicted. It’s like losing health insurance. It’s like going to the hospital in terms of its impact on their finances. If you look at occupation, earnings, education, maternal health -- all of those indicators are significantly damaged when we restrict access to abortion. Again, some of our highest-quality research consistently finds that, and it finds that these effects are most pernicious for women of color and for younger women. So this is a -- it’s a justice issue, it’s a liberty issue, it’s a women’s right issue -- of course, health issue, first and foremost, personal decision. But it is also at its core here an economic issue, particularly for younger women and women of color.” (CNN’s “New Day,” 5/05/2022)

  • BERNSTEIN: “Look, if you’re a wealthy person in a place without access you can probably get yourself to a place where you -- where you can access an abortion. But if you’re someone who doesn’t have those resources -- and again, this is what the research show unequivocally -- your financial conditions, your occupational opportunities, your education, your earnings, your health -- we’ve seen solid results in terms of family formation. So there’s just -- all of these costs will fall most severely on those who are unable to access abortion should Roe come down.” (CNN’s “New Day,” 5/05/2022)


Bernstein Supports Sen. Warren’s Confiscatory And Potentially Unconstitutional ‘Wealth Tax’ On Unrealized Gains, Calling It ‘A Tax Idea This Country Desperately Needs’

BERNSTEIN: “Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has just introduced a tax idea this country desperately needs: a tax on high-end wealth. It’s an idea that’s well-crafted for our time, one that promises to add fairness to an unfair tax code, raise significant, much-needed revenue and push back on the historically high level of wealth concentration in the United States. Here’s the plan, which, for the record, is extremely simple to explain, an advantage when it comes to tax policy: Wealth over $50 million would be taxed at 2 percent; wealth over $1 billion would face an extra 1 percent tax. ‘Wealth’ is defined as net worth — the value of assets minus any debts.” (Jared Bernstein, Op-Ed, “Sen. Warren’s Plan To Tax The Ultrawealthy Is A Smart Idea Whose Time Has Come,” The Washington Post, 1/24/2019)

  • BERNSTEIN: “But perhaps the main reason to bring Warren’s plan to fruition is because, as Zucman writes, ‘For the rich, wealth begets power.’ This is especially the case in our pay-to-play politics, where the high wealth concentrations documented above buy the policies that block ideas just like this one. In other words, to give Warren the last word, the economy — more precisely, the tax code — is rigged. True, this plan isn’t going to become law anytime too soon, but those of us longing to de-rig the economy are in it for the long haul. So, thanks, Senator, for providing us with an inspiring idea whose time has come.” (Jared Bernstein, Op-Ed, “Sen. Warren’s Plan To Tax The Ultrawealthy Is A Smart Idea Whose Time Has Come,” The Washington Post, 1/24/2019)


Bernstein Incredibly Supports A Wacky Fringe Far-Left Idea To Mint A Trillion Dollar Platinum Coin To Unlawfully Circumvent Congress

BERNSTEIN: “Oh, and pre-empting comments re the ‘platinum coin’ solution, the reason I don’t go there in the piece, along with space constraints, is that Treasury and White House officials have been unequivocal in rejecting that approach, as they do not believe they have the authority to mint such a coin. I don’t know if that’s legally accurate, but I’ve seen enough scholarly arguments on the other side (arguing the Treasury does have such authority) that if it really came to default, I’d mint the coin in a New-York minute. Yes, the opposition would take legal action, but believe me, the White House is plenty lawyered up.” (“Don’t Even Fool Around With The Debt Ceiling,” “On The Economy” Jared Bernstein Blog, 10/22/2015)



Related Issues: Nominations, Energy, Green New Deal, Inflation, IRS, Economy