The once-rummaged shelves at grocery stores are full once more, but for parents stocking up on snacks and summer cookout supplies, something still looks wrong. Prices are on the rise.
Last week, a few thousand residents from west Tennessee joined my tele-town hall to voice their concerns about rising prices at the store, at the pump, and even further up the supply chain. Mark, who owns a small machine shop, told me, “Steel prices and wood prices are just going through the roof.” Mark isn’t wrong, and he isn’t alone. Nearly every product you could think of is more expensive now than it was at this time in 2020. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the average prices for shoppers — also known as the Consumer Price Index (CPI) — had the largest one-year increase since the 2008 housing crisis.
It’s not cash-hungry companies driving the surge. The Biden administration has created this problem via a perfect storm of supercharged tax-and-spend policy proposals.
Washington Democrats are prepared to borrow more money than they ever have before to pay for an expansive policy wish list: $1.9 trillion for blue state bailouts, $2.7 trillion for Green New Deal projects, and $2.5 trillion for an expanded welfare state. In just four months, they’ve rubber stamped a total of $7.1 trillion in authorized and proposed new spending, knowing full well they’re sticking our children and grandchildren with the bill. It’s no wonder the dollar is becoming less valuable.
What is the White House doing to address this problem? Not much. They’ve consistently downplayed the risk posed by a shrinking dollar. Biden knows he can’t ignore this crisis forever, but his “solution” — to pump as much money into the economy as possible — is completely out of touch with what everyday Americans are facing.
When the cost of an after school snack quickly jumps by cents and then dollars, Tennesseans know something has gone terribly wrong in Washington. Inflation might be temporary, but it should serve as a warning sign for President Biden. Our economy is devolving into a cautionary tale of what haphazardly pumping trillions of borrowed dollars into the economy will do.
From the grocer to the hardware store, Tennesseans are feeling firsthand the impact of excessive borrowing and spending. Fortunately, our demand of the White House is simple: make our dollar stretch the same amount from one month to the next. Rather than demanding hardworking Americans rewrite their budgets to fund idealistic wish lists, Biden needs to take a look at the practical effects of this spending spree. Unless he wants these surge prices to become permanent, something has to change.
Marsha Blackburn represents Tennessee in the U.S. Senate.