“What goes up must come down.”
It’s an old saying based on a very real phenomenon -- gravity -- unless you’re talking about the jazzy 1969 jazzy rock classic “Spinning Wheel” by the aptly named group Blood, Sweat and Tears. Fortunately for NASA’s astronauts and various satellites launched into outer space, not everything that goes up immediately comes down, but the astronauts did return to earth (accidents notwithstanding) and we’re told most of the vehicles we’ve sent into earth’s orbit will eventually reenter the atmosphere and burn up before hitting the planet’s surface.
Not to belabor the point, but the robotic explorers sent into the outer reaches of the solar system won’t be returning; instead they’ll continue their missions into the great beyond. They went up and didn’t come down -- at least not anywhere that we’re aware of. (Incredibly, we’re still transmitting data to spacecraft launched in the 70’s which have subsequently left the sun’s gravity.)
The gravity defying reality we’re dealing with these days is inflation, and the news isn’t good. Prices have noticeably risen of late and it’s got people worried, especially those in the Democrat party who are dependent on citizens’ attitudes and beliefs that the good spending times will last forever. If you’ve been paying attention, there’s trouble on the horizon.
“Rising inflation is creating a drag on the Democrats’ 2022 prospects, threatening to send the price of household goods skyrocketing and turn voters against the party’s thin congressional majorities.
“Inflation increased significantly in May, pushing the cost of food and gasoline higher just as the United States digs itself out of the pandemic-induced recession of the last year. Republicans blame President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion American Recovery Plan for flooding the economy with too much taxpayer-subsidized cash and say Democratic proposals to spend trillions more will send inflation spiraling out of control…
“Republicans face two challenges in their effort to make the inflation issue stick. One is a matter of timing — by the time the 2022 campaign is in full swing, prices might stabilize and the economy could be humming, allowing Biden and the Democrats to take credit. Even if inflation is having a negative impact on prices and the economy, simply criticizing Democrats is not enough to turn the issue into a winner for Republicans.”
Democrats certainly hope that what goes up -- prices -- must come down. But there are a lot of reasons to believe it won’t happen, the most salient one being that Biden and his party members are addicted to spending, taxes and whatever else gets their voters into an activist tizzy. The president himself doesn’t talk about deficits (only raising taxes to cover them) and establishment politicians from both parties avoid the topic like the COVID-19 plague.
Okay, the Chinese Communist Party (or Wuhan, if you prefer) virus didn’t cause a plague. But hysteria over its potential effects was bad enough to scare the political class into passing trillions in “relief” packages. Republicans are almost as complicit in the largesse as Democrats, but it would be hard for liberals to blame the post Trump spending binge on the GOP.
A lot of us spent considerable time in college studying macroeconomic theory and are familiar with the Keynesian notion of deficit spending to spur economic growth. According to Wikipedia, “Keynesian economics are the various macroeconomic theories and models of how aggregate demand (total spending in the economy) strongly influences economic output and inflation. In the Keynesian view, aggregate demand does not necessarily equal the productive capacity of the economy. Instead, it is influenced by a host of factors – sometimes behaving erratically – affecting production, employment, and inflation.”
The oft demonized Richard Nixon was a Keynesian devotee. No one claims the disgraced president was a conservative in Ronald Reagan’s supply-side mold. It doesn’t matter to the media.
Right now, a lot of factors are behaving erratically. The number of jobs available is at an all-time high, yet millions still remain voluntarily unemployed due to COVID “relief” measures. Democrats fought earnestly to ensure extra benefits for people out of work -- so hard that millions of them are still at home sitting on the couch and munching Doritos while business owners bid up the wage market to try and entice more adult humans to run their stores.
It wouldn’t show up on the inflation radar screen necessarily, but the crisis at the southern border is surely contributing to pressure on landlords and property owners in major urban centers. If 180,000 illegal aliens crossed in May alone, the cumulative total since the wave began after the 2020 election has altered the equation. These people have to live and eat, and they compete for the same proverbial slice of pie as everyone else, especially when American taxpayers are supplying the means to do it.
There’s more. Even a simpleton dolt like Joe Biden must realize that messing with the nation’s energy production would result in rising prices. Cancelling the Keystone pipeline not only threw thousands of people out of work, the action guaranteed that additional future supply would not be forthcoming (or at least not as efficiently). Every entity that uses energy -- from truckers down to Uber drivers, farmers and private school sports leagues -- has seen prices go up. Those costs are passed on to consumers.
Could anyone see this coming? Heck yeah. You don’t have to be a believer in Keynesian theory to understand that government can’t keep spending for long before the inflation bug invades like cicadas every x number of years. Plant the larvae in the soil and wait. You can set your calendar to it. Yet Democrats never learn.
Recent news reports of burgeoning inflation haven’t convinced Democrats to change their ways, either. Last week’s news was full of headlines covering “negotiations” between the parties on another enormous federal spending package. “Infrastructure” has been a very popular word lately. And it looks like more federal dollars might be in the pipeline (pardon the pun) soon, though Democrat leaders chaffed at their first look. Maybe their less-is-not-more negativity will sink the whole deal.
As much as I’ve gnashed on the “bipartisan” subject recently, it was hardly surprising to see the line-up of GOP senators who allegedly hammered out the compromise on the infrastructure bill. Simply put, it’s a who’s who of wishy-washy, big spending anti-Trump RINO establishmentarians, all but one of which voted with the Democrats to impeach the former president earlier this year.
They are (as reported at The Hill): Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio). Portman voted to acquit Trump but still is regarded in most circles as a rubberstamp for the leadership. In other words, the senators leading the negotiations aren’t exactly representative of the mainstream of the party. “Moderate” equates to spending on Capitol Hill.
Whether the group’s scheme will be acceptable to Biden and both parties’ leaders is yet to be determined. But if the package ultimately passes, it will only add to the borrowing burden and flood the economy with more cash at a time when there already are hundred-dollar bills bubbling to the surface like lava in an erupting volcano.
With the American public emerging from its yearlong funk over COVID-19, people will continue to use their “relief” money to purchase goods and services. Employment may or may not stabilize once the Democrats’ free loot ploy runs its course. But one can’t help but sense that the heightened energy prices are here to stay. The border dilemma shows little hope of being solved. And interest rates can’t continue to be kept artificially low. Something’s gotta give.
What goes up must come down. Unless you’re talking about inflation under Democrat control. If the Democrats are worried that it could sink Biden’s currently high approval rating, they should be. Government just can’t keep appropriating billions and trillions without consequences. We can only hope voters realize who’s at fault before it’s too late.
Joe Biden agenda
COVID-19 relief bill
Biden tax plan