Washington – The soaring inflation in the United States has hit the Defense Forces. It is impacting their war readiness as well; Pentagon senior officials have warned. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has also expressed concern over this and announced a special plan for the families of those serving in the military. According to this plan, additional financial aid will be issued to these families for food and other necessities. Against this backdrop, former US economic adviser, Steven Rattner, has slammed the Biden administration’s inflationary policies. Rattner has mentioned Biden’s $1.9 trillion plan as ‘the original sin’ for causing inflation.
Besides, last week itself, the US Department of Labor declared an inflation report. It cited that the United States’ inflation was at an all-time high this year compared to the last three decades. This year, the consumer price index of the US has risen to 6.2%. Five months in succession since Biden’s inauguration, the consumer price index of over 5% has been noted. Earlier, in the 1990s, the inflation index in the US had risen to more than 6%.
The Biden administration and the Federal Reserve have been consistently mentioning that the current inflation, which has flared up, is ‘transitory’. However, rising prices of all the factors from food to housing, fuel, vehicles, furniture are giving different signals. As the impact of inflation directly reaches the Department of Defense, the seriousness of this has increased more. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s statement also confirms this. ‘Men and women in uniform and their families have enough to worry. Necessities like food and housing shouldn’t be among them,’ said Austin. Austin also clarified that the issue was related to the readiness of the Department of Defense. Some senior Defense officials also noted that inflation may hit the Defense Forces’ war readiness.
The Secretary of Defense also announced strategies to provide additional support to Defense Forces personnel and their families. New housing allowances will be provided to the families of the army men, accordingly. Simultaneously, assistance will be provided for getting the benefit of the food security programme. The Defense Secretary also said that the allowances and programme ‘won’t solve all the economic worries our military families face, but they are important steps and we’re committed to getting this right.’
Meanwhile, criticism has increasingly intensified about the flaring up of inflation due to the policies implemented by the Biden administration. A former economic adviser to ex-US President Barack Obama, Steven Rattner, has smashed Democrats including President Biden. ‘They can’t say they weren’t warned – notably by Larry Summers, a former Treasury secretary and my former boss in the Obama administration, and less notably by many others, including me. How could an administration loaded with savvy political and economic hands have gotten this critical issue so wrong?’ Rattner slammed.
At the same time, after Biden’s inauguration, former advisers have blamed that the implementation of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan has contributed to the flare-up in inflation. Rattner claims that the funding scheme boosted demand in the US and did not keep pace with the supply sector.