Record-high inflation is the number-one issue impacting Americans right now. From soaring gas prices to food prices – and just about everything in between – a nearly 41-year high inflation rate is forcing families to dig deeper into their pocketbooks as they try to make ends meet. I continue to hear from folks across the state who tell me about the sacrifices they are making, and it’s abundantly clear that they need some relief.
Unfortunately, instead of pursuing policies that would grow our economy and drive down prices for families and small businesses, Democrats continue to pursue the policies that helped lead to record-high inflation in the first place. Democrats are pursuing their so-called “Inflation Reduction Act,” a bill that would do nothing to reduce inflation but would double down on wasteful government spending and impose hundreds of billions of dollars in tax hikes on American businesses – tax hikes that would result in higher prices for consumers in nearly every income bracket.
Our economy has posted negative economic growth for the past two quarters – the textbook definition of a recession – and Democrats think now is an ideal time to raise taxes on American businesses. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that raising taxes in the middle of a recession is a very, very bad idea. Bottom line, Democrats are failing Economics 101.
Increasing the tax burden on American businesses and consumers doesn’t end there. The Democrats’ bill would also impose a methane fee and a new tax hike on U.S. refiners importing crude oil and petroleum products, which are intended to make conventional energy prohibitively more expensive. Regardless of the wishful thinking Democrats engage in, Americans still need conventional energy – now and into the near future. The Democrats’ energy tax hikes are setting everyday Americans up to continue to suffer under high energy prices for the foreseeable future, as the cost for gas far exceeds the $2.38 price per gallon when President Biden took office.
The Democrats’ bill – that they bizarrely claim is going to lower inflation – happens to be chock-full of radical, Green New Deal-esque policies. There’s billions of dollars for a grant program to plant trees and things like identifying gaps in tree canopy coverage. There are billions of dollars going to purchase heavy-duty electric vehicles like garbage trucks and even more money for the U.S. Postal Service to purchase zero-emission delivery vehicles – to name a few.
Among other egregious policies, there are tax credits for folks who purchase electric vehicles and even more write-offs for refitting windows, skylights, and doors to meet Democrats’ required level of energy efficiency. The icing on the cake, of course, is the fact that the wealthiest Americans in our country are the ones who are purchasing electric vehicles, and Democrats want to give these high-income earners a tax break. This bill is wasteful and irresponsible and would create a lot of economic pain for hardworking Americans and job creators.
The Democrats’ $1.9 trillion spending spree in early 2021 helped plunge our economy into an inflation crisis that has left Americans struggling. If anything, Democrats should have learned that dumping unnecessary dollars into the economy is a recipe for disaster. Their new partisan tax-and-spending spree, unfortunately, tees up even more economic pain for families. As we have seen time and time again, economic common sense is taking a back seat to Democrats’ big-spending, big-government ideology. I will continue to fight back against these radical, out-of-touch policies and focus on solutions that put more money into the pocketbooks of hardworking South Dakotans.