California Representative Calls On Biden To Tackle Inflation With A “Bolder Vision And “Faster Action”

In an op-ed published in The New York Times, Ro Khanna, a Democrat representing the 17th district of California, called on President Joe Biden to do more to lower prices and help Americans fight inflation. 

Khanna said that while he supports the president’s efforts, he believes that the United States needs “a bolder vision and faster action.” 

The California representative’s comments follow President Biden’s presentation of a three-step plan earlier in the week, where the President said that he would aim to make goods more affordable, focusing on gas prices, and reduce the federal deficit through “common-sense reforms to the tax code.”

“To meet the moment, Mr. Biden should convene an emergency task force empowered to lower prices and address shortages. We need an all-out mobilization, not just a few ad hoc initiatives reacting to headlines,” Khanna proposed. “The most urgent goal of this task force would be to lower and stabilize short-term prices of volatile goods like food and fuel. We can do this through pre-emptive buying, a tool we’ve used since World War II.” 

This would mean buying global commodities during significant price dips, which Khanna says occurs multiple times in a month, and reselling them at a lower price to the people. Buying during the dips, according to the representative, will neutralize the price volatility of these goods and lock in low prices.

He believes that this “would lower and stabilize prices for key grocery store products within weeks.” 

Khanna also suggested that to address the infant formula shortage, “we must finance the production of baby formula itself at multiple manufacturers to get the product back in stores as fast as possible.” Comparing this to how the country was able to “go from making fewer than 1,000 warplanes before World War II to 96,000 per year just a few years later,” the model should mean that there should be enough supply of formula to meet the demand within two months.

The representative also outlined recommendations for worker shortages, “we must issue clear regulations to permanently improve their working conditions and provide generous wage subsidies for American workers during the shortages.” 

And then he called on Congress to pass the Bipartisan Innovation Act before June, to pave the way for the country’s re-industrialization, beginning with upping the manufacturing of semiconductors for American cars and laptops.

“To remain the pre-eminent economy, we need enough capacity to handle supply chain disruptions without entire industries being upended,” he said.

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