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Democrats’ Muscle-Flexing on Inflation Meets No-Easy-Fix Reality

Feb. 17, 2022, 3:35 PM

Congressional Democrats’ strategy to address rising costs through a gas-tax holiday and other legislation are shaping up as more of a political crutch than an inflation cure ahead of the midterm elections.

The proposals may set up legislative fights positioning Democrats on the side of relief for consumers, but economists are skeptical there’s much Congress can do to tamp down the inflationary pressure pumping up prices.

The Federal Reserve holds the most powerful tool to bring down inflation, by raising interest rates, as the central bank is expected to do when it meets in mid-March. And rate increases typically take ...