Inside Biden’s frustration with soaring prices

Klain and other top officials have directed agency heads to look for any and all steps they might take to lower costs for Americans. Biden is increasingly voicing his anger internally. And some Democrats, inside and outside the White House, want to focus on oil and gas company greed as a centerpiece of their fall message.

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In a speech Friday at the Port of Los Angeles, Biden renewed an attack on large corporations for ostensibly keeping prices high to boost profits, saying that made him so mad he wanted to “pop” someone. “Exxon made more money than God last year,” Biden said. “Exxon — start investing and start paying your taxes.” Oil companies deny their policies are keeping prices artificially high.

But there is little evidence any of this is working. And some economists say the unusual nature of this inflationary run makes it particularly stubborn.

“I think we’re in a really difficult position, because we don’t have successful precedents for having an economy this red hot in terms of low unemployment and high inflation and not having a recession,” former treasury secretary Larry Summers said. “It’s going to very, very difficult to achieve a soft landing.”

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