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U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today discussed how Democrats want to impose a trillion dollars in tax hikes while record-high inflation is hurting small businesses and families in South Dakota. Thune warned that the Democrats’ reckless tax-and-spending spree would guarantee persistent and widespread inflation.
Thune’s remarks below (as prepared for delivery):
“Mr. President, ‘Our experts believe and the data shows that most of the price increases we’ve seen … [are] expected to be temporary.’
“That’s what President Biden said one year ago this month – something his administration repeatedly echoed.
“Unfortunately, Mr. President, it long ago became clear that that was wishful thinking on the president’s part.
“Far from being temporary, inflation has become a fact of life in the Biden economy.
“Last month, inflation hit its highest level yet under President Biden, climbing to 9.1 percent – the worst inflation in more than 40 years.
“And the impact of inflation is being felt in every corner of our economy.
“Businesses of every size are dealing with the effects of inflation.
“And small businesses, of course, are being hit particularly hard.
“Seventy-five percent of small business owners report that inflation has had a negative effect on the financial health of their business over the past six months.
“And 75 percent report that inflation pressures are getting worse.
“It’s not surprising.
“Everything from inputs to transportation to electricity has become more expensive in the Biden economy.
“And that has a huge impact on businesses’ ability to pay their expenses and run their operations.
“As one South Dakota business owner who wrote to me noted, ‘It makes it hard for me to grow my USA-made business when I don’t have the funds to pay my employees more, add more benefits, purchase more machinery, and buy more material in bulk as inflation continues to rise.’
“Farmers and ranchers in my state are also struggling.
“As of March, the price of fertilizer had risen an astounding 162 percent since January 2021.
“The prices of two common herbicides have risen more than 50 percent since last year.
“And the price of diesel, which powers a lot of farming and ranching equipment, has doubled since President Biden took office.
“Farming and ranching are tough jobs already, often with tight margins and a lot of weather-related risks, and inflation is making things exponentially harder.
“And, Mr. President, the list of inflation’s impacts goes on.
“For example, last week I talked about how inflation is affecting our military, which is able to do less with the funds appropriated for it thanks to soaring prices across the economy.
“That in turn can affect troop readiness and the military’s ability to keep up with needed programs and purchases, from weapons to vehicles to aircraft and ships.
“And of course I haven’t even yet mentioned the most basic impact of inflation – the misery faced by hardworking Americans who confront sky-high prices at the grocery store and the gas pump and wonder how they’re going to feed their family this month or whether they’ll be able to afford to get to work.
“Bloomberg reported last week that nearly six in 10 American workers are concerned that their paychecks won’t stretch far enough to support themselves and their families.
“And another recent poll reported that 70 percent of Americans have had to cut back on other spending to afford necessities.
“Life in the Biden economy is grim.
“Mr. President, at this point how we got here is well-established.
“One of the main reasons we’re in the midst of this inflation crisis is Democrats’ decision to pass a massive, partisan, $1.9 trillion spending bill last March under the guise of COVID relief – despite the fact that Congress had just passed a fifth bipartisan COVID bill that met essentially all current pressing COVID needs.
“Democrats were warned that their bill could cause inflation.
“They proceeded anyway.
“Their so-called American Rescue Plan flooded the economy with unnecessary government money.
“And the economy overheated as a result.
“And so here we are, with Americans struggling under the weight of the worst inflation in 40 years, and Democrats … want to double down on the spending strategy that helped get us into this mess in the first place.
“Despite the fact that even Democrat economists have stated that the American Rescue Plan helped create our current inflation crisis, Democrats want to pass another massive government spending bill filled with excessive spending and tax hikes.
“A trillion dollars in tax hikes, in recent discussions.
“Apparently Democrats are not content with spending us into an inflation crisis; they’d also like to tax us into a recession.
“Mr. President, there’s already reason to worry about the negative economic impacts of new climate measures the president is contemplating imposing.
“But on top of that, Democrats want to spend even more government money and impose a trillion dollars in tax hikes … a substantial part of which would fall on small businesses.
“At this rate, Mr. President, there’s no telling when our inflation crisis will end.
“And, Mr. President, Democrats are so committed to big spending that even if their legislation fails this time around, they’re already planning to run on their big spending agenda in November.
“I’m not sure I would want to try to convince voters to elect me by touting the same spending strategy that helped land our country in this inflation crisis.
“But Democrats’ belief in big spending is so deeply ingrained that it apparently can’t be swayed even when they see the negative consequences.
“Mr. President, it is incomprehensible that Democrats are contemplating doubling down on the spending strategy that helped get us into this mess in the first place.
“Their first spending spree was a disaster for our country.
“I can only imagine how much Americans would suffer from their next one.
“Mr. President, I yield the floor.”