The Federal Reserve’s policy of steep interest-rate hikes is not helping the struggling economy and is instead hurting working Americans, Sen. Bernie Sanders said Sunday.
““I think they’re hurting the situation.””
— Sen. Bernie Sanders
“I think it is wrong to be saying that the way we’re going to deal with inflation is by lowering wages and increasing unemployment,” the Vermont independent said in an interview with NBC News’ “Meet the Press.”
“That is not what we should be doing. This inflation thing is a real issue. It is a global issue. But at a time when working families are struggling when the people on top are doing phenomenally well, I don’t think you go after working people,” Sanders said, according to a transcript.
Sanders also said he would not raise interest rates any higher.
The Fed has raised rates by 75 basis points at its past three meetings, to a current range between 3.00% and 3.25%, and is expected to hike rates further to around 4.5% by year’s end, and potentially peaking around 5.5% next year, economist Nick Sargen told MarketWatch last week.
U.S. inflation has soared to 40-year highs this year, with year-over-year inflation slackening to 8.2% in September, according to data released Thursday. That’s down from a 41-year-high of 9.1% in June.
In Sunday’s interview, Sanders rejected the idea that the Democrats’ American Rescue Plan, passed in 2021, contributed to the inflation crisis.
“Inflation right now … is an international problem,” Sanders said. “In Germany, it is 10%. U.K. it is 10%. Canada it is 7%. Inflation globally is caused by the pandemic and the break in supply chains. It is caused by, in my view, the war in Ukraine, obviously.”
“And it is also caused by incredible corporate greed,” he added. “And I hope everybody understands that when you go to the gas tank, you fill up your car today, the oil companies are making huge profits. The food companies are making huge profits. Prescription drug, pharmaceutical industry are making huge profits. We’ve got to deal with that issue.”