November 07, 2022

Smith Op-Ed: Joe Biden's inflation crisis is worse than Jimmy Carter's

By Rep. Jason Smith Fox NewsFor many Americans, the Biden Presidency has brought with it a feeling of déjá vu. Iran is back in the headlines, prices at the gas pump are causing sticker shock, and inflation is at the top of everyone’s minds. The last time inflation was this high was shortly after President Jimmy Carter left office, voted out by Americans fed up with seeing the value of their paychecks shrink every month. Joe Biden's presidency has frequently been compared to the malaise of the Carter era. In the 1970s, Americans felt that our country was doomed to permanently decline from its former greatness. Today, America is overwhelmed by the crises created by President Biden and Washington Democrats – record inflation, unchecked violent crime, high gas prices, record illegal crossings at the southern border, and the list goes on. Despite these comparisons, the truth is Joe Biden is giving Carter a run for this money when it comes to delivering the worst inflation crisis in living memory.
Reckless spending by President Biden and Washington Democrats ignited and then has thrown more fuel on the inflation fire, where now inflation has grown over twice as fast as it did under Carter. To put matters in perspective, inflation is now 500 percent higher than it was when Biden took office. Even at its peak, inflation under Carter had only grown by 200 percent compared to when he took office. The comparison between Biden and Carter gets worse still if inflation were measured the same way it was when Carter was president. Beginning in the 80’s, the federal government has gradually but significantly changed its method of calculating inflation, notably by excluding housing prices and changing the relative weights on various goods as people buy less of what they can no longer afford due to inflation. This new measure fails to capture the full impact inflation is having on families. For example, it completely ignores the fact that the average mortgage payment on new homes has increased by 50 percent since last year. If we were to use the Carter-era measure, Biden’s inflation crisis is even worse. Inflation today would be around 16.4 percent, not 8.2 percent and total inflation since Biden became president would be 29.7 percent, according to estimates from economist John Williams. President Biden thought he could avoid comparisons to the Carter Presidency if he just ignored the inflationary warnings signs that were obvious to any American who stepped foot in a grocery store. Instead, Biden has chosen to blame a new villain every month for his failures – COVID, supply chains, greedy businesses, and even Vladimir Putin. At the same time his administration was burying its collective heads in the sand, it was also pushing through trillions in new spending that made things even worse. As Biden’s excuses kept piling up, prices continued to skyrocket, and Americans were stuck paying the price. President Biden has set records for the biggest increase in spending and debt in a president’s first 20 months in office. Under one-party rule, the Democrats in control of government have increased spending by $10 trillion more than projected when Biden took office. Carter’s inflation malaise forced the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates and America’s economy fell into a recession, just as the Federal Reserve is having to do today – and it has begun to take its toll. Since March, the Federal Reserve has raised rates by 3.75 percent, the fastest rate hike in 40 years and larger than the last 15 years combined. As a result, millions of would-be homebuyers have now been priced out of the market. Americans have lost $2.1 trillion in retirement savings since President Biden took office. This year alone, the average 401(k) retirement account has lost 25 percent of its value, which will make it harder for seniors to pay for medicine and heat their homes this winter. With all of the chaos unfolding in America, there is no question that President Biden has earned his spot in history, but for all the wrong reasons. In an attempt to mold his Presidency after FDR and LBJ by spending trillions to reshape the country, Biden has left behind a different legacy – one that he shares with the last one-term Democrat president. When Republicans earn back the majority in Congress, we will put an end to Biden’s political vanity project and advance solutions to build a strong economy for the millions of American families that have been left behind by Democrats’ failed policies.



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