Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will reportedly be sticking around in the current administration until President Joe Biden’s term ends. Senior White House officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Politico that the president requested she stay on board for the next two years as the nation braces for the next crucial battle in Washington: raising the US borrowing limit. In recent months, there has been chatter throughout the Swamp that she might be handing in her resignation notice. So, does her record support Yellen keeping her job, or should it force Biden to hand out a pink slip instead?
The Janet Yellen Record
Yellen, who previously served one term as head of the Federal Reserve, has put together a putrid track record since helming the Treasury Department. She would be out of work if the nation’s capital were real life. Instead, because the US government functions opposite to the private sector, Yellen remains employed.
The most notable blemish on Yellen’s CV has been inflation, which Liberty Nation has thoroughly detailed in the last two years. In March 2021, she told a Wall Street Journal event that she did not think there would be “an inflationary problem.” She would later tell MSNBC that there were no signs of inflation, adding that inflationary concerns surrounding the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan (ARP) were “misplaced.” By the spring, Yellen told Congress that the bout of inflation at the time would be “temporary,” and said it was “not something that’s endemic.” By the end of 2021, she supported Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s recommendation to retire the term “transitory” when discussing inflation.
In an interview with CNN in June 2022, Janet Yellen conceded that she got it wrong. “I think I was wrong then about the path that inflation would take,” she said. “As I mentioned, there have been unanticipated and large shocks to the economy that have boosted energy and food prices and supply bottlenecks that have affected our economy badly that I didn’t – at the time – didn’t fully understand, but we recognize that now.”
It was not until December that she said inflation would be “much lower” by the end of 2023, also noting that “there’s a risk of a recession.” She would take the time to blame the American people for inflation. That said, her prognostication of disinflation was a few months too late, as Liberty Nation noted in July that deflation was on the horizon.
But while this has been one of the most pressing economic issues this generation, it has not been the only thing on Yellen’s plate. A chief aspect of her tenure was advancing a global corporate minimum tax to prevent corporations from shopping around for lower rates and governments from participating in “a race to the bottom.” Although Democrats have cheered on her policy recommendations, conservatives and libertarians have slammed this endeavor. So, based on your political stance, this was either a great tool or the wrong prescription.
Yellen also proposed taxing unrealized capital gains, successfully raised the national debt ceiling, arranged the oil price cap on Russian crude, and endorsed a digital dollar. Well, at least she has promised the IRS would offer better customer service this tax season.
The Final Battle
The US debt ceiling debate, which is expected to occur sometime in the second half of 2023, will likely be one of Yellen’s last battles of her time in Washington before she rides off into the sunset to a cushy six-figure consultancy position. With Republicans in control of the House and the GOP potentially putting up a bigger fight over America’s fiscal troubles this year, it will be a fierce confrontation. Will the lady from Brooklyn achieve one final victory? It is highly likely, but the pursuit of adding to the nation’s ever-growing debt will force greater consumption of Pepto Bismol for Yellen and the Democrats.
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