A new senior Fed official criticized Biden's agenda: “Stop.  Seriously'

A new senior Fed official criticized Biden’s agenda: “Stop. Seriously’

Austan Goolsbee, who was named the new president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago on Thursday, has regularly taken part in a poll of University of Chicago economists, often siding with the Biden administration’s economic positions.

Goolsbee’s voting record on the poll showed deep disagreements with President Biden over student debt relief, tax credits for electric vehicles, price gouging and a windfall tax on oil companies. Goolsbee was a professor of economics at the University of Chicago for several years and was previously chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers during the Obama administration.

In a September survey to which he responded, Goolsbee voted in favor of a prompt that said Biden’s student loan relief plan was likely to result in “significantly higher tuition” at some universities. In his response, Goolsbee said the plan would have the greatest impact on for-profit schools and that higher tuition fees would be caused by the income-based repayment rule allowing low-income borrowers to have lower monthly payments.

Biden announced in August that his administration would provide a $10,000 student loan to people earning less than $125,000 a year, or $250,000 jointly, and $20,000 in assistance to Pell Grant recipients. Following the announcement, the White House pushed back on criticism about its price and its impact on future costs.


Austan Goolsbee

Austan Goolsbee, a University of Chicago professor and former White House official, speaks at the Obama Foundation’s “Democracy Forum” in New York on November 17. (Reuters/Brendan McDermid/Reuters Pictures)

“So listen, this — we’ve taken action on — on colleges — colleges are raising tuition,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Aug. 25. “This is something the Department of Education, Secretary Cardona takes very seriously. He has been watching closely and he will hold colleges accountable for rising costs without adding value.

“So we’re going to try to do our best to reduce those costs when we talk about tuition. But – but if we want to do more and what – we just have to see what that number looks like,” she said. for follow-up. .

In July, Goolsbee voted that a $7,500 tax credit for electric vehicle purchases was “regressive.” A so-called regressive tax is a tax that disproportionately punishes low-income taxpayers, according to the Tax Foundation.


During this time, Biden has been a proponent of the electric vehicle tax credit and expanded it via the Cut Inflation Act.

Biden stands on the presidential podium

President Biden delivers remarks alongside Education Secretary Miguel Cardona regarding student loan debt forgiveness on August 24. (Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Goolsbee also voted in March that he disagreed both that a windfall tax on oil company profits would protect Americans from rising energy costs and that a suspension gas tax would lower prices at the pump.

Biden, however, has been a strong supporter of a windfall tax on oil companies, which he blamed for rising gas prices following the war in Ukraine. He also asked Congress to suspend the federal gasoline tax.


“They — they have the opportunity to do that — by lowering prices for consumers at the pump,” Biden remarked during an Oct. 31 speech. “You know, if they don’t, they’re going to pay a higher tax on their excess profits and face other restrictions.”

“My team will work with Congress to consider those options — those options available to us and others. It is time for these corporations to stop profiting from war, to take responsibility for this country and to give the American people a break and continue to do very well.”

President Biden and record gasoline prices

Biden has backed both a windfall tax on oil companies and a suspension of the federal gasoline tax, two policies that Goolsbee said would be ineffective. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Goolsbee also pushed back a January 2022 survey question on whether price controls could help reduce inflation levels. He said he strongly disagreed with the premise that controlling the price of goods would keep inflation low.

“Stop. Seriously,” he said in response to the question.

In May, House Democrats passed the Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act, legislation that would give Biden the power to issue an emergency statement prohibiting energy prices that are set “excessively or abusively.” .


And in May 2021, Goolsbee said the pandemic-era unemployment insurance included in the U.S. bailout package signed by Biden would not result in increased incomes for workers overall. Biden had argued that extending unemployment benefits gave workers bargaining power over potential employers when negotiating wages.

“Pay them more,” Biden told reporters in June 2021 when asked about unemployment benefits. “It is now a bargaining chip for employees. [Employers] are going to have to compete and start paying decent wages to hard workers.”

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