14 March 2022

Note from Norm: Being Honest About Our Sacrifice

As Putin’s War in Ukraine carries on into another week the price that Americans are paying to drag the dictator down will increase.  Unlike a war in which American lives are on the line this war is putting America’s standard of living on the line and it’s important our President level with us about it.

The first line of honesty needs to come on the issue of inflation.  In response to reports that the current rate of inflation, nearly 8%, is the highest it has been in 40 years, the President stated:

“Today’s inflation report is a reminder that Americans’ budgets are being stretched by price increases and families are starting to feel the impacts of Putin’s price hike…A large contributor to inflation this month was an increase in gas and energy prices as markets reacted to Putin’s aggressive actions.”

A surprising voice of dissent came from MSNBC economic analyst and former Barack Obama adviser, Steven Rattner, who tweeted in response: home.

“Well, no. These are Feb #’s and only include small Russia effect. This is Biden’s inflation, and he needs to own it.”

I’ve written before that the President and his Democratic allies had been warned that their economic policies, as well as energy policies, would create a situation in which inflation would begin to attack the economic gains previously achieved by President Trump and Republicans.

Harvard economist and former economic advisor to Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, warned Biden and his Team a month after he was inaugurated that their policies were going to fuel inflation.

He has repeatedly warned them since then and also sounded a warning that their efforts to make inflation sound like a “blip” was making it worse.  In November he made it clear that the Administration wasn’t doing anywhere near enough to combat it.

“I think that the policymakers in Washington, unfortunately, have almost every month been behind the curve…They said it was transitory; it doesn’t look so transitory. They said it was due to a few specific factors; doesn’t look to be a few specific factors. They said when September came and people went back to school, that the labor force would grow, and it didn’t happen.”

So, will the harsh economic sanctions against Russia cause more economic pain for Americans at the grocery store, the gas pump and elsewhere?  Absolutely.

Is it a price we should be prepared to pay to bring Putin to heel and make it clear that the United States is prepared to defend the sovereignty of nations?  Absolutely.

But is inflation and the havoc it has wreaked on America’s economy thus far the fault of Putin?

Absolutely not.

The truth is that Biden and Democrats have been spending the United States into a place where our capacity to wait out Putin economically is a legitimate question.  The river of money flowing out of Washington, D.C. is causing the economy to revolt and doing so by increasing inflationary pressure and killing the buying power of Americans everywhere.

The Americans it is hurting the most – the poor and the middle class – deserve to be told the real truth about where inflation is coming from and where it is going.

It’s coming from the policies of the current Administration and Democrats in Congress and the only place it is going is up in the months ahead.

The question now, is how do we respond to inflation?  The November elections will certainly give Americans a chance to reverse course as voters go to the polls.  Removing Democrats from the total control of our federal government is a good way to start turning the economy back in the right direction.

Before that, however, the Biden Administration needs to respond forcefully to one aspect of inflation and that is its impact on energy prices in the United States.  In its near total capitulation to the socialist agenda of its allies in Congress, Biden essentially blocked domestic fuel production in the United States.

In its place he and his allies have told Americans that “clean energy” is America’s future.

Biden’s energy future is loaded with question marks, but Biden’s economic present is being answered every day by higher prices at the pump and everywhere else in America.

America’s energy resources are vast and are available to us now if only the government would get out of the way.  The idea that it is better for us to buy oil from Venezuela and Iran but that we would create roadblocks to get oil from ourselves is insanity.

As Senator Marco Rubio said recently “The only country Biden won’t buy oil from is America.”

Vladimir Putin is a threat to Europe, to Ukraine and if left unchecked the rest of the world, including the United States.  It is in our best interest to ensure that America’s economy is strong, vibrant, robust, and resilient to counter anything he chooses to do, or the actions of other potential foreign enemies anywhere in the world.

We must get inflation under control by getting spending under control. And, at the same time, we should be using every means at our disposal to get energy from every source available to us domestically now.

The great irony is that now, today, is the time for Americans to use the words of former Obama advisor Rahm Emanuel that “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”

America’s economy is in crisis.

There’s not a minute to waste.