(CNSNews.com) - "I don't like to brag about the expensive places I've been. But night before last, I went to the grocery store," Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) told a hearing of the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday.
That drew a laugh from Citigroup’s Jane Fraser, who was among the major bank executives testifying before the committee.
"Inflation is gutting the American people like a fish," Kennedy said, making a serious point.
"Now, we know what the Federal Reserve is doing on the monetary side. I want to ask you what you think we should do -- we meaning the federal government -- on the fiscal side," Kennedy said, turning to Fraser and JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, both of whom urged less federal spending:
"There is a considerable amount of savings still in the system," Fraser said. "We don't believe that we need more, additional stimulus being put through to the economy."
Fraser said it's likely to be a "very challenging year ahead," and any financial support should go to those who are suffering from high prices."
Dimon agreed: "Yeah, I think a little less fiscal spending would be good, because we had 30 percent of GDP spent over a two-year period, which is literally unprecedented.
“But I was thinking (on) the supply side -- taxation, immigration, regulation, health care, infrastructure, this permitting bill -- if you did some of those things, it would help grow the economy and reduce inflation."
"Would a tax cut be out of the question?" Kennedy asked.
"I'd say calibrate taxes so that you create more growth,” Dimon said. He added that deregulation would be helpful, especially to small businesses.
"I urge everyone to take ten small businesses out to lunch, and ask them what it's like to live through federal, state and local regulations. Even if they have one store. And that could help a lot."
President Donald Trump campaigned on a deregulation pledge. Shortly after taking office in January 2017, he signed an executive order directing federal agencies to eliminate at least two regulations for each new one.
But President Biden has scrapped many of Trump's regulatory changes.