September 21, 2021

Other Than That, Prices Are Fine

Playing games with inflation numbers doesn’t change the outlook for American families.

“If you take out” beef, pork, poultry, explained Brian Deese of Joe Biden’s National Economic Council, “price increases … are more in line with historical norms.” That’s right. He said that other than the staples of most Americans’ diet, everything is fine and inflation is no big deal.

It reminds us of former Washington, DC, Mayor Marion Barry’s hilariously obtuse 1989 claim that, “except for the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country.”

The Biden administration’s attempt to downplay rampant inflation is laughable and infuriating all at once. According to Biden’s Labor Department, inflation finally eased a bit in August to an annual rate of 5.3%, but, applying a bit of Deese’s logic, that easing may be primarily because of rapidly declining used car prices, hotel rates, and airline fares.

It’s also because “core inflation,” which excludes food and energy, is up only 4%. Don’t you feel better?

“Pardon families if they doubt this because they don’t have the luxury of living on core items,” write the editors of The Wall Street Journal. “Prices for food consumed at home rose 3% over the past year, and prices for proteins such as meat, fish and eggs have increased 8%. Gas and electricity price rises accelerated from July to August, and the government’s index for all energy items has increased 25% over the past year. Producer prices, which work their way into consumer prices, were up 8.3% in August from a year earlier.”

School supplies and clothing are up anywhere from 3% to 10%. Fast food prices are up nearly 10% since May.

But go ahead, take the Labor Department’s number. What kind of country do we live in that slowing down to 5.3% inflation is good news?

Joe Biden’s country.

The reality is that inflation has become one of the biggest problems of 2021, and it’s driven by the effects of Democrat policies. First, lockdowns killed millions of jobs last year. Then Democrats insisted on paying the unemployed more to not work than they’d earn at a job, extending those benefits in many states all the way into this month. When people wouldn’t return to work except for much higher pay, it forced employers to raise prices. Faced with nearly 11 million job openings in the economy, there are supply chain disruptions all over the place, which also drives up prices.

Then Biden announced his vaccine mandate for employers of more than 100 people, which will keep people out of work or cost the employed their jobs. Hit “repeat” on the above cycle.

Meanwhile, Democrats threaten a crisis if Republicans don’t agree to increase the debt ceiling, all so Democrats can spend another $4.5 trillion of your grandchildren’s future earnings and redistribute that money to present-day Democrat constituents. To “pay for it,” they want to massively raise taxes, despite the fact that most Americans pay more in taxes than they do for basic necessities. Again, hit “repeat” on the above cycle.

Everything Democrats are doing and pushing contributes to higher prices and cost of living for everyone.

Far from being “transitory,” as the Biden administration has been insisting for months already, it seems the inflation problem is going to be with us for some time. We hope it’s not the “new normal,” but it took years for Ronald Reagan to undo the damage done by Jimmy Carter. How long with Carter 2.0 last?

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