Inflation is coming at Americans like a freight train, and it won’t stop unless we pump the brakes on President BidenJoe BidenCapitol fencing starts coming down after 'Justice for J6' rally Senate parliamentarian nixes Democrats' immigration plan Biden pushes back at Democrats on taxes MORE’s liberal agenda. Earlier this year when his administration and congressional Democrats decided to jam through their “American Rescue Plan” without any support from Republicans, my colleagues and I sounded the alarm that shelling out trillions of taxpayer dollars for progressive priorities unrelated to COVID would overheat the economy and undermine our recovery — all while creating an environment for massive inflation.
But it wasn’t just Republicans, economists across the political spectrum cautioned President Biden that inflation would result from his profligate spending. Even his own Treasury secretary, Janet YellenJanet Louise YellenBiden pushes back at Democrats on taxes Five questions and answers about the debt ceiling fight White House touts Nobel economists' support for Biden agenda MORE, admitted fears of inflation on CNN’s “State of the Union”: “[Inflation is] a risk that we have to consider [with the COVID package].” When the markets flooded, Yellen doubled down and called it “transitory.”
Sadly, today’s economic climate is exactly what we warned would happen. Gas prices are now at a seven-year high, food prices jumped last month, and home prices, including the price of lumber, are rising. Producer prices climbed by 6.6 percent in the month of May alone, marking the fastest increase of inflation since 2008, and the monthly gain in core inflation is now the largest since 1981.
If we don't address this economic crisis immediately, Americans will have to spend a whole lot more to get “back to normal.” But instead of following the course that created the strongest economy and lowest unemployment rate in generations prior to the pandemic, President Biden’s budget proposes more than $6 trillion in new spending, offset largely by tax increases that will destroy jobs and further hinder economic growth. Ultimately, the middle class will bear the brunt of this irresponsible spending.
We must return to sound economic principles. We should be limiting the involvement of the federal government in people’s lives, not expanding it. The Biden administration is in its early days, but American families are already feeling the pinch from these radical policies.
Just last month, despite 9.3 million job openings, the U.S. labor market only added 559,000 jobs, out of step from the widely expected 1 million new jobs. This is primarily due to expanded unemployment benefits which pay people more than they would earn by returning to work.
Many folks are stunned to learn that the average family of four with both parents out of work will receive $109,048 of government assistance in the form of COVID stimulus checks, child tax subsidies, and unemployment checks through September of this year. The time for temporary relief is over, and the best way to help people build their lives and futures is by creating opportunities to work and achieve the American Dream, not by providing endless government payouts.
These enhanced benefits are causing severe labor shortages across the country and impacting countless industries, including hospitality, retail, construction, and manufacturing, to name only a few. American families, workers, and small businesses are still struggling to get by, while the Biden administration enacts policy after policy to expand government, balloon the national debt, and create the worst inflation we've seen in decades.
Every day this continues, it becomes more and more difficult for hardworking Americans to put food on the table, gas in the tank, and keep a roof over their family’s heads. It’s time to take action to address the economic crisis that Biden created. Simply put, we can't afford the Biden agenda.
U.S. Congressman Drew FergusonAnderson (Drew) Drew FergusonSchumer, Tim Scott lead as Senate fundraising pace heats up Families won't be able to afford the basics, here's why Congress needs to fix the broken market for antibiotic development MORE represents the 3rd District of Georgia and serves on the House Ways and Means Committee. Ferguson is Chief Deputy Whip for the House Republican Conference.