Inflation is at "unacceptable levels," said U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen—and one of the only ways to fix it is to become more energy independent.
While inflation rates have been a consistent problem for Americans, it continues to be a "top economic problem," Yellen told senators in a Senate Finance Committee hearing. Addressing inflation is critical, Yellen told lawmakers, as households are experiencing undue economic burdens. She added that the Biden administration would probably increase the inflation forecast, which is already at 4.7 percent. Republican lawmakers have criticized Democrats' handling of the inflation crisis and supply bottlenecks, but Yellen notes that the administration is pivoting in their plan to tackle this enormous issue, and that reducing inflation is one of the President's top priorities.
"I do expect inflation to remain high," Yellen said, "I think I was wrong then about the path that inflation would take. But bringing inflation down should be our number one priority."
However, inflation is not a problem exclusive to the United States. In "virtually every developed country in the world," she adds, inflation rates have been troubling since the beginning of 2022. This is partially due to the war in Ukraine, which has been negatively impacting gas and food prices globally. International oil markets change as geopolitical climates shift, and as a result, it creates instability in acquiring a commodity many need to survive.
To solve the inflation crisis, Yellen called on lawmakers to focus on creating a self-sufficient energy system within the U.S. She stresses the need for the government to pursue wind turbines, solar panels, and other means of green energy to alleviate the demand for oil from global markets. Additionally, she says that lowering the cost of prescription drugs and childcare expenses and investing in affordable housing can also alleviate various financial strains on citizens.