Op-EdAppeared in Daily Caller on July 11, 2024By Alfredo Ortiz

ALFREDO ORTIZ: Democrats Have Mastered The Art Of Inflation

Inflation has moderated, but the damage is done.

According to government data released Thursday, the Consumer Price Index rose by 3% and the Core CPI by 3.3% over the last year. That’s still stubbornly high and 50% more than the Federal Reserve’s target rate.

More problematically, today’s inflation compounds on the historic 20% increase in prices since President Biden took office. The cost of a July 4th cookout last weekend was $71.22, compared to $59.50 for the same meal in 2021.

As a result of this inflation — and wages that have not kept up with it — Americans face an affordability crisis and reduced living standards. Average Americans have lost $2,100 in annual earnings under President Biden, after gaining $4,200 under President Trump. We need to spend $12,000 more a year just to enjoy the same quality of life.

And that’s based on official numbers. In reality, many of the goods and services Americans rely on have increased far faster than topline inflation. Gas is up 50% since Biden took office. Almost everything that was around $20 a few years ago — from haircuts to takeout to Ubers and quick trips to the corner store — is now around $30.

Real inflation over Biden’s term is almost certainly much higher than what’s reported. According to JCN’s SBIQ nationwide poll of small business owners, two-thirds say the price hikes they face are higher than official rates.

No wonder consumer spending is cratering and personal savings hover near historic lows. The economy is being propped up by a record $1.3 trillion of credit card debt. And delinquencies are surging.

“The last eight or nine months have been just terrible,” said Sarah Cash, a gift shop owner in Grand Rapids, Michigan. “People have stopped spending money on things that aren’t necessary.” Discretionary consumer spending, which drives the economy, is drying up.

Bad Democratic policies are to blame. And it doesn’t matter who is at the top of the presidential ticket. All Democrats believe in continuing reckless government spending, which is inflationary for at least four reasons: It misallocates resources, dilutes the currency, bids up prices, and increases government debt and deficits that need to be inflated away.

All Democrats believe in overregulation, including burdensome climate and labor rules that reduce the supply of small businesses needed to bring down prices. Consider how Democrats’ electric vehicle mandates and wage floors limit the ability of small businesses to survive and thrive.

And all Democrats support ending the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which gives small businesses tax breaks many need to be profitable in today’s economy. The problem is Democrat policies, not the person on the presidential ballot.

As a result, Americans are paying more, getting less, and receiving worse quality and service. These kitchen table problems will determine the election more than the mental decline of President Biden, who was always a puppet of the Democrat machine even when operating at 100%.

Like any good socialists, Democrats blame businesses for price increases, calling out “greedflation” wherever they can. But a major Federal Reserve study shows business markups are consistent. Meanwhile, profits are down. Small businesses are actually the biggest victims of inflation nation.

In reality, Democrats are the inflation party and a vote for them is a vote for even higher prices on daily goods and services.