Inflation is a tax on all of us. American economist Thomas Sowell said of inflation, “It is a way to take people's wealth from them without having to openly raise taxes. Inflation is the most universal tax of all.”
Inflation has increased every single month of Joe Biden’s presidency. In fact, the consumer price index (CPI) has increased by 5.4% in the last year, the largest jump since right before the financial crisis of 2008. What are President Biden and my Democratic colleagues going to do to curb inflation?
Over the Independence Day weekend, President Biden’s administration said Americans should celebrate the fact that the overall cost of barbequing was down by 16 cents. This laughable claim was rightly criticized and completely tone deaf in the face of rising costs on everyday items. I am sure you have noticed the major increase in gas prices, which are up by 45.1%. The overall cost to travel has only gotten more expensive, with the cost of hotel stays up 16.9% and car rentals up 87.7%.
In addition, the cost of milk is up by 5.6%, fruit is up by 7.3%, and household appliances are up 30%. The list goes on. According to a New York Fed survey released last Monday, consumers can expect to see prices up by 4.8% overall in the next 12 months.
Instead of working to reduce prices and spending in the face of this rising inflation, last week President Biden and Washington Democrats worked to double down on their reckless spending habits and continued to push through a $3.5 trillion partisan taxing and spending package. I believe it is critical to invest in our roads, bridges, ports, and broadband. Republicans and Democrats agree on a lot of infrastructure investments. Yet rather than working towards a commonsense solution, Democrats plan to run up a huge bill and tax you to pay for it. While many on the Left claim any tax increases will only impact corporations and the extremely wealthy, data released last week by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce showed the President’s tax plan will directly increase taxes on 35,000 small businesses in our state. This will impact millions of employers, employees, and consumers alike.
Rest assured, I am working hard to fight against this unnecessary and reckless spending that leaves you and your families with lower wages and higher taxes. Protecting you and the economic well-being of our nation is one of my top priorities.
Another one of my top priorities is working to solve President Biden’s border crisis. Last week, we learned that U.S. Border Patrol encountered 188,829 illegal immigrants in June, the largest number is 21 years. Vice President Kamala Harris proclaimed progress was being made at the border, but you cannot argue with the facts. In addition to record numbers of migrants at the border, agents apprehended 1,000 pounds of the lethal drug fentanyl in June, more than the last three Junes combined. A new report also showed that COVID cases at the border have surged 900% - all while the Biden administration continues to transport migrants all over our country. I wonder how much the surge in COVID cases can be attributed to thousands of immigrants – some with COVID, some not tested – President Biden is releasing into our country every day. I have been to the border and seen this crisis myself. It is heartbreaking to see this humanitarian, national security and public health crisis continuing to get worse.
Despite the challenges we face, last week I was able to accomplish several important measures for our community. On Wednesday, the House passed the PFAS Action Act of 2021. As the Cape Fear River in our region has been impacted by the PFAS chemical GenX, I was proud to support the bill and secure two amendments that will fund water systems in our community and others impacted by GenX. Also on Wednesday, the Energy and Commerce Committee passed my bipartisan bill to expand vaccine development through the FDA and NIH. Vaccines have helped us combat this pandemic and I will keep leading efforts to build on our progress.
Our challenges are many, but by working together, I am confident we can still accomplish great things for our community, state, and country.
Until next week,
Member of Congress