Biden admin ‘fully to blame’ for 8.6% inflation: Is FL Rep. Cammack right?
- According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, inflation rose to 8.6% by the end of May 2022, which is “the largest 12-month increase since the period ending December 1981.”
- On June 10, 2022, Congresswoman Kat Cammack tweeted about inflation saying,” This administration is fully to blame for soaring prices, $5/gallon gas, and Americans panicked about what’s next for our economy.”
- In May, the price of living increased across the board with energy at 3.9%, gasoline at 4.1%, and food rose at 1.2%. The largest contributors of the inflation spike came from shelter, airfares, and vehicles.
- Multiple stimulus checks were released by both President Trump and President Biden during the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic’s worst months; checks ranging from $600 to $1,400 per person.
Inflation is a global problem, hitting consumers in nearly all sectors worldwide. In European nations, such as the United Kingdom, inflation has pushed prices far enough for many media outlets to declare a cost of living crisis. Clearly, such a worldwide phenomenon affecting citizens of every nation is not the fault of the Biden administration. Those, such as Rep Cammack, who claim that the current administration is to blame are simply opportunists looking to paint a complex and global issue as a simple domestic problem without seriously considering the root causes.
Much of the recent inflation can be attributed to two primary root causes. The first is the ongoing supply chain disruptions due to the pandemic. Shutting down the global economy proved enormously disruptive, and switching it back on isn't quite as simple. The delays and backlogs of many goods have pushed demand beyond what is possible to supply currently. This is simple economics; when demand outpaces supply, prices typically increase. Many of Biden's opponents, such as Rep. Cammack, blame the Biden administration due to stimulus spending. According to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, Former President Trump's stimulus spending also cost approximately 5 trillion dollars, a fact conveniently overlooked by critics such as Rep. Cammack.
The other major factor driving inflation in America is the war in Ukraine, which has caused fuel prices to increase due to sanctions against Russia. These sanctions are necessary to combat Russian aggression and maintain world order and are driving up fuel prices worldwide. Again, this inflation issue is much bigger than the Biden administration, and Rep. Cammack is wrong to claim otherwise.
Despite the Biden administration's efforts to blame America's ever-increasing inflation on Vladimir Putin, Florida Representative Kat Cammack is correct to place the blame solely at Biden's doorstep. Many economists believe the massive government spending during the height of COVID, including $1.9 trillion spent last year alone, has been a major cause of inflation. It has driven consumer demand and spending. According to the left-leaning Politifact, almost all of the spending included in Biden's 'American Rescue Plan' in 2021 was unrelated to the health effects of COVID. Politifact estimated that, at most, only 8.5% of the COVID-19 spending in the legislation was for direct COVID-19 spending.
As an example, about $350 million went to bail out state and local governments, regardless of whether they experienced COVID-related tax revenue shortfalls. This government spending binge has exacerbated the supply chain problems—an inevitable outgrowth of shutting down businesses and production during COVID, which the Biden administration should have anticipated. Further, the administration was caught seemingly late and unprepared to handle the baby formula shortage. Banning Russian oil has created more shortages all around. As anyone remotely familiar with basic economics knows, scarcity leads to higher prices.
Biden's policies have been to restrict fossil fuel energy supply. Many Democrats would be happy to see $10 a gallon of gas to push reluctant Americans toward their grandiose Green New Deal plans. For example, Biden's anti-fossil fuel policies pushed up the cost of fertilizer before Russia invaded Ukraine. The rising fertilizer cost is just one of the many factors impacting the much higher prices Americans see weekly at the grocery store and beyond. Simply put, the Biden administration either does not understand or care about inflation and its role in exasperating the issue.