Congress must act to stop rising inflation

Congress must act to stop rising inflation

Inflation is impacting every person in this country, especially those of us who live in so-called “overflow” states like Wyoming and Missouri. Families are forced to make tough decisions about what to buy at the grocery store, what bills to pay each month, and what trips to take, if any. On average, inflation costs Wyoming residents more than $9,900 a year and Missouri residents $8,900. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has also confirmed that inflation in rural communities – many of which we represent – ​​is 130% that of urban areas. Rising prices are crippling American budgets, and inflation is basically a tax on rural Americans and the poor. Not a day goes by that we don’t rightly hear about it from people back home.

The Federal Reserve is doing its part to try to fight inflation, but despite asset sales and steady rate hikes – up 3.75% so far, the fastest rise in 40 years and more than the past 15 years combined – inflation continues to persist. The Fed has a daunting task as almost a third (29%) of all money circulating in the economy today has been created since February 2020. The rise in interest rates so far does not has had no significant impact on lowering inflation, but it has a major impact. impact on the housing market, as families are excluded from the market. The average rate on a 30-year mortgage is 7%, more than double the average rate a year ago. Americans also suffer the double whammy of not always being able to find the goods they need and paying higher prices when they do.

Congress is one of the main culprits for the skyrocketing cost of living. By early 2021, Congress had already spent about $4 trillion since the pandemic began on the response. The CBO has warned that no further federal stimulus is needed. Ignoring these facts, in March 2021 Democrats chose to add $2 trillion to that total through the American Rescue Plan Act, even though there was still over $1 trillion in unspent COVID funds. in the books. The Democrats should have known the catastrophic impact their inflationary overspending would have on our economy. However, instead of heeding warnings and focusing on targeted relief while cutting spending as the pandemic subsided, the Democratic majority in Congress used the excuse of a pandemic to continue spending well. beyond the country’s means, overheating the economy.

Congress must take concrete action to reduce unnecessary government spending. Since President Joe Biden took office, federal spending has increased by $10 trillion compared to what was projected at the start of his presidency, a record increase for a president’s first 20 months. Giant, blanket spending bills that no one has or takes the time to read or legislation that simply maintains the status quo will no longer suffice. Congress needs to stop fueling inflation and stop throwing endless amounts of money at problems; it must carefully target where to spend America’s hard-earned tax dollars.

By cutting spending, Congress can send a strong signal that it has heard the concerns of the American people and is serious about controlling inflation and holding Washington accountable. With the realization that Republicans and Democrats are to blame for our current $31 trillion debt, the last 20 months of one-party Democratic rule in Washington have broken records for the size of the added debt at 3,400 billions of dollars. While we will fight the efforts of Democrats in Washington and the White House to use the upcoming lame duck session as an opportunity to increase spending even more before it passes the hammers of congressional leadership to Republicans, when Republicans will take control of Congress, we will need to focus on fiscal restraint and get our economy back on track.

It’s time to stop spending the money we don’t have on things we can live without. We must use every tool at our disposal and every opportunity at our disposal — including the next time Congress is forced to face the debt ceiling — to fight the inflationary crisis created by President Biden.

Every American is making tough spending decisions right now, and it’s time for Congress to do the same.

Cynthia Lummis is the young senator from Wyoming. She is a member of the Senate Banking Committee. Jason Smith represents Missouri’s 8th District and is a ranking member of the House Budget Committee.

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