Mike Levin on Inflation Responses from the Democrats

Question #4 to Mike Levin, asked by Jake Thene (’23) on behalf of AP US History, period 7.

“Besides the Federal Reserve Bank raising interest rates, how do you suggest we combat inflation without sending the economy into a downward spiral and especially hurting low-income households?”

I think the key here is that we have been working really hard in Congress for the last number of months to combat rising costs. Everything from the Inflation Reduction Act and the way that it addresses the cost of prescription drug–and hopefully y’all don’t need to worry about this just yet, but many of your parents and grandparents your aunts and uncles do–and what the Inflation Reduction Act will do is cap the out of pocket maximum that you have to pay on Medicare to $2,000 per year. It will also cap the cost of insulin at 35 bucks a month. This is a big deal because prescription drug prices are a growing percentage of people’s spending each month, just the same healthcare as the Affordable Care Act–which again you might not have to worry about yet but believe me your family members and others do. As part of legislation last year, we dramatically reduced the premiums associated with the Affordable Care Act and keeping those reduced premiums in place was really really important to keep those costs reduced. So, when it comes to healthcare, when it comes to prescription drugs, we’ve taken action. When it comes to ocean shipping, making sure that supply chain bottlenecks have been reduced, we’ve taken action. When it comes to baby formula, making sure that we have a readily available supply of baby formula, that was legislation that we passed as well. And of course when it comes to our energy costs, the Inflation Reduction Act it’s estimated actually dramatically reduced people’s energy costs for a variety of reasons, but I am very proud of reducing energy costs as well. When you think about what the other side is offering when it comes to inflation, they’re very good at pointing fingers at us and saying we’re not doing anything, but when you ask them OK what’s your plan they don’t really have much of a plan. Their plan consists of tax cuts for rich people, and going after Social Security and Medicare, and we know that because they’ve said so. Pretty much the plan on the other side of the aisle–and the guy I’m running against I think was invited here but decided not to attend, didn’t want to answer your questions I guess–their plans are tax cuts for rich folks, and tax cuts for big corporations. Those are their plans for just about everything, and that’s when inflation’s up, that’s when inflation’s down, that’s when the economy is good, that’s when the economy is bad. Just give tax cuts to rich people, it’ll solve everything. But at the end of the day it doesn’t help the people who actually need it most, and that’s what we’re trying to do is help the people who need it most.

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