In the first half of 2022, we saw the price of gas, rent, groceries and other items jump at a rate faster than we’ve seen in decades, causing concern across the globe. It has also spurred a lot of misinformation about what – or who – is to blame. Right-wing talking points have placed the fault squarely at President Biden’s feet, which is completely and utterly false. Inflation is a GLOBAL issue and has been triggered by a number of factors. Here’s what you need to know.
What’s causing inflation right now?
It may be convenient for some to attribute inflation to one single thing – like political leadership – but the truth is, it’s a complex situation that doesn’t come with easy solutions. We saw, and continue to see, massive issues with our global supply chain following the onset of the pandemic. This means it’s much harder to keep up with a surging consumer demand brought on by those who deferred a lot of their household spending at the beginning of COVID.
There has also been a significant uptick in job and wage growth, resulting in companies raising prices on their goods and services to cover their rising operational costs. In addition, people are seeking more experiences vs. things, but because food, labor and fuel costs are rising (thanks to the global supply chain issues), this is driving up costs for airfare and hotels, rent, dining and more.
When will it get better?
Thankfully, we’ve seen gas prices begin to decrease over the last several weeks (and those who blamed Biden for the increase are suddenly silent – very predictable). To slow the huge demand for housing, the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates, which has been working.
Biden has indicated his top economic priority is fighting inflation and is working with Congress to pass legislation to address it. In the meantime, he’s reduced congestion on ports, signed legislation to make goods across oceans cheaper, increased the number of commercial driver’s licenses, coordinated the largest release of global oil reserves in history to boost supply and has put significant pressure on oil companies to take their record profits and increase production to help make up for taking Russian oil off the market.
Are Republicans doing anything about it?
Republicans have no real plan to address inflation, aside from blaming Biden. In fact, they’ve put up roadblocks at any attempt to pass meaningful legislation, choosing instead to stoke anger toward Biden and blame him for the lack of progress that they’re causing. They have proposed some measures, but, true to form, they focus on cutting taxes for big corporations (when we have decades of data that trickle-down economics doesn’t work) and requiring programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to be renewed by Congress every five years.
Is there anything I can do?
Absolutely. One of the biggest issues in passing meaningful legislation is that Republicans will block it, no matter how beneficial it would be for their communities. By having a filibuster-proof Democratic majority locally and nationally, we can begin to make the progress that has been stymied for years by greedy politicians. And to do that, you need to vote in every election. You can also donate your time and/or money to local organizations like the Denver Democrats, who are working tirelessly to ensure every eligible voter casts a ballot in November.