Following President Biden’s lead, Democrats are taking aim at energy giants and meatpacking companies that recently notched record-shattering earnings on the back of higher prices.
US nonfinancial corporate profits soared to $2 trillion for the first time in the 2Q of 2022, while corporate profit margins as a share of the economy rose to the highest level in over seven decades, according to Bureau of Economic Analysis data.
Energy companies were the top beneficiaries of this summer’s oil supply shock. ExxonMobil raked in $17.9 billion in second-quarter earnings, the largest ever figure for an oil company, while Chevron tripled its year-on-year profits to $11.6 billion.
“As families struggle, oil companies are earning record profits. When corporations take advantage of a crisis, that’s price gouging, and it’s wrong,” Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), whose race could decide control of the Senate, told viewers in a campaign ad this month.
In turn, Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D), another key Senate hopeful, took things further by unveiling a plan to prosecute corporate executives who are found to artificially inflate prices. “It’s gross, and deeply unpatriotic, for the big corporations to be rolling around in cash while charging us record high prices for gas and groceries,” Fetterman wrote in a recent opinion piece for the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader.
The remarks are meant to show voters that Democrats have their own plans to tackle inflation, and draw attention away from GOP criticism that the party’s own Covid-19 relief package ignited inflation by injecting huge sums of money into the economy.
Other attacks on current administration came following last week’s announcement of a new plan to forgive student loan debts, as the supposed debt elimination will allow borrowers to spend much more in a short period of time, driving up demand and thus prices.
‘Biden’s Democrats refuse to take responsibility for his reckless spending that has caused runaway inflation,’ said Nathan Brand, spokesman for the Republican National Committee.
According to polls, domestic inflation is top for Americans´ minds and some voters blame businesses for attempts to maximize profits.