Recent Op-Eds

If you’ve noticed the cost of everyday items going up lately, you aren’t imagining it. Inflation, which describes consumers’ purchasing power and the price of goods, grew in June to its highest level in 13 years. As a result, American families are – literally – paying the price. In South Dakota and across the country, families are seeing increases in rent, grocery bills, and gas prices – the list goes on. Unfortunately, this is a direct result of many of the policies coming out of Washington, D.C. 


Most students learn the concept of supply and demand early in their education. Perhaps even on the kindergarten playground if the number of kids ever exceeded the number of toys. When demand is high and supply can’t keep up, it causes tension. This is a natural occurrence on any playground, or in any economy. However, the inflation we’re seeing today isn’t a reaction to the natural pendulum of supply and demand.


In the last six months, the economy has been flooded with trillions of federal government dollars. This money is driving demand to a significantly high level – throwing off the balance of our economy and driving prices up for Americans. 


So, how did we get here? Senate Democrats’ first order of business after gaining the majority was using the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to pass a massive “relief” bill that was filled with unnecessary government handouts. Republicans, and many respected economists, warned that this massive spending plan could overstimulate the economy, but Democrats plowed ahead anyway. Flash forward to today, and it’s no surprise that their flood of unnecessary federal spending is causing problems in the economy. 


With inflation on the rise, Democrats are now preparing to double down on that strategy. Despite passing a largely unnecessary nearly $2 trillion bill just four months ago, Democrats now want to spend another $3.5 trillion in reckless spending. One estimate suggests that the Democrats’ new proposal is likely to be closer to $5 trillion or $5.5 trillion. That’s an inconceivably large amount of money. To put that number in perspective, the entire federal budget for 2019 was less than $4.5 trillion. Consider that for a moment. Some members of Congress are just casually tossing out a new spending bill that might very well exceed the ENTIRE federal budget for all of 2019.


South Dakotans are smart, commonsense people. They know that dollars and cents don’t grow on trees and that the grocery store clerk won’t take monopoly money to pay for this week’s food. They know what it means to live within a budget and the consequences of living irresponsibly outside of one. Unfortunately, it seems that many of my colleagues in Washington either don’t know these fundamental truths or they’re simply unwilling to accept them. I’m open to working with Republicans and Democrats to find solutions to today’s problems, but by unnecessarily adding trillions of dollars to our national debt, we’re only creating new challenges for future generations.