“Move along, nothing to see here! Please disburse!”
It’s something you might hear from a policeman standing in front of one of those practically invisible yellow tape barriers, encouraging onlookers and curious bystanders to leave the scene of an incident so as to keep a bad situation from getting worse. In Hollywood film lore (The Naked Gun), fictional Police Squad detective Frank Drebin uttered the plea with a fireworks factory exploding in the background. Yeah, there was something to see there… that’s the point. It was hilarious. There’s something to see -- or not see -- in America today and senile president Joe Biden’s administration brains are acting as though they’re positioned before a gruesome crime scene shouting “Nothing to see here! Please disburse!” at the top of their lungs. Last week’s government report that yearly inflation reached an almost unfathomable (during the Trump years at least) 8.5 percent rate came as a shock to everyone. It’s not that citizens don’t realize prices on practically everything are going up -- everyone knows it. It’s that they’re going up so fast (the previous month was still below 8 percent at 7.9).
The inflation rate is now higher than it’s been in over 40 years. Meanwhile, at 11.2 percent, the Producer Price Index (PPI) is the highest it’s been since the powers-that-be started measuring the increases. If producers are paying more, we haven’t yet reached the top (or bottom?) of the consumer price boosts. Look out 10 percent. Ouch. If senile Joe and his fellow Democrats are concerned about the likely ramifications of the inflation phenomenon, they’re doing a darn good job of disguising it. The president visited Iowa last week where he attempted to explain away reality while speaking inside a barn (and a bird pooped on him for his trouble). As would be expected, Biden blamed Russian president Vladimir Putin for America’s inflationary trend. Politically speaking, Biden’s speech was a dud.
Polls show that most Americans believe Biden isn’t cognitively up to the job of president, which makes his flailing attempts to explain the issue all the more predictable. Needless to say, Democrats are horrified at the prospect of having to face voters this November with inflation raging like that burning fireworks factory in The Naked Gun movie. Taken together with a possible recession, things don’t look good at Democrat National Headquarters these days. If Democrats aren’t terrified yet, they should be. Byron York wrote at The Washington Examiner:
“’Inflation is raging and getting worse,’ said House Ways and Means Committee ranking Republican Kevin Brady in a characteristic GOP statement. ‘For President Biden, who mistakenly denied record-high inflation and later denied the crippling worker shortage, what does it take beyond today's devastating inflation report to admit America is in a wage-price spiral that is worsening each month? Denial, as we've learned under this administration, is not an economic strategy.’
“But denial is the strategy of the day at the White House. On Monday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki spoke in anticipation of high inflation numbers, and she blamed it on...yes, Vladimir Putin. ‘Because of the actions we've taken to address the Putin price hike, we are in a better place than we were last month,’ Psaki said. ‘But we expect March CPI headline inflation to be extraordinarily elevated due to Putin's price hike.’ Psaki appeared to urge people not to pay attention to the big inflation totals in food, shelter, and energy and instead support a Democratic bill to ‘cut the costs of child care, of healthcare, of eldercare.’ Not that that would be a bad thing, but those are not the stratospheric price increases currently burdening the public...
“Democratic strategists know a reckoning is on the way in the form of November's midterm elections. They certainly wish they had a better answer than to call inflation ‘Putin's price hike.’ But so far, they don't, and the elections are drawing nearer and nearer.”
Yes, they are. Each passing day brings them closer, too. What must be most frustrating to Democrats is they not only don’t have an answer to inflation, they don’t even understand the question. The Democrat consultant that came up with “Putin’s Price Hike” should be fired. Americans are compassionate people but they don’t live and die by what happens half a world away in Ukraine. If folks have the means, they’ll send donations to help the Ukrainian people, but beyond this, it’s back to being worried about paying for the everyday aspects of life.
But inflation is rapidly eating (pardon the pun) into the capacity of ordinary people to help themselves, much less cut a check for overseas charities. Or to care about the plight of those who aren’t visible except via social media or a cable TV news report. Prayer is free, however.
Americans are searching for solutions and they aren’t getting them. They’re looking for signs that their elected political leadership understands their struggles, and they see only blank empty stares and receive more platitudes like “Putin’s Price Hike” instead. Like with everything else, most fellow countrymen don’t want a handout and probably wouldn’t take one even if offered. But yes, elections do have consequences. And the 75+ million who filled out ballots for Donald Trump a year and a half ago are more than a little miffed at the 80+ million (*supposedly, but with fraud, who knows?) who selected doddering senile Joe and his band of aged hippies, gender confused phonies, race baiters and limousine liberal cultural outcasts to spite us.
At its core, inflation is a psychological phenomenon. Most of the time ordinary people don’t think about inflation. They go about their business as though Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” was guiding the economy and doing a darn good job of it. Americans get in their (mostly) gas powered automobiles, drive to the store to buy a couple days’ worth of raw food material to prepare meals or visit the frozen section for a quick turnaround at the house. If the store shelves aren’t completely stocked with pretty much everything they want to purchase, they’re darn close.
Prices rise incrementally year to year, but barely enough to actually detect. Shopping is mundane; not exciting; tolerable but not stimulating. Except when it comes to inflation.
Sure, everyone might notice price hikes caused by a dearth of supply on certain items. As an example, if you hear on the evening news that beef producers are dealing with a shortage of feed grain, or if the meat packers union is on strike, people know they’ll probably see a temporary increase in the price of ground beef and steak.
But … it’s only temporary. “This too shall pass” is the normal order of the day. Chances are the problem’s solved within a few weeks or a month and things go back to the way they were. I can’t say for sure, but supermarket managers must pride themselves on their ability to keep stuff available without customers complaining too much. A quiet store is a content store. If a shopper doesn’t mention his or her experience to their spouse that evening, the manager’s done his or her job well.
The balance changes when inflation hits, because it throws everything off kilter. And even worse, everyone gets it. Suddenly, the content shopper notices that practically every item has changed -- and all in one direction. You don’t go about thinking, ‘Gee, eggs have increased 17.9 percent over the last year’ but you sure as heck recognize when you’ve got a half cart full of goods and it’s $85 at the checkout line. Someone is to blame. Inflation doesn’t exist in a vacuum. The bumbling president and his collection of apologists, ideologues, condescending lecturers and excuse producers makes for an easy -- and accurate -- target.
The polls Byron York alluded to in his piece show Americans cutting through the Democrats’ nonsense about “Putin’s Price Hike” and looking to punish the liberal party in November. Big government spending isn’t popular when ordinary people are simply seeking to provide a respectable standard of living for their family.
Could this mark the end of the Democrat party? Republicans -- at least some of ‘em -- have warned about excess federal spending for years, yet Democrats always base their political power on what and how much they can deliver for the moochers, environmental wackos, public union employees and “woke” culture trouncers who vote for them. This type of politician is the most likely to be kicked out of office this year, especially if they’re in a competitive district. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Nancy Pelosi will survive -- probably -- but the rest are toast.
In the Democrats’ worst case scenario, their numbers in the House go so low that principled conservatives (not just Republicans) hold a majority of seats. If this is the circumstance, Speaker Kevin McCarthy wouldn’t even need to cut deals with the wishy-washy Liz Cheney “moderates” of his own caucus. Conservatives will force the Californian into proposing bills that would actually do something positive for the country, like jumpstarting energy production and encouraging price competition in healthcare.
Democrats would oppose it at their own risk. Judging by the way their own party members have treated Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, liberals are willing to destroy anyone who opposes their inflation fostering, big spending ways. Merely acknowledging that inflation exists and that it’s caused, to a large part, by government is enough to get you canceled by your own people.
There is definitely “something to see here” and Democrats can’t disguise it any longer.
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