- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 13, 2021

Inflation. Gas lines. Rising unrest overseas. All we need are some cheese lines and voila, it’ll be the Jimmy Carter White House years all over again.

Yay, Team Biden.

Go, President Joe.

“Concerns about inflation are widespread, as Americans see higher prices for groceries and expect even higher prices in the future,” Rasmussen Reports found in a recent survey.

Combine that with the reluctance for people to go back to work — due almost entirely to the Biden administration’s continued push for extra money for the unemployed — and the recipe for a Carter-like economic disaster is just about complete.

By the numbers: Fully 76% of U.S. adults are at least “somewhat concerned” about inflation — and of that, 45% are “very concerned.” Only 14% are “not very concerned” and 2%, “not at all concerned.” Consider those 16%-ers the uninformed.

Not only has gas risen in per-gallon price by several cents, because of pipeline hackers. But consumer prices have jumped 4.2% — the fastest price hike in more than a decade. The shockwaves have quickly hit other sectors.

“Inflation spooks stocks and raises fear the Fed is wrong that price spike is temporary,” CNBC reported.

“South Carolina enacts price gouging law for gas as demand spikes following pipeline hack,” WJLC 22 reported.

And all the Democrats go: What we need is another $1.9 trillion stimulus bill! Nothing says “nothing’s wrong” like pretending and printing some more money, yes?

But this is serious business. America’s economy, already propped by fiat, is now facing a reckoning for all those years of fancied wealth — of fabricated, debt-heavy, Fed Reserve-tinkering quantitative easing. Let there be money, cried the printers at Treasury. And like magic, came the money.

Most Americans care little about the honesty factor in modern monetary policy — the switch from the gold standard to fiat, for example, or the ongoing switch from cold hard cash for the swipe of a chipped hand — so long as they can afford what they want to buy. But those days are coming to an end.

“We’ve reached a point now where anyone who can’t see inflation is clearly not paying attention,” a post at the Zero Hedge blog stated. “Inflation has now become so ridiculous that … even the price of a used car is increasing — by a lot. Since January 2020, new car prices have increased by 9.6%. But used car prices are up 16.7% over the same period.”

Used cars?

Come on, now.

What normally depreciates is now appreciating? Values are being flipped on their heads. Prices are being hiked to the roof. And we’ve not even arrived at the part in the political world where the powers of the pinhead class actually bring to fruition all the environmental controls they’ve been planning — along with all the accompanying assessments of taxes and fees and punishing costs-for-services and such. Can’t wait for that Green New Deal to really take effect, right? How about Team Biden’s infrastructure campaign, with all its non-infrastructure social justice spending?

“The cost of used cars and trucks have now topped $25,000 for the first time,” MarketWatch wrote. “Prices have soared 21% over the past year, the [Consumer Price Index] showed. … The cost of food is also rising twice as fast as it was before the pandemic.”

Expect more of the same.

Biden’s go-to response is to give out more money, more entitlements, more of Peter’s dime for Paul’s pockets. In January, for instance, Biden signed an executive order boosting the food stamp fund by about $1 billion.

Before that, he killed scores of private sector jobs along with a huge source for American energy independence with his halt to the Keystone Pipeline — promising instead to put people to work on infrastructure improvements. Trading free market for government pay; it’s hardly sustainable for a national economy.

Then again, the Biden plan calls for enough hikes on corporate tax structures and capital gains that the free market won’t sustain itself for long, anyway.

That should make those politically pesky “help wanted” signs in far too many shop windows go away soon enough. With taxpayer pockets dried, inflation could become so double-digit-ed even the most fiscally ignorant would have to notice.

Yep. It’s another Crisis of Confidence in making.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE. Her latest book, “Socialists Don’t Sleep: Christians Must Rise Or America Will Fall,” is available by clicking HERE.

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