Recent Op-Eds

Inflated Prices Lead to Deflated Family Budgets

By Sen. John Thune

June 10, 2022

President Biden recently penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal entitled “My Plan for Fighting Inflation” in which he denies responsibility for his failed policies that helped create record-high inflation and out-of-control fuel costs. In his op-ed, President Biden spends multiple paragraphs attempting to convince Americans that the economy is thriving – which I have to think feels pretty meaningless to the millions of Americans struggling with massive increases in the cost of gas, groceries, and other everyday goods.

Unsurprisingly, a recent poll found that just 27 percent of Americans believe they have a good chance of improving their standard of living. Here’s the deal: The president can talk about his supposed economic achievements all he wants, but that means little to South Dakotans who have seen their disposable income eaten up by price hikes or whose pay raise failed to even keep pace with the increase in the cost of living.


When President Biden took office, inflation was at 1.4 percent – well within the Federal Reserve’s target inflation rate of 2 percent. Currently, it is at 8.6 percent – a 40-year high – largely thanks to the Democrats’ massive, partisan spending spree that flooded the economy with unnecessary government money. The definition of inflation is too many dollars chasing too few goods and services. And that’s exactly the situation Democrats helped create with their American Rescue Plan. They sent too many federal dollars into the economy – and the economy overheated as a result.


I recently questioned U.S. Department of the Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen at a Senate Finance Committee hearing, and she admitted that she was wrong about inflation after she and other administration officials told the American people this was just a temporary problem. Anyone who relies on gas to fill up their car or buys groceries to feed their family knows the rise in prices hasn’t been temporary – inflation has gotten worse, and it has been eating away at family budgets for months. Instead of talking about ways to address high energy prices by unleashing American energy production, the Biden administration continues to tout its release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve – a highly temporary Band-Aid that did next to nothing to address the cause of high gas prices, except for briefly pausing their rise to record highs.


If Democrats really wanted to reduce gas prices and boost the productive capacity of our economy over time, they would embrace American energy production – including conventional energy production. Instead, the president is doing the opposite: He continues to discourage domestic production of the conventional energy sources that Americans rely on, and the result is likely to be continued high energy prices well into the future.


I am calling on President Biden and Washington Democrats to get serious about addressing the inflation crisis that is hurting families across the country. Inflation is creating an additional tax on hardworking South Dakotans, and it’s forcing them to dig even deeper into their pocketbooks in order to make ends meet. I will do my part to hold Democrats accountable for their reckless spending and radical agenda that is fueling the inflation crisis, and I will continue to advocate for pro-growth policies that would reverse this dangerous trend.