Democrats increasingly look at this chart as a second-derivative on US inflation. It’s Biden’s approval rating:
The trend is not his friend and various strategies including messaging like ‘Putin’s price hike’ or blaming the Fed aren’t having the desired effect. Janet Yellen is likely going to be sacrificed to the inflation gods after the global minimum tax deal (which is an underrated accomplishment).
At this point, inflation is an existential fight for Democrats as they’re running out of time to avoid a total wipeout in the November midterms.
The main area to watch is oil, where the Biden administration has put everything on the table. They’ve floated a windfall tax but I maintain that has zero chance of passing the Senate, where either Manchin or Sinema can block it. If anything, the talk of a windfall tax is already discouraging oil investment, so it’s counter-productive anyway.
A more-likely idea that seems to be gaining momentum is a gas-tax holiday. Of course, that’s only going to boost demand and keep oil prices higher for longer.
Biden’s fatal decision appears to be his Day 1 blocking of the Keystone XL pipeline, which was a net-zero pipeline that would have brought oil from Canada. Now he’s going to Saudi Arabia and begging for help instead.
The second arrow in Biden’s quiver is tariffs. They’re undoubteldy inflationary and there are increasing signs he could drop them on China. That’s politically fraught as well but it sounds like an announcement will come after next week’s G7 meeting.
“White House officials discussed options on Friday with Biden for reducing some of former President Donald Trump’s punitive duties on China, including potentially substantial cuts, three of the sources said. The scale of any potential final move is not yet decided, they said.”
The rumored proposal would cut all tariffs outside of semi-conductors and related industries.
I find it continually shocking that the US isn’t considering dropping lumber tariffs as well.