When is Joe Biden going to admit that the inflation problem with rising prices for everything from gas to groceries to new cars to apartments and homes isn’t getting better, it’s getting worse?
The government just reported that yearly producer prices are up more than eight percent from just a year ago. When producer prices rise, those costs are soon and inevitably passed on to shoppers in higher consumer prices.
Gas prices nationally are up $1.31 a gallon from last November and don’t be surprised if $5 a gallon isn’t around the corner.
For tens of millions of Americans who aren’t rich, “transitory” inflation is feeling more like runaway inflation. Worker pay is rising at about four percent — that’s the good news.
The bad news is consumer prices are rising closer to six percent, which means in purchasing-power terms, paychecks are shrinking.
Combine that with the man-made energy crisis and you’ve got a witches’ brew of problems haunting the Biden administration.
America is producing two million fewer barrels of oil today than when Donald Trump was president. So at $83 a barrel, this means we are losing about $165 million a day in national output and $50 billion a year.
This has only given leverage to OPEC and the Saudi oil sheiks to raise prices — and there’s nothing we can do about it.
Incredibly, in the midst of this energy shortage, the Biden administration is trying to cancel another pipeline, this one in the Midwest. The STL natural gas pipeline may be shut down.
One of the largest utilities is warning that homeowners should “be prepared for potential natural gas disruptions — and outages — this winter if the pipeline is not kept in service.”
Prices could rise by 25 percent this winter because of the pipeline closure. Amazingly, the utility company is telling consumers to “be prepared to turn down the thermostat in your home this winter” to ensure the lights stay on.
This is all reminiscent of the 1970’s malaise and the demise of President Jimmy Carter, who lost a landslide election to Ronald Reagan because he couldn’t get inflation under control.
Supply-chain problems are causing shortages of goods on the shelves across the country — and so Americans are starting to hoard products in their overflowing shopping carts like the survivalists, just in case the scarcity crisis grows more severe.
What is unsettling is that no one in the Biden administration seems to offer any plausible explanations or solutions.
But certainly reducing American energy production is holding America hostage to OPEC. When Trump left office, we were energy independent for the first time in 50 years.
Some of these problems are a natural result of the shutdown of the economy in 2020 during COVID and the lingering fears of the virus. But Biden policies are making things much worse.
His infatuation with climate change and ending fossil fuels is dismantling US energy security. Meanwhile, the planet’s biggest polluters — China and India — are using more coal and oil than ever.
The massive Biden spending bills — which add up to $6.5 trillion this year — are mostly financed by debt and money printing that is fueling the inflation contagion.
The other day, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg opined that the way to solve the soaring rise in consumer prices is to enact more debt-financed government spending. Yes, and pouring gasoline on a forest fire will put it out.
As usual, the Biden White House passes the buck and comes up with excuses rather than solutions to these problems that are making life miserable for the very working-class Americans whom the president promised to help.
No wonder a new USA Today poll finds that only 38 percent of Americans approve of the job Biden is doing.
His solution to every problem these days is more government programs, regulations, mandates, and edicts with higher taxes on businesses to pay for it.
It all reminds me of the Reagan adage he used to tell voters when he was campaigning to remove Carter from the White House: “Big government isn’t the solution. It’s the problem.”
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