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February 16, 2023

Biden the Inflationary Budget Buster

We all pay 14.4% more for stuff than when Scranton Joe took office, and it’s largely thanks to his spending.

To hear Joe Biden tell it, he single-handedly cut the annual deficit by a record amount while also preventing Republicans from increasing the deficit by … demanding spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling. Or something. If you’re confused, join the club.

Why does the federal budget even matter? The vast majority of Americans miseducated in public schools and misinformed by the mainstream media have nary a clue. We’ll provide one: Since Biden’s inauguration, prices are up 14.4%.

We’re all tired of dealing with and hearing about inflation, but as the president and Congress negotiate over spending even more money, we also all need a reminder that inflation skyrocketed almost entirely because of government overspending. We’ve also reached a point where the reported inflation numbers — 6.4% and 0.5%, the latest annualized and monthly figures, respectively — actually obfuscate reality. We’re all paying an average of 14.4% more for stuff than we were in January 2021.

None of us get any money back for that. Precious few got raises sufficient to offset it. Yet Biden continues to insist, as he did in his State of the Union and since, that inflation “is coming down.” After Tuesday’s inflation report, he falsely asserted, “Food prices at the grocery store are coming down.”

Wrong. Only the rate of increase is slightly slowing. Prices aren’t going back down anywhere near prior levels, probably ever again.

That’s largely thanks to Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which did exactly the opposite of what its name implies. He shoveled trillions of dollars into an economy already overheating because of massive government spending, and it sent us into an inflationary spiral that still hasn’t ended even despite massive interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.

So, back to the budget. The Congressional Budget Office on Wednesday issued its annual budget and economic forecast, and it ain’t good. We’ll summarize it with a couple of, er, “highlights.”

For the last 50 years, government spending has averaged 21% of GDP. Outlays last year reached nearly 25%, and that level is projected to continue for the next decade. Government has confiscated an average of 17.6% of our money over the last half century. Last year, that reached 19.6%, even after those dreaded Trump tax cuts supposedly robbed the federal treasury. Revenue had previously reached that level only three times in American history — 1944, 1945, and 2000. Even with all that revenue, total federal debt now exceeds annual GDP as deficits are on an upward trajectory.

Put another way, The Wall Street Journal says, “The bottom line is that the President and the Democrats have built a much larger federal government that is taking nearly a quarter of all national income, up from about a fifth over the last 50 years.”

And that’s still not enough for Biden and the Democrats, who not only refuse to cut anything to accommodate the debt ceiling but who never stop demanding all manner of new and higher spending. Not just demanding, but enacting. The CBO says Biden’s plan is to add $19 trillion to the debt in the next 10 years.

Then there’s the spending on autopilot because no one is allowed to or brave enough to touch it. Social Security and Medicare combined make up roughly 38% of the federal budget, while interest on the debt accounts for another 10%, and the CBO projects that will reach 13% by 2028. That’s more than half the federal budget spent on three untouchable things. Only about a third of federal spending is so-called “discretionary,” and Democrats refuse to touch that too.

On top of that, Democrats insist that budget negotiations be kept separate from talks over raising the debt ceiling. How do they suppose we reached the debt ceiling (again)? Unfortunately, until more Americans realize and demand accountability for the connection between massive deficit spending and what we all pay for goods and services, the economic beatings will continue.

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