OPINION

Congressman Smith Capitol Report: A Roadmap To Ruin

Jason Smith

American families struggling to get by got more bad news this week, as a key report that tracks inflation showed that it jumped last month by the largest amount since 2008.

The consumer price index increased 5.4 percent since July of last year, and 0.5 percent last month alone. What does this mean? It means that rampant government spending is contributing to driving up the prices of things millions of Americans need. Gas is up nearly 42 percent, energy prices are up nearly 24%, and daily food items like meat, chicken, eggs, etc. are up nearly 6%.

As Americans are finally getting back to taking family vacations, travel expenses are increasing rapidly too: rental cars prices are up 73 percent, hotels are up 24 percent, and airfare is up 19 percent. Every month, Washington “experts” try to tell us that this inflation is “transitory” – meaning just temporary. But every month we keep seeing prices go up and up.

One of the primary causes is that government continues to spend more than it takes in. So, with signs everywhere that the economy may be overheating, it’s clear that Washington Democrats in control of all branches of government need to cut spending and get our fiscal house in order.

But instead of showing any concern whatsoever for working class families struggling to put food on the table or gas in their car, Democrat leaders just poured fuel on the inflation fire with a massive spending package and budget that when combined are sure to keep prices on the rise. Simply put, Washington Democrats are overseeing the largest inflationary growth in 40 years.

This week, the Senate passed two pieces of legislation that, if enacted into law, will spend an additional $4.7 trillion – yes, TRILLION – much of it on reckless, liberal wish list items to simply fulfill socialist campaign promises. First, the Senate passed a so-called bipartisan infrastructure package – a $1.2 trillion bill that will add at least $400 billion to our debt.

Then, not even 24 hours later, and in the dead of night, the Senate turned around and passed a budget written by Bernie Sanders that will lead to an additional $3.5 trillion in immediate spending on Green New Deal subsidies for wealthy environmentalists and a further Washington takeover of our health care and energy sector. The budget calls for the largest tax increase in American history to pay for this crazy level of spending.

Oh, and the crisis at the border? Bernie’s Budget actually makes it worse by granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants already here. Not only would this impact job opportunities for Americans, but it would also undoubtedly encourage even more illegal immigration at a time when our borders are being crushed under the largest surge of migrants in two decades.

What Washington Democrats are offering is a roadmap to ruin for America’s working families. When you’re living paycheck to paycheck, inflation isn’t just a number – it’s a decision you have to make about food on your table, medicine in your cabinet, or a tank of gas to get to work. Illegal immigration isn’t humanitarian goodwill – it’s unfairly reducing your wages by flooding whole industries with folks willing to work for less. The people who support these policies are usually the ones who have the least to lose from the consequences of their actions. As someone didn’t have a lot growing up, this arrogance sickens me to my core.

If these bills get through Congress, it would mean Washington will have enacted more spending in less than 18 months than has been collected by the Federal Government in taxes in U.S. history. This is at a time when President Biden’s own budget is projecting that debt as a share of the economy will surpass World War II levels to reach the highest point in American history.

In order to strengthen working class families and Main Street businesses, we must get our fiscal house in order. The role of the Federal Government should be limited, and it is time to stop interfering in the daily lives of Americans.

We need to support our job creators and return power to the people. We need to cut taxes and regulations to spur job growth and innovation, like we did with President Trump which created the strongest economy in the history of this country. I was proud to help enact that agenda then, and I’m ready for the fight ahead to empower our nation’s hardworking families, farmers, and small business owners once again.

Congressman Jason Smith, R-MO, represents Rolla in Missouri’s Eighth Congressional District.