Policy Matters’ statement ahead of President Biden’s Cleveland visit
Posted July 05, 2022 in Press Releases
President Joe Biden will be in Cleveland tomorrow to deliver "remarks on his economic agenda and building the economy from the bottom up and the middle out." Policy Matters Ohio Executive Director Hannah Halbert released the following statement ahead of his visit.
“Swift federal action during the COVID recession helped families keep food on the table, stay in their homes, and get their children back in the classroom. The infusion of federal dollars helped Ohioans get back on their feet much more quickly than in past recessions. The expanded child tax credit immediately reduced hunger and hardship for hundreds of thousands of Ohio families. Local governments in Ohio are using funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to help more families afford child care, connect more households to the internet, demolish blighted homes, and replace old lead pipes. Just over two years ago, the COVID pandemic destroyed nearly 900,000 Ohio jobs in a month, and put 2 million Ohioans out of work at some point during the pandemic. Thanks largely to robust federal intervention, our state regained all but 134,000 of them by May 2022.
“But inflation is putting more pressure on household budgets and obscuring all the positive momentum in the economy. The causes behind inflation are complicated and multifaceted, including pandemic-induced supply chain bottlenecks and the war in Ukraine. A recent study shows that more than half of inflated costs are going to corporate profits. For years, many wealthy corporations have increased their profits by pushing down wages. Now they are doing so by raising prices.
“The Federal Reserve has responded by raising interest rates — a blunt instrument that will likely cause more layoffs and slow or even reverse our recovery. That’s why it’s so important that Congress pass key parts of President Biden’s agenda that will create well-paying jobs by upgrading the nation’s electric and transportation infrastructure, or by repairing past environmental damage. They can support working families by providing more funding for child care: That will help more parents who want to work to return to the job market. Congress can also enact a temporary excess corporate profit tax to discourage firms from taking advantage of inflationary conditions. Under Biden’s infrastructure law, state and local officials can leverage even more federal funding with projects that create opportunities for people who are too often excluded from job opportunities because of their race, gender, income, or mistakes made in their past. As we wait for Congress to act, our state and local leaders should use every tool in the toolbox to help all Ohioans make ends meet.”