NTU Urges Careful Examination of Dr. Jared Bernstein's Nomination

This Thursday, the Senate Banking Committee is set to consider the nomination of Dr. Jared Bernstein to ascend to the Chair of the influential White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA). Similar to other nominees that have been put forth lately, such as Julie Su, the Senate should be concerned about the potential impacts they could have on taxpayers.

As the Chair of the CEA, Jared Bernstein will have significant resources and influence to deploy  policy ideas that will hurt taxpayers. The Chair of the CEA has traditionally been a relatively noncontroversial source of economic analysis, but Dr. Bernstein’s past history of statements that deviate from the mainstream should be concerning.

On inflation, Dr. Bernstein was quoted saying that inflation in 2021 was “transitory,” when this inflationary pattern has been durable and extraordinary with little sign of slowing down. This wouldn’t be so concerning if not coupled with Dr. Bernstein’s proposed  economic solutions. Some concerning comments include stating that the Inflation Reduction Act, would “more than pay for itself,” and which recent estimates suggest will be far more expensive than anticipated thus likely increasing inflationary pressures.

He has also supported increasing deficit spending to take advantage of low interest rates. In 2019, he said: “Can-do economics recognizes that low interest rates relative to growth rates and global capital flows seeking safe U.S. government bonds significantly lower the economic costs of budget deficits. Thus, the government can often safely borrow to make productive investments.” Seeing the nation’s current financial situation, doubling down on even more borrowing would be incredibly unsustainable. Finally, taxpayers should be concerned about his comments on increasing taxes across the economy - on “significant tax hikes” for a broad swath of Americans, “a higher federal gas tax”, and even a tax on all “financial transactions.

The Senate should exercise caution that a historically noncontroversial position does not have its  credibility damaged by an economic policy maker that has advocated for harmful proposals and even attempted to alter the definition of a recession