President Biden's Solution To Combat High Food Costs

The Biden administration will apply direct action to curb the costs of certain essential items for American families because bringing down food and gas prices in the near term is not plausible, President Joe Biden said on Wednesday in an address from the White House (via ABC 17). "We can't take immediate action that I'm aware of yet to figure out how we're bringing down the prices of gasoline back to $3 a gallon. And we can't do that immediately with regard to food prices either," he said. Biden pointed to circumstances beyond the administration's control such as the war in Ukraine, which has sent ripple effects through the energy market, leading to higher prices at the pump. It has also choked off the supply of grain, leading to global food shortages and higher prices for bread.

McKinsey & Company, citing data from a variety of sources including the International Monetary Fund, indicates inflation and economic stagnation are likely to persist in America as well as abroad. The Washington Post reports price hikes reached 8% in April — a consequence of such factors as the war in Ukraine, lockdowns in China over the Coronavirus, and increased demand for gasoline during the summer driving season. Despite these challenges, Biden assured Americans some relief is coming. What can people expect from the administration in the near term?

Biden administration works to relieve economic pressure in other areas

Flanked by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, President Joe Biden addressed Americans from the Oval Office on May 31, pledging to work with his government to address inflation with a "laser focus" (via The Washington Post). Strong growth numbers and low unemployment rates, as outlined by McKinsey & Company, will allow the Fed to prevent future interest rate hikes, Biden said. It is a complicated message, and not only because the administration has sought to emphasize the central bank's independence from the Executive Branch. The White House has worked to fix bottlenecks in the supply chain and used the bipartisan infrastructure bill as a vehicle to provide some economic relief, but its predictions for continued gains were checked by the failure of the Build Back Better legislative agenda, along with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the emergence of new Coronavirus variants, and a variety of other developments.

However, Biden's aides are pressuring lawmakers to take action to curtail prescription drug prices, ensure access to affordable childcare, and lower other essential expenditures incurred by many American families with the aim of relieving pressure in some areas so that the pain of facing high prices at the pump and high food costs is perhaps felt less acutely.