THE ECONOMY

It now is quite clear that “Bidonomics” is a failure.

The cost of living is higher than it should be.  It is higher than it used to be.  When I was younger, I could afford to pay rent.  Eventually, I could afford to take out a mortgage and buy a house.  Too many younger families cannot say the same now.  And with interest rates rising to fight inflation, problems for younger families only are increasing.  It now takes a lot more money for them to buy a home than it did not so long ago.  For too many people, life is worse than it used to be.

Shontel Brown avoids any real discussion about inflation.  It is not on her special list of concerns.  But inflation is a cruel “tax” that affects rich and poor alike.  It is an important problem for all Americans.  This especially is true for those who live paycheck to paycheck and worry about having enough in savings in case of emergencies.  Brown does not spend time discussing how right Americans are to worry about inflation.  She prefers instead to dwell on other subjects.

Shontel Brown claims she is concerned about job creation.  But the greatest sources of job creation are small businesses.  The types of over regulation that Brown supports are making it much too hard for such businesses to be successful.  It helped these businesses when taxes were cut.  It is time now to make such small business tax cuts permanent.  That is a much better way to create jobs than the expensive social programs that Brown and her fellow progressives advocate.

Inflation may rise more or less in any given month.  Inflation “dropping” only means prices are rising at a slower rate.  But inflation is cumulative.  People experience that cumulative effect.  They cannot be asked to unsee the truth.  Since 2021, prices have risen almost 17%.  Such prices have been rising faster than wages.  Food costs are higher.  Sometimes the cost of a can of food stays the same.  But that can of food now contains 15 ½ ounces instead of 16.  That is called “shrinkflation.”  Gasoline, natural gas, and electricity are much more expensive.  Mortgage rates are the highest in over 20 years.  Credit card and other loan interest rates are rising.  Child-care prices are increasing at twice the rate of inflation.

This election should be about how real people are living their real lives.  Bidenomics is creating problems, not solving them.  The level of prices is painfully high compared to three years ago.  Their lives can be made better.

It is ironic that the progressive agenda will harm most those people that progressives claim they wish to help.  This is because Bidonomics has had the greatest negative effect upon people who are young, poor or are on fixed incomes.  And Shontel Brown has been a strong supporter of Bidonomics.

Excessive government spending causes inflation.  All economists know that is true.  Our government needs to go on a financial diet.  Nothing else will put an end to harmful inflation.  Spending money you do not have is not a plan.  There was much spending when COVID hit.  But that was spending during an emergency.  The emergency has ended.  But under the Biden Administration, the excessive spending has continued.

For instance, Shontel Brown supports spending created under the poorly named “Inflation Reduction Act.”  Its true purpose never was to cure inflation.  Its true purpose was to fund an expensive Green New Deal program.  The very name of the Act is fraudulent.  It instead should have been called the “Inflation Creation Act.”  Massive government spending because of this law actually will increase inflation.  Brown and other progressives have authorized the spending of money that the government does not have.  To fund such spending, the government must issue bonds and borrow more money from China.  Or it must raise taxes significantly.  Or it must print more paper money that over time will have less worth.  None of these options will be good either now or in the future.

Shontel Brown now brags about a new government mandate to lower the price of insulin.  But she neglects to mention that the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act” actually raised the cost of medicines because of how the Medicare drug rebate was created by progressives like Brown.  According to the Wall Street Journal, prescription drug prices increased by 2% during the Trump Presidency because of generic competition.  But they have increased 5% so far under the Biden plan and in November, they rose at an annual rate of 6%.  And experts say the IRA is driving up Medicare Part D prescription drug premiums by as much as a whopping 57% in some states, compared to 2023.  The devil, as usual, is in the details.

Shontel Brown and other progressives favor still more expensive new social programs.  These programs will have nice sounding names.  But there is no such thing as a free lunch.  Brown’s programs are not affordable at a time when the national debt and annual deficits are so high.  These programs will require an increased level of government spending that will make inflation even worse.  That will particularly affect those on fixed incomes.  It will harm those at the poverty level who already are in economic pain.  Government needs to do less right now, not more.  Doing less would cure inflation, reduce the national debt, and improve the quality of life for all Americans.

Instead of exercising financial discipline, the Biden Administration has issued costly Presidential executive orders.  One example was a cancelation of student loans that was found to be unconstitutional.  Taxpayers bear the cost of such orders.  And these costs result in more inflation.  Congress must exercise more oversight to monitor the costs of Presidential executive orders.  H.R. 347, the Reduce Exacerbated Inflation Negatively Impacting the Nation Act (REIN-IN) would have created a method for such oversight.  It would have mandated a report with any major presidential executive order to explain its inflationary impact.  But Shontel Brown voted “no” on H.R. 347.  She rejected a very reasonable attempt to make inflationary results of executive orders more apparent to everyone.

The national debt is another problem.  It now over $34 trillion and growing.  Interest on that debt soon will become the largest line item in the federal budget.  Paying it will cost more than the government spends on defense.  It will cost more than what is spent on elementary and secondary education, disaster relief, agriculture, science and space programs, foreign aid, and natural resources and environmental protection combined.  And as interest rates continue to move upward, those costs will become greater still.

Shontel Brown calls herself a “progressive,” but the economic policies she favors are “progressing” our country in the direction of a historic economic disaster.

Both political parties created the debt crisis.  So both must cooperate and solve it.  The first step is for all members of Congress to acknowledge there is such a crisis.  But Shontel Brown is silent on this subject.  That is not a good sign that she is willing to cast the necessarily tough votes to solve it.

Congress must come to grips with mathematical reality.  Change would not come easily.  But if Congress does not make painful changes in the short run, there will be dire consequences in the long run.  For instance, the Social Security trust fund as presently managed will run out in 2034.  Too few workers are contributing for the future support of too many people.  A retirement age of 65 set decades ago was made obsolete because Americans live much longer now.  The retirement age for those now in the 20s should be adjusted in accordance with increases in life expectancy.  Social Security and other programs must be modified if they are to survive.  That is a truth that too many politicians are unwilling even to discuss.  It is time to make changes to entitlement promises that cannot be kept because the numbers clearly do not work.

Budgets for other government programs also must be more balanced so expenditures do not continue to exceed revenues.  There is no alternative.  Without the courage to act soon, the future legacy of Congress to our children and grandchildren will be financial disaster.

Elect Alan Rapoport to the U.S. House of Representatives
for Ohio’s 11th District.

Paid for by Rapoport for Congress Committee

Powered by OnlineCandidate.com