Katie Porter Does It Again

Katie Porter explains the current cause of inflation: (2 minutes)

In just two minutes Congress Member Katie Porter puts a shiv in the heart of Republican lies about inflation. Is it all President Biden’s fault as Republicans repeat day after day, hour after hour.

Certainly not. For one thing, inflation is a worldwide problem not just a US problem. For another thing, inflation did not start on January 20th, 2021. Much like Republicans attempt to blame Barrack Obama for the economic depression he inherited from a totally incompetent Bush, jr. administration so also have they tried to blame Biden for the mess he inherited from a totally incompetent Trump administration.

Had Trump not totally politicized the covid pandemic that threw chaos into flow of not only the US economic system, but the highly integrated worldwide supply system. Over the past several decades the world has come to rely on fewer and fewer suppliers of basic parts that are integral to the system functioning. Computer chips are perhaps the best example of this dependency.

On top of the supply mess Biden inherited we also had an economy once again teetering on the brink of collapse as the Democratic president stepped in behind an incompetent Republican. As Biden met the covid catastrophe with sound vaccination policies the economy began to recover.

As it recovered, supply lines were re-established. But to create a buffer from the dependency that hamstrung a recovery, Biden and Democrats created the environment that is bringing critical manufacturing back to our shores. Democrats also created programs to bring critical infrastructure up to snuff which in turn created great jobs reversing the dismal job performance of the Trump administration.

Unfortunately, somewhere along the line corporations saw an opportunity to raise prices under the cover of the recovery. And what would stop them? Over the past 40 years of mergers and acquisitions have remade the concept that America is a competitive economy to the realty of corporations that one corporation leads and the others follow.

Before Ronald Reagan when we saw what looked like anti-competitive activity among corporations was detected the Justice Department would act. After 40 years of hands off policy by the Justice Department on corporations, they feel they can do pretty much what they wish. 

I am old enough to remember the gas wars of the 1950s and 1960s. In our current economic set up anything like that will never happen again. Oil is probably the most visible of corporations fueling inflation. Everything from food to soap and beyond are raising prices far beyond what should be justified by rising costs of labor and materials.

Even the core argument of Republicans – that government spending is driving prices up – is belied by the fact that the Biden administration is actually bringing the deficit down much like the Clinton and Obama administrations did. 

Biden will need a Democratic Senate and a Democratic House to continue to work on taming inflation. A divided government would give Republicans the leverage they need stop legislation aimed at reducing inflation while creating jobs and keeping critical manufacturing in the US.

And a major lurking problem that no corporate news companies (including NPR) are talking about is the looming debt ceiling crisis. Republicans have already stated  they intend to hold the debt ceiling hostage in order to make deep cuts in Social Security and Medicare. From the website of Speaker Nancy Pelosi:

“Leader McCarthy is just the latest of a growing list of extreme MAGA Republicans who have not-so-subtly suggested brutal cuts on Medicare and Social Security.  On Sunday, House Whip Steve Scalise admitted to Fox News that the Republican Study Committee’s plan to raise the retirement age, privatize Social Security and slash Medicare is what the GOP really means when it says they want to “shore up & strengthen” these programs.

Quick reminder: the Republican Study Committee, which represents a whopping 157 out of 211 House Republicans, holds slashing Medicare and Social Security as a core tenant of their proposed budget, including by:

  • Raising the retirement age to 70
  • Ending the Medicare guarantee
  • Beginning to privatize Social Security

With three out of four House Republicans endorsing these plans to dismantle Medicare and Social Security, it’s clear the House GOP is reaching dangerous new levels of extremism.”

If you are retired, near retirement or have relatives who are at or near retirement, the Republican plan to hold Social Security and Medicare hostage will be devastating to these folks and our economy.

If overall economics mean anything to you, vote Democratic this fall.

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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