President Biden recently said, “If Republicans win, inflation will get worse.” Actually, if Republicans win — that is, if they recapture control of the House and, possibly, the Senate — inflation could get better, faster.
Contrary to what Mr. Biden and his liberal allies say, we aren’t suffering from inflation because of “greedy” capitalists or oil companies. We are suffering from inflation because we have too much money chasing too few goods, and that is largely the fault of the Biden administration.
How could victorious Republicans change that? First and foremost, they could exercise Congress’ ultimate power over the executive branch — the power of the purse.
A Republican majority should rein in the excessive spending that’s one of the fundamental causes of this inflation. Since Mr. Biden was inaugurated with one-party control of the Congress, the federal government has shoveled trillions of dollars into the economy above and beyond what it usually spends on its annual budget — there was the $1.9 trillion stimulus plan in the spring of 2021, followed by the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, followed by the $280 billion “CHIPS” bill, and then the $740 billion Build Back Manchin legislation. Together, that’s more than $4 trillion in additional spending above and beyond the annual budget.
Further, a Republican majority should block the Biden administration from spending up to another trillion dollars it does not have to pay off the student loan debt of tens of millions of borrowers. Despite what Mr. Biden seems to think — that he “got it passed by a vote or two” — Congress never approved this program, even though Biden’s party has controlled the Congress for the first two years of his term.
A Republican majority should block Mr. Biden from implementing this scheme by giving him a choice in the appropriations process — he can fund his unconstitutional, illegal student loan debt payoff scheme, or he can fund the Department of Education. How long would the secretary of education continue to push Mr. Biden to go through with this illegal scheme if he knew the price the two of them would have to pay would be the defunding of thousands of education bureaucrats’ positions?
Another of the fundamental reasons for the brutal inflation under which we are suffering is the exploding cost of energy. That’s at least partly the result of the anti-fossil fuel attitude of the Biden administration, put in place as Mr. Biden tries to placate the climate extremists on the hard left of the modern Democratic Party. As a consequence of these policies, we are no longer the net energy exporter we were just a few years ago.
Republicans should use the power of the purse to force the Biden administration to reverse itself on a range of issues related to developing U.S.-based energy sources. Reopen the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil and natural gas extraction; reopen federal lands and offshore waters for development; and find a way to approve development of the Keystone XL pipeline. These are just some of the policies that could be negotiated in an effort to produce more U.S.-sourced energy, which would have the effect of increasing supply and, therefore, would lower prices.
With a Republican majority, that anti-fossil fuel attitude — and the reduction in U.S.-sourced energy that comes with it — should be over.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median age in America is just under 39. That means more than half the people in this country were not alive the last time we suffered under inflation at this level. And that means that more than half the people in this country are only now learning for the first time what happens when reckless government spending so devalues the currency that they can literally see their purchasing power being taken from them.
The result is not surprising. All over the country, people from all walks of life — meaning, specifically, people who do not regularly pay attention to politics — are suddenly engrossed in political discussions with their friends, their co-workers and their neighbors, many for the first time. They want to do something about inflation, and they are looking for political leaders who want to do something about inflation.
“Doing something about inflation” means, most importantly, getting Washington’s reckless spending under control.
Democrats have shown they cannot fix the inflation problem, because they have neither the desire nor the capability to end Washington’s reckless spending spree.
If the polling is accurate, Republicans will soon have the ball in their court. They will clearly have a voter mandate to address inflation, and I have no doubt they’ll do their best. If Mr. Biden actually cares about Americans the way he claimed he did when campaigning in 2020, he’ll heed that mandate and sign legislation that will fix the inflation problem he created.
• Jenny Beth Martin is honorary chairman of Tea Party Patriots Action.