On Thursday’s broadcast of CNN’s “Situation Room,” Harvard Professor, economist, Director of the National Economic Council under President Barack Obama, and Treasury Secretary under President Bill Clinton Larry Summers argued that “making it easier for energy companies to start drilling or fracking for oil and natural gas” and decreasing regulations would help to lower costs.
Host Wolf Blitzer asked, “So, Mr. Secretary, what, if anything, can the Biden administration do and the Federal Reserve do right now to avoid this recession you fear that could hit us next year?”
Summers responded, “I think the Fed has to do what’s necessary to contain inflation. I think the Biden administration could think about a range of measures to reduce costs, making it easier for energy companies to start drilling or fracking for oil and natural gas, reducing tariffs, … doing away with regulations like the Jones Act, the rules about shipping that raise prices needlessly for, for example, moving oil from Houston to Newark. We could get rid of all kinds of rules that require people who are going to manicure fingernails or cut hair to have licenses and that makes those kinds of tasks in short supply and makes them more expensive than they otherwise would be. So, during the period when we had inflation in the 1970s, Jimmy Carter and Edward Kennedy and Justice Breyer worked together to deregulate airlines, and that’s made travel a lot more affordable and it made a bit of a contribution with respect to inflation during that time. And I think that’s the kind of thing that we need to keep in mind. But look, there are no silver bullets or miracle cures inside of three weeks.”
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