Sen. Bernie Sanders leaves the U.S. Capitol. | Alex Wong/Getty Images
The Federal Reserve is “hurting” the United States’ economic situation as the country prepares for a possible recession, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said Sunday.
“I think they’re hurting the situation. It is wrong to be saying that the way we’re going to deal with inflation is by lowering wages and increasing unemployment,” Sanders said, asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press” whether the Federal Reserve’s recent actions have helped or hurt the economy. “That’s not what we should be doing.”
The Fed has recently taken measures to slow the economy, including raising interest rates, in an attempt to curb rising prices — moves that risk causing a recession. Chair Jerome Powell’s actions have largely had bipartisan support, with progressives including Sanders representing a minority dissent.
“At a time when working families are struggling and the people on top are doing phenomenally well, I don’t think you go after working people,” Sanders said, acknowledging inflation is “a global issue.”
Democrats should continue talking about economic positions including raising the minimum wage in a way that centers their campaigns on working people and separates Democrats from their opponents, Sanders said. He referred to Republicans’ discussions on privatizing Social Security and Medicare, calling the idea of cutting either program “grotesque.”
“Democrats have got to hold them accountable for those reactionary positions,” Sanders said.
On the Biden administration side, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that a recession is “possible but not inevitable.”
Import prices have lowered and supply chain problems have eased in recent months, but key inflation numbers have remained high, making the economy a politically perilous issue for President Joe Biden and his fellow Democrats.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said in August she was “very worried that the Fed is going to tip the economy into recession.”