The United States faced the “very real risk of recession, even depression” in President Joe Biden’s first year in office, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said on Sunday.
In an interview on ABC News’ “This Week,” Buttigieg said there were still benefits to be felt from the US bailout.
“There was a very real risk of recession, even depression, and a US bailout made huge differences in communities across the country,” he said.
“The fact that unemployment is as low as it is right now would not have happened, I believe, without the actions that the president has taken and the actions that Congress has gone through and passed like the bailout and this that we’re going to see the benefits of – this infrastructure act Do anything on a bipartisan basis, this president has done it, a lot of people in Congress have something to be proud of.
Buttigieg outlined two strategies to support the economy, and without naming Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis, blasted a conservative track that includes “going to war with Mickey Mouse.”
“There are two very clear and very different approaches here, there is our approach, which is to find solutions to invest in our supply chains like we do with infrastructure money … do everything we can to reduce costs for American families like the cost of insulin and prescription drugs,” he said.
“And then there’s the other course that conservatives in Congress have proposed is…raise taxes on low- and middle-income families and go to war with Mickey Mouse,” he said, referring to a law that dissolved the private government of Walt Disney World. .
Buttigieg also criticized oil companies for raising prices rather than boosting oil production, and said Republicans had blocked any action to change that.
“It’s very striking right now to see these oil companies that have become almost ridiculously profitable and you hear these oil executives talking publicly about how they’re not going to ramp up production,” Buttigieg said.
“They’re doing great right now, that’s why the president called it use or lose, sitting on these thousands of permits and you’re not doing anything with them, so you’re going to be held accountable for them,” he added. “So far, Republicans in Congress have blocked any action to do something like this. This is another step that would make a difference.”
He also urged Congress to do “things that would make life easier for Americans who are currently facing these economic question marks.”
“The administration and Congress have a job to do…and that is to support the growth of this economy, including…making sure our supply chains are stronger, making sure we invest in the physical and human capacity of our economy to keep up with demand and take action where we can to reduce costs for American families [like] …reducing the cost of insulin, reducing the cost of child care, reducing the cost of housing, things that would make a difference,” he said. “It would make life easier for Americans who are currently facing these economic question marks.
“On the other side of the aisle, not much in concrete ideas,” he added. “There’s a continued push…to scrap the ACA and you’ve continued the culture wars. Working with partners in Congress who come up with a number of good ideas means continuing to take the necessary steps both on the side prices and on the side of the growth side to keep our economy strong.”
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