President Biden meets with Fed chief Jerome Powell at the White House Tuesday afternoon, but he has already signaled his main message in advance: "I won't meddle with the Fed," is how a headline above a Biden op-ed in the Wall Street Journal puts it. In his piece, the president makes clear that he will take a hands-off policy toward the Federal Reserve, which has begun to raise interest rates to fight inflation. As Axios notes, this is "a stark contrast with President Trump and many other past presidents (including Presidents Nixon, Reagan and George H.W. Bush), who pushed the Fed toward easier money."
Biden himself addresses this point, asserting that Trump "demeaned the Fed," and other presidents sought to exert influence "inappropriately." Biden writes that "the most important thing we can do now to transition from rapid recovery to stable, steady growth is to bring inflation down,” adding that he agreed with the Fed’s assessment “that fighting inflation is our top economic challenge right now.” Politico casts the op-ed, and the later meeting with Powell, as the start of a month-long push by the White House to try to turn around public perception of Biden's handling of the economy, which goes a long way toward explaining his anemic overall approval rating of about 42%.
That, however, will be a tough challenge. At the conservative Red State, Bob Hoge writes that Biden's op-ed likely will not resonate with everyday Americans staring at sky-high prices, because the president boasts of achieving the "most robust recovery in modern history." All in all, the "op-ed has a lot of numbers, and a ton of goals—but few proposals that will actually make the little guy cheer." Read Biden's full essay, in which he lays out a three-part economic plan that begins with taming inflation. (Read more inflation stories.)