Recent Op-Eds

It’s Time Democrats Stop Ignoring Problems They Caused

By Sen. John Thune

October 28, 2022

Over the last two years our economic, energy, and national security have been moving in the wrong direction. High inflation has strained family budgets month after month. A radical environmental agenda threatens our energy security. And a failure to address the surge in illegal immigration has led to a humanitarian crisis at our southern border. These crises are the result of President Biden and Democrats putting their big-government priorities over the needs of the American people.

Most Americans just wanted to get back to normal after a year of the pandemic, but Democrats swept into office determined to enact a far-left agenda. They started off with their $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, flooding the economy with unnecessary spending despite economists warning that their proposal could trigger inflation. Even as it became clear that the American Rescue Plan was indeed driving up inflation, Democrats kept pushing ahead with another, even larger reckless tax-and-spending spree. While they were eventually forced to shelve this $5 trillion plan last December, by the following August Democrats had agreed on yet another partisan tax-and-spending bill. And just days after signing this bill into law, President Biden announced a massive student loan giveaway, which alone could cost more than $1 trillion and will, to quote one independent analysis, “meaningfully boost inflation.”

Democrats’ reckless spending has helped drive up prices across the board, including energy prices. But the price of energy is especially high because of Democrats’ attacks on conventional energy production. From canceling the Keystone XL pipeline, to imposing burdensome regulations on investment in the oil and gas sector, to increasing taxes on oil and gas producers, the president and Democrats have pursued an agenda hostile to conventional U.S. energy production. The result has been higher prices for utilities, gas, and diesel, not to mention the energy jobs that will be lost because of the administration’s misguided policies.

After taking office the president also made quick work of dismantling our nation’s border security, sending a clear message to migrants that the border was open. In fiscal year 2022, the Biden administration broke its own record for the highest number of illegal immigrant encounters at the southern border. There were 2.3 million encounters in fiscal year 2022, a 37 percent increase over fiscal year 2021. And that doesn’t include known “gotaways,” immigrants who evaded apprehension after crossing the border – more than 1.1 million combined in the previous two fiscal years alone. Yet Democrats refuse to acknowledge that there is a crisis at the border or that their policies have contributed to the ongoing surge in illegal crossings.

Instead of addressing the crises they helped create, Democrats are focused on passing the rest of their original reckless tax-and-spending bill, which would drive up inflation even further. And if they increase their majority in November, they may again try to gut Senate rules to force through legislation empowering a federal takeover of elections and allowing abortion up until the moment of birth.

Republicans, on the other hand, want to promote growth in our economy by making lower tax rates permanent. We want to unleash American energy production with an all-of-the-above energy agenda. And we want to secure the border, deter illegal immigration, and stop deadly drugs like fentanyl from pouring into our communities.

South Dakotans can’t afford another two years like the last two. And for the sake of our country, I hope we don’t have to see what two more years of Democrat power would bring.