Where is Paul Volcker when you need him?
In the early 1980s, the late Federal Reserve chairman stared down double-digit inflation and made it blink first.
Back when huge shoulder pads were in and Twisted Sister was at the height of its popularity, Volcker helped President Ronald Reagan wring inflation out of the economy in what proved to be an extremely traumatic but also necessary process. Volcker’s work in constricting the money supply with interest rates almost unthinkably high — the federal funds rate peaked at 20% — helped pave the way to the economic expansion of the Reagan era.
There was a lot of short-term economic pain, which contributed to Republicans’ massive losses in the 1982 midterm elections. Still, Volcker got the job done, and the entire country was better off for it.
Volcker, originally a Carter appointee, was fortunate. In Reagan, he had a supportive president who could be counted on not to undercut him. Volcker probably could not have done much for someone like President Joe Biden, whose administration has responded to the current inflation crisis by burying their double-masked heads in the sand.
New consumer price index data released Friday show that Bidenflation is truly spiraling out of control. In November, prices increased at a 6.8% clip — up from an already terrifying 6.2% in October. This is the worst inflation since Volcker was still delivering his medicine to the Reagan-era economy.
And no, it’s not just luxury items that have been affected, no matter what Democrats say. The prices of household staples such as beef and bacon are rising by as much as an annualized 25%. Gasoline, naturally, is through the roof. Workers in the United States are essentially getting a pay cut — not from their employers but directly from Biden.
The very same day, the Congressional Budget Office produced another new dataset for public consumption. CBO’s new analysis of Biden’s Build Back Better spending bill provides a less misleading account of how much it will cost. The BBB programs, extended through the 10-year window instead of having their costs hidden with arbitrary expiration dates, would cost nearly $3 trillion more than advertised for a total price tag of nearly $5 trillion — that’s roughly three times the figure the media have been sharing.
And note that aside from Biden’s increasingly ludicrous claims about where the money will come from, these costs cannot be paid for with the revenue that current laws will make available — nor with the tax hikes already contained in BBB. Rather, Democrats will have to impose massive tax hikes on the middle class in order to fund their misplaced priorities.
There are trillions of reasons not to pass BBB, including the fact that most of its goals would be harmful to the nation’s prosperity and social fabric above and beyond their dollar cost. Biden’s attempt to use the reconciliation process to provide an immigration amnesty, for example, is a good example of the bill’s underhanded nature and raises serious concerns about those making decisions on his behalf.
But Biden’s loss of control over the nation’s worsening inflation problem is sufficient grounds all on its own to reject his spending bonanza.
Everyone hates inflation, and everyone, irrespective of partisanship, should be able to agree on this point against Biden’s agenda. With inflation at an astounding 40-year high, the nation faces a true emergency. Painful corrective actions are coming. Already, the Biden and Trump administrations have done too much to dole out cash in the COVID era. There is no need for more cash grants, and more importantly, this is simply not the time to make the inflation problem even worse by shoveling another $5 trillion in mostly borrowed money out the door.
So, members of Congress, when Biden comes to your door demanding your support for his latest multitrillion-dollar waste of money, take another important lesson from the 1980s: Just say no.