With Families Hurting, Democrats Want to Try Inflating Their Way Out of Inflation
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding Democrats’ reckless tax and spending spree:
“A lot has gone wrong since this unified Democratic government took the reins in January.
“Look at foreign policy. The Biden Administration’s clumsy retreat from Afghanistan left Americans behind who wanted out and handed the country to a government staffed with terrorists who used to be locked up in Guantanamo Bay.
“Look at energy independence. Or, I should say, energy dependence. President Biden cancelled our own Keystone XL pipeline but cleared the path for a new pipeline for Vladimir Putin. The amount of Russian oil that America has to import has already nearly doubled on the Democrats’ watch.
“Look at the border. Illegal crossers are flooding across our southern border, an all-time high — but Democrats have interior enforcement arrests down to a decade low.
“But there is no question what crisis is top of mind for middle-class families. There is no question what is keeping working Americans awake at night.
“Inflation. The runaway prices and unpredictability that Democrats’ policies have fueled.
“Ninety percent of Americans told one recent survey they are ‘somewhat’ or ‘extremely’ concerned with inflation.
“We are a huge and diverse country, Mr. President. It’s hard to get 9 in 10 Americans to agree on almost anything. But less than one year under Democrats’ policies has 90 percent of America worried about inflation.
“And it’s no wonder. Year-on-year, consumer prices have risen faster than they have in over three decades. Last month marked the fifth month in a row that inflation has topped 5%.
“These across-the-board numbers can sound a little abstract. Let’s make this very tangible.
“In the past year, buying meat, fish, and eggs has gotten 12% more expensive. A gallon of gas costs the average American $1.31 more than it did a year ago. And heaven forbid anyone having to replace a family car this year – used auto prices are up 26%.
“Even getting family and friends together for Thanksgiving is a much pricier prospect than it was last year. Turkey, alone, is an extra 25 cents per pound. Factor in all the fixings, and some estimates project a feast next week will run families up to 15% more than last year.
“For a while, the White House tried to downplay the problem. President Biden and his team told American families that costs weren’t really rising as much as it seemed…
“Or that, okay, costs were rising, but it would only last a few months…
“Or, as some liberals argued, that if you remove food costs, housing costs, and transportation costs from the equation, inflation wasn’t really so bad!
“Some have tried to argue that rampant inflation is actually a high-class problem to have, because at least we aren’t in a recession. I’m not kidding. I guess they think working Americans should stop complaining and be grateful things aren’t even worse.
“But a sad irony is that inflation is exactly the opposite of a high-class problem. Inflation is like a hugely regressive tax hike that hits the middle class, the working class, and the poor far more than it hurts wealthy people.
“The three biggest drivers of the staggering 6.2% inflation rate we logged last month were housing, transportation, and food. Those aren’t luxuries, they’re essentials, and they take up a much bigger share of families’ budgets from the middle class on down.
“The Democrats’ inflation is functioning like an ultra-punitive tax on the American families who can least afford it. Exactly the opposite of a ‘high-class problem.’
“It didn’t have to be this way, Mr. President.
“This inflation spike wasn’t just predictable. It was, in fact, predicted.
“This past spring, I warned my Democratic colleagues right here, on this floor, that their unbelievably expensive and poorly-targeted spending bill that masqueraded as COVID relief would turn our strong economic recovery into an inflationary mess. Many of my Republican colleagues sent the same warning.
“But Democrats didn’t have to take our word for it. Even their own favorite liberal economists — like President Clinton’s Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and President Obama’s CEA Chairman Jason Furman — warned that liberal bill might supercharge inflation.
“Now our Democratic colleagues want to ram through another, even bigger reckless taxing and spending spree that would make inflation even worse. Many of those same liberal economists support this new spending spree because of all the left-wing goodies that are packed into it. But even they largely admit the package would make inflation even worse next year.
“Steven Rattner, a senior economic advisor to President Obama, just wrote in the New York Times that, ‘the original sin was the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan… That has contributed materially to today’s inflation levels.’
“He goes on to say that Democrats’ new taxing and spending spree, ‘can be deemed ‘paid for’ only if one embraces budget gimmicks, like assuming that some of the most important initiatives will be allowed to expire in just a few years. The result [is] a package that front-loads spending while tax revenues only arrive over a decade.’
“Mr. Rattner cites an outside estimate that, ‘the plan would likely add $800 billion or more to the deficit over the next five years, exacerbating inflationary pressures.’
“This is a former top advisor to President Obama — a liberal Democrat — explaining that the Democrats’ new proposal as currently constituted would make inflation worse. He says it’s the Democrats’ proposal itself that needs to be built back better.
“President Biden and his party have already brought needless pain on American families with their reckless spending.
“Ramming through another multi-trillion-dollar partisan wish list would compound the damage.
“The hardworking men and women of this country cannot afford to be guinea pigs in a socialist experiment where Democrats try to inflate their way out of inflation.”
Related Issues: Immigration, Middle Class, Afghanistan, Inflation, Senate Democrats, Tax Reform, Russia, Taxes, Keystone XL Pipeline