With inflation at historic highs, Biden is still trying to make it worse | Washington Examiner
Category: Op/EdVia: gregtx • 2 weeks ago • 4 comments
All he had to do was end the COVID-19 lockdowns and let the economy recover on its own. Instead, President Joe Biden spent trillions trying to "transform" the country, and now, everyone, especially the nation's poorest, is paying the price for his hubris.
The Labor Department reported Friday that inflation rose to 8.6% in the 12 months ending in May, its highest level in more than 40 years. Virtually no sector of the economy was left untouched. Gas is up 48.7% from a year ago, electricity 12%, groceries 11.9%, and rent 5.9%.
These price increases are not, as White House chief of staff Ron Klain once claimed, "high-class problems." These are not discretionary spending items. Working-class families can skip vacations, but they still need gas to get to work. They need electricity to heat and cool their homes. They need to eat. They need a roof over their heads.
Democrats may point out that unemployment is low, and that is a good thing. Wages are also rising, and that is good too. But, unfortunately, prices are rising faster than wages, leaving working people in a worse economic position overall. Under Biden's leadership, the average person has seen his or her real wages fall by 3% over the past year.
The cause of this record-high inflation is no secret: Biden and his big spending policies are clearly to blame.
Former President Barack Obama's director of the National Economic Council Larry Summers warned right from the start that Biden's $2 trillion COVID stimulus was way too large and would cause inflation. But Democrats ignored him and passed it anyway without a single Republican vote.
Then, Democrats tried to make it worse!
Even with inflation already rising, House Democrats passed another $2.2 trillion spending bill last November that, once all the budgetary gimmicks were removed, would really have dumped another $5 trillion into the economy. Fortunately for those working-class families most vulnerable to inflation, Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) refused to go along, and Biden's so-called Build Back Better agenda died in the Senate.
But Biden still refuses to stop pouring spending fuel on the inflation fire. His administration is reportedly scheduled to cancel $10,000 worth of higher education debt for millions of overwhelmingly wealthy borrowers later this summer. Not only would this debt amnesty be no different than sending millions of $10,000 checks into an economy already overheating with demand, but these checks would also disproportionately go to the wealthiest families. According to data compiled by the Brookings Institution, the top 40% of income earners owe over two-thirds of all student debt, and the richest 20% owe 35%.
And that's all on the demand side. Biden also has hobbled the supply side of the economy by waging war, in numerous ways, against domestic fossil fuel production. That is why inflation in the energy sector is so particularly high — and, of course, high fuel costs reverberate throughout the entire pricing system.
Democrats are currently trying to distract voters from their very real inflation pain with prime-time hearings into a riot that happened almost a year and a half ago. Judging by the most recent polls, voters will not be distracted. Biden's approval ratings continue to fall, and there is every indication that Democrats will be punished at the polls this November. One can only hope that Biden will change course after that.