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@HouseGOP Graphic Shows the Toll Inflation Has Taken Since President Biden Took Office

AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

A graphic tweeted by @HouseGOP illustrates the effect of high inflation during President Joe Biden's tenure.

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That graphic shows that frozen vegetables have increased in price by nearly 30 percent; that electricity has increased by 28.5 percent; that public transportation is 26.1 percent more expensive; and that a basic kitchen commodity such as butter is up in price by more than 26 percent. The overall toll taken by such price increases on the macro economy would be difficult to quantify.

Inflation is the measure of price increases of goods and services in an economy on an annual basis. The Consumer Price Index, a figure published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that measures inflation, was 3.4 percent as of April 2024 from April 2023. That CPI measurement indicates that the same goods and services are priced 3.4 percent more expensively than they were a year ago. The Federal Reserve has consistently stated that its goal for inflation is 2 percent. There have been 39 CPI figures published, on a monthly basis, since President Biden assumed office. Of those 39, 7 were 8 percent or higher; 12 (a full year) were 7 percent or higher; 17 were 6 percent or higher; 21 were 5 percent or higher; 26 were 4 percent or higher; and only two of those recordings, the first two months Biden was in office, were below 3 percent.

There truly are not enough negative adjectives in a dictionary to describe the high inflation that has occurred since President Joe Biden took office, and the problem of it has persisted because of failed economic policies.  Democrats, who have wielded most legislative ability in the federal government over the past three years, have not attempted to apply working solutions to remedy what is an economic disaster.

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The Democrat agenda includes a push for higher taxes. High taxes affect everyone and everything in an economy. An employee takes less of his earned income home from work due to a higher tax rate. If a person is living paycheck to paycheck, higher taxes force that person to make increasingly basic economic decisions. The hiring options for an employer are fewer and more constrained due to a higher tax rate. A consumer must eliminate purchases from her budget because the dollars that would have otherwise been used for such purposes will have been paid in taxes, something that produces a ripple consumption-reduction effect throughout the economy. The quality of goods produced or services offered by a business is impacted by higher taxes because less money is available to be spent on the quality of goods and services. Options for consumption and employment are more limited due to high taxes because investors who would otherwise put capital behind innovative, entrepreneurial endeavors and start-ups are paying more of that capital in taxes. In their effort to sell tax increases, Democrats often use phrases akin to, "Taxes will not be raised on anyone making less than (insert amount here)." But what about the reduced payroll amount for the employee making less than (insert amount here) because his or her employer is paying a higher corporate tax rate? What about the higher price at the grocery store or gas pump that someone making less than (insert amount here) is not exempt from paying? High taxes affect everyone and everything in an economy.

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The Democrat agenda pushes more spending, and that push has continued throughout the Biden administration, despite high inflation. If high inflation is too much money chasing too few goods and services, it stands to reason that cutting spending would be a solution to it. But Democrats have sought to spend more.

There is also the regulatory environment to consider as a contributing factor to high inflation. If a business has to allocate more money, more time, more manpower, and more resources to comply with federal regulations, some of which are highly questionable at the very mildest description, that business is left with less money, less time, less resources, and less hiring ability. The inevitable result is fewer jobs, fewer goods produced or services offered, and reduced quality goods and services.

Democrats seem in love with the idea of redistribution. Beyond safety nets for those who very much need help, they have banged the drum of taking from the wealthiest in a confiscatory manner and redistributing it to those who are not considered to be wealthy. But that is not investment. It may be psychologically soothing to think of giving the wealth of some to others, but that is not a serious and long-term solution. A major problem is that Democrats seem to approach all societal issues through the lens of government.

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It is conspicuous how few working solutions Democrats have attempted to apply to the persistent problem of high inflation. All Americans would have been better served had Democrats used their political capital to cut wasteful federal government spending, to reduce taxes across the board, and to eliminate regulatory red-tape. Innovators, inventors, entrepreneurs, business owners, and all who keep the U.S. economy going are most free to create and produce when government is least involved in the creation and production.

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