Recent Op-Eds

If you think you’re seeing the cost of everyday items skyrocket right before your eyes, you’re not imagining it. Prices across the United States have been steadily rising, and South Dakotans are paying more for food, utilities, and gas than they’ve had to in recent years. In fact, as a result of the policies that have been enacted this year, the country is facing the highest levels of inflation its seen in more than 30 years. We are coming off the most expensive Thanksgiving in history, and as we quickly approach Christmas, this holiday season is going force families to dig even deeper into their pocketbooks.

On average, inflation is costing a typical household $175 every single month. Utilities in South Dakota, including home heating costs, are projected to increase by up to 100 percent, consumer prices have hit a 30-year high, and the cost of beef is up 20 percent this year alone. It doesn’t end there. Folks are also being hit at the pump with seven-year-high gas prices. This is a serious problem for working Americans – or any American who relies on automobile transportation. And if you’re living paycheck to paycheck, these price increases may mean the difference between putting food on the table or paying an electricity bill. For coastal elites, $175 per month might not seem like a lot of money, but I’d encourage them to visit small-town South Dakota where the value of a dollar truly means something.

At its most basic level, inflation is created when there are too many dollars chasing too few of goods in the economy. Democrats helped trigger this ongoing inflation problem earlier this year when they decided to pour trillions of dollars of unnecessary government money into the economy – despite being warned by me and many others that their partisan $1.9 trillion spending bill would stoke inflation. Now, as inflation is clearly becoming a longer-term problem, Democrats are preparing to double down on the same kind of irresponsible government expansion with a partisan, multi-trillion-dollar tax-and-spending bill.

If you think inflation is bad now, the massive government spending the Democrats’ bill would authorize would all but guarantee a more persistent and widespread inflation problem. What’s just as concerning to me is that Democrats are actively trying to fool the American people by saying that their bill costs zero dollars. South Dakotans are smarter than that, and all of the various budget gimmicks Democrats are trying to use to disguise the true cost of their bill won’t fool them. This is not rocket science. Flooding the economy with more government dollars will not solve America’s inflation problem. It will make it worse.

As the holiday season gets fully underway, South Dakotans are increasingly worried about how these price increases are going to impact them. Everything from feeding their family to heating their home to making sure their son or daughter gets his or her desired toy for Christmas. The reality is, even if products are available on store shelves, they will likely cost more as a result of inflation. Unfortunately, it is not going away anytime soon, and if Democrats pass their reckless tax-and-spending spree, they’ll be doubling down on these failed policies. I will continue to fight on behalf of all South Dakotans to stop this misguided, irresponsible, and partisan tax-and-spending spree from becoming law.