Douglas Andrews / May 13, 2022

Bad Timing for Biden’s Binge

He wants to open the “infrastructure” spending floodgates, but he seems oblivious to the consequences.

It’s just Joe Biden’s luck.

The one legislative achievement he can point to — his $1.2 trillion “infrastructure” obscenity — will do a lot more harm than good if he dares to move forward with its prescribed spending splurge. And he’ll dare. Just watch him.

Granted, there’s never a good time for government profligacy, but there are certainly bad times. And now is one such time. Bidenflation is at a staggering 8.3%, and thanks to it, working Americans got the equivalent of a 2.6% pay cut last month. He did that. To you. Joe did.

He did it with last year’s $1.9 trillion in “COVID” relief spending, and he did it with this year’s $1.5 trillion omnibus spending bill. And he did it with various stopgap spending bills along the way. And now he’s fixing to add more fuel to this inflationary inferno with an additional $1.2 trillion in “infrastructure” spending.

Inflation is the cruelest of taxes because it hits everyone — which means it hits hardest those who can least afford it. But that’s what we get when we keep printing and spending more money, which puts more dollars into a supply-strapped economy to chase fewer and fewer goods.

“It’s not because of spending,” protested Snake Oil Joe. “We brought down the deficit.” (Our Lewis Morris has noted why this claim is a lie.) Biden can crow about the falling deficit all he wants, but it’s falling because the pandemic-related spending splurge is largely over. And because tax revenue is booming thanks to Donald Trump’s much-maligned tax reform package. You know, that Ultra-MAGA stuff.

But back to infrastructure: Biden signed that bill last November, right? Could it be that we’re only getting around to spending it now? Yes, it could. And could the resulting infrastructure activity also further bollix up our nation’s supply lines? You betcha. Here’s New Hampshire Republican Governor Chris Sununu:

This infrastructure money? Not a penny has been spent yet. Not a penny has been spent — it’s all been authorized, but there’s no dollars actually out the door. Wait until that starts happening. And then we’re gonna have issues with steel, with oil even further, because you need oil to make asphalt, right? With raw materials, cement and concrete. The cost of cement has gone up three or four times. I watch this stuff every day. … We’re still going to feel these inflationary pressures, especially around gas and diesel, for a long time. Truckers, just getting the product … to your Walmart in New Hampshire or wherever it might be, that cost that trucker another 1,500 bucks, just in the price increase that happened last week. Two weeks later, he’s spending 1,500 bucks more, just to transport that product. That’s going to bring the supply chain to a halt.

New moms, among others, would assert that our supply chain is already at a halt. Never in our nightmares could we have imagined it, but we’re in the midst of a baby formula shortage. American families will be relieved to know, though, that we have just enough formula to load onto pallets and ship down to Mexico.

And what happens when, as National Review’s Jim Geraghty notes, 50 states and countless localities kick off all these projects simultaneously? What happens when everyone needs concrete, steel, asphalt, and other essentials all at once? And just how expensive do those products become with that additional inflationary pressure?

So hold off on all this spending, Joe. Remember: America comes second. You’ve got a $40 billion war to fund in Ukraine, for Pete’s sake.

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