If you have bought just about anything lately—from food and gasoline to cars and even houses—you know prices just keep climbing. People are running out of cash. There seems to be less and less left over at the end of every month as prices continue rising faster than wages.
Put simply, a household’s money is going out faster than it’s coming in. If you are trying to balance the family budget, it’s getting harder every month to make the numbers add up.
You do not have to be an economist to know prices are rising everywhere. In fact, many of the economists seem unaware of what’s right in front of us all.
In the face of unrelenting price increases, economists at the White House have repeatedly dismissed or downplayed inflation concerns. Instead of acknowledging the problem, they have made unrealistic predictions which have quickly been proved wrong. The latest prediction of 4% requires prices to essentially freeze at their August levels for the rest of the year.
But anyone who went to a grocery store in the month of September is aware that prices have continued to rise, so that latest prediction from the White House is just as nonsensical as the previous ones. Yet again, the numbers just aren’t adding up.
The arsonist of this inflationary fire is the Federal Reserve, which has created new money at an unprecedented pace. That makes other money—like the money in your pocket or your next paycheck—less valuable. So, while it feels like everything is getting more expensive, that is the symptom; the disease is the U.S. dollar hemorrhaging value. Inflation in August was more than double the Fed’s 2% target.
If the Fed is the arsonist, then federal government deficit spending is the fuel for the fire.
Trillions of dollars of new borrowing by Congress are feeding the flames and driving prices up like towering smoke. But if you ask a White House economist, you are liable to hear that the latest proposed spending binge costs “zero.” Once again, the numbers don’t add up.
How can trillions of dollars of new spending not cost anything? That is about as reassuring as being robbed while your assailant assures you that the robbery is free because it will not cost him a dime. Safe to say, those numbers don’t add up.
The inflation that is ravaging American families is first and foremost a tax. It’s a way for Congress to spend money without having to also raise taxes. Instead, it borrows the money from the Fed, which causes inflation by creating the newly-borrowed money out of thin air.
And that is how Washington balances the books when the numbers aren’t adding up. It hoists the price of its prodigal spending onto the backs of American families through inflation.
So, when the White House—or anyone for that matter—tries to tell us that government spending has no cost, or that the Fed can print money with no fallout, or that raising taxes on corporations will not cause them to raise prices, we should hand them a paper and pencil and ask them to show us how those numbers add up.
If they cannot square that circle, then what they are selling is too good to be true.