Jared Bernstein, who was nominated this month to chair Biden’s Council of Economic Advisers, whined in 2015 that gas prices were “too damn low.” Gas was, at the time, $2.09 per gallon, but Bernstein insisted that prices should be artificially inflated because “seriously under-priced” fuel costs have “scary consequences” for the environment, the Washington Free Beacon reported. He suggested a tax hike on gas to decrease demand for fossil fuels, even as he acknowledged how such a tax would devastate low-income families.
Bernstein has also come under criticism from Republicans for dismissing inflation as “transitory” in 2021.
Even after it became clear that inflation was not “transitory” — it would eventually reach a 40-year high – Bernstein defended his use of the word.
“When it comes to transitory I think the answer there is that we were careful when we were talking about that to consistently reference the forecasts that are out there, the view on inflation’s trajectory by not only pretty much every forecaster we could find, but of course the Federal Reserve as well,” Bernstein said in 2022.
Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., blasted Biden’s appointment of Bernstein last month, slamming the economist as arrogant.
“The American people probably know Mr. Bernstein best as a man who told them time and time again that inflation was ‘transitory’ — who later had the audacity to say the American people just didn’t understand the definition of transitory when inflation turned out not to be transitory,” Scott said during a Senate hearing last month.
“It is mind-boggling to me that inflation is at a 40-year high and yet the person who advised the president that inflation would be transitory is the very same person the president has nominated to be the chair of the CEA. It just doesn’t make sense.”