“Inflation has a unique power to kneecap a presidency. Incumbent presidents and their parties do not do well at all when inflation (and attempts to cure it) are on voters’ minds come election time. The gas pump, the supermarket check-out counter, the heating bill, the sticker on the windshield, provide — or seem to provide — powerful indictments against the party in charge.
“If that’s not enough to unsettle the White House and its allies, consider this: Presidents have almost no power to ease the pain of inflation, and the voting public cuts presidents no slack at all because of that impotence. Look into the toolbox of our country’s chief executive and you’ll find it empty of effective tools, filled instead with devices now obsolete or laughable or meaningless or politically destructive.”
That seems to be a rule in politics, the leaders will get rewarded or blamed for whatever happens, even if there’s no reason to believe they had an effect on it. I once cooked up a theory why humans do that: If the masses blame everything on the leaders, it makes the leaders’ lives harder (which the masses don’t really care about), but it drastically reduces the ability of the leaders to fob off blame for their mistakes onto external factors.
Inflation is a bit messier, though. Biden can’t do much about inflation over the next year, but it’s clear that inflation over the next year is strongly affected by political decisions over the past few years. Biden et al. will suffer unreasonably, but Congress will gain renewed focus on keeping prices stable.