Treasury secretaries tend to avoid wading into politics, but Ms. Yellen told reporters ahead of her speech that she believed it was important to lay out the policy differences between the Trump and Biden administrations.
“I’m not getting involved in politics,” Ms. Yellen said. “But certainly tax policy is something that I’m deeply involved in and broad economic policy, and explaining to Americans what the strategy is and why it’s the right one, and why cutting taxes for the rich and hoping that the benefits trickle down, broadly, is not the right strategy.”
Ms. Yellen’s speech came as Mr. Biden traveled to Wisconsin to unveil approximately $5 billion of infrastructure investments in a crucial swing state.
It remains unclear whether the administration’s efforts will break through to voters, many of whom continue to give Mr. Biden poor marks on the economy. Although inflation has been easing, Americans are still coping with prices that are much higher than they were before the pandemic. Mr. Biden has been bearing the blame for that, and in a November New York Times/Siena College poll of voters in six battleground states, 62 percent of voters who supported Mr. Biden in 2020 indicated that they thought the economy is only “fair” or “poor.”
Elevated interest rates have made housing more expensive and the labor market is expected to tighten this year as the economy slows. Economists are also watching for more disruptions in energy markets, as the wars in Ukraine and Gaza continue to threaten trade routes.