Inflation isn’t a Biden talking point

by Nolan Finley

Nearly 60% of Americans say they worry a great deal about inflation, according to a new Gallup poll. Apparently, Joe Biden isn’t one of them.

Inflation is raging at an annual rate of above 7%, the highest in 40 years.

The average family is spending $250 a month more to get by than they were in 2020, according to Market Watch. For middle aged households, the jump is $305 a month to cover the increase in food, gasoline, housing and vehicles.

The anxiety that comes with pulling up to the pump, or checking out at the grocery store, or trying to figure out what to do when the car lease runs out is real, and it’s taking a toll on our sense of well-being — another recent poll finds Americans are more stressed than ever before.

Yet President Biden is behaving as if inflation is at best a momentary nuisance.

When he introduced his $5.8 trillion budget, he barely addressed the impact of rising prices on household budgets. Instead, he boasted of how well he’s done at cleaning up the mess he “inherited from Trump.”

For the record, in 2020, Donald Trump’s last year in office, the inflation rate was 1.2%.

The price surge the country is experiencing now occurred 100% on Biden’s watch, and began shortly after his inauguration. Some of it is his fault — he pushed through massive federal spending before a COVID-recovering economy was ready to meet the increased demand it spurred.

And some of it wasn’t — supply chain disruptions coming out of the pandemic choked off production, and most recently, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine made worse the already relentless rise in energy costs.

No matter how the blame is apportioned, the problem is Biden’s to solve. He’s the president. And instead, he’s ignoring it.

And worse, he keeps trying to pour fuel on the fire.

His budget touts a new billionaire’s tax on a handful of America’s most elite earners. But it also raises the corporate tax to 28% from 21%.

Biden can pretend America’s producers won’t pass along that higher business expense to consumers. But we know they will, and that means even higher prices. And likely fewer jobs. Dollars that go to the federal government in the form of increased taxes can’t be used for job-creating investments.

Biden pretended concern about gasoline prices last week by ordering the release of 1 million barrels of oil a day for six months from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. He hopes that will get Democrats through the mid-terms. But at the same time he proposed more fees and higher taxes on oil companies, which, again, will be passed along to consumers.

While Americans are fretting about their retirement accounts, college savings plans and whether they can afford to put a steak on the grill, Biden is devoting most of his energy to fulfilling progressive fantasies.

The guy who prided himself as a senator on riding the train back home to Delaware each weekend so he could stay in touch with the people should get out to the grocery store once in awhile.

Nolan Finley is the editorial page editor at The Detroit News.