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Thune: “Bidenomics” = Bidenflation

“To Americans who have lived under the Biden economy, ‘Bidenomics’ means something very different.”

September 6, 2023

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WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today spoke on the Senate floor about the harsh realities South Dakotans are facing as a result of “Bidenomics.” Thune noted that American taxpayers are footing the bill for President Biden’s big-government, big-spending agenda that has consisted of higher taxes, record-high inflation rates, and handouts to special interest groups. 

Thune’s remarks below (as prepared for delivery):

Mr. President, we recently passed the first anniversary of the so-called Inflation Reduction Act.

“And despite the White House’s showy anniversary celebration, this legislation is not aging well. 

“It’s not exactly a surprise, Mr. President.

“It was clear from the beginning that this bill had problems.

“It was called the Inflation Reduction Act, yet even before the bill had been signed into law, the nonpartisan Penn Wharton Budget Model was noting that the bill’s impact on inflation was, quote, ‘statistically indistinguishable from zero.’

“In other words, the Inflation Reduction Act … would do nothing to reduce inflation.

“Even President Biden has essentially admitted that the bill’s name was misleading.

“It was also clear from the outset that the bill’s claims of deficit reduction were extremely shaky, relying on accounting gimmicks and fuzzy math.

“Then of course there were the hundreds of billions of dollars in tax hikes on American businesses – rarely a strategy that produces economic growth or benefits for working Americans.

“There was a massive funding infusion to the IRS, focused not on improving taxpayer services but on increasing audits to help fund Democrats’ Green New Deal agenda.

“And more.

“The best that could be said for the Inflation Reduction Act when it passed – which isn’t much – was that it was less damaging than the staggering multi-trillion-dollar spending spree Democrats had originally tried to implement – their so-called Build Back Better Act.

“So it’s not exactly a surprise that the Inflation Reduction Act isn’t aging well, Mr. President.

“But it’s become clear over the past year that the bill is even worse than it appeared originally.

“It was already an expensive piece of legislation, Mr. President. 

“But the bill’s costs have ballooned alarmingly.

“The bill’s Green New Deal provisions, which were originally projected to cost around $400 billion, are now expected to cost somewhere in the range of $660 billion to more than $1 trillion.

“Let me just repeat that, Mr. President.

“The bill’s Green New Deal provisions, which were originally projected to cost around $400 billion, are now expected to cost somewhere in the range of $660 billion to more than $1 trillion.

“If Democrats’ deficit reduction claims for this bill were shaky before, they are really shaky now.

“It’s not hard to imagine that the steep increase in the bill’s costs could mean that it ends up adding to the deficit, instead of reducing it.

“And now it has emerged that some of the biggest beneficiaries of the bill’s green energy subsidies are not American companies, but foreign companies.

“Not only that, billion-dollar companies are expected to receive the lion’s share of the bill’s green energy tax subsidies.

“Ironic for a president who claims he wants to make big companies ‘pay their fair share.’

“It also turns out that the bill’s provisions are actually driving up the cost of green energy projects … and inflating the cost of project materials and labor.

“It’s no wonder that President Biden recently said of the Inflation Reduction Act, ‘I wish I hadn’t called it that.’

“And, Mr. President, I haven’t even mentioned other aspects of this legislation, like the bill’s price controls for prescription drugs, which will curtail medical innovation and the development of new medications. 

“When the Biden administration originally proposed this policy, research from the University of Chicago projected that price controls on prescription drugs in Medicare would result in 135 fewer new drugs available to patients.

“Now we are seeing those projections come to fruition as multiple drug companies have indicated they are halting research into new treatments for cancer and other diseases as a result of the Inflation Reduction Act. 

“Mr. President, President Biden has been spending a lot of time recently talking about his economic philosophy – or lack thereof – which he has taken to calling ‘Bidenomics.’

“According to the White House, it’s a philosophy based on, and I quote, ‘growing the economy from the middle out and bottom up – while also spending responsibly.’

“It’s a nice-sounding vision, Mr. President.

“But it has little to do with economic reality in the Biden administration.

“The so-called American Rescue Plan Act – the massive Democrat spending spree that helped plunge our economy into a two-year-plus inflation crisis – is proof enough that “spending responsibly” is not exactly the modus operandi for Democrats and President Biden.

“And as for ‘growing the economy from the middle out and bottom up’ – well, if the president really thinks he’s doing that, I have a nice piece of oceanfront property in South Dakota to sell him.

“In fact, Mr. President, it’s lower- and middle-income Americans who have suffered the most in the Biden economy.

“Prices have increased by more than 16 percent since the president took office – by more than 20 percent for groceries.

“And inflation is costing the average household more than $900 more per month.


“Per month.

“Show me a working family who finds that affordable.

“Bidenomics, according to the president, is supposed to be about lifting up working families.

“But in reality working families in the Biden economy are struggling just to get by.

“A grim line in a news story the other day noted, and I quote, ‘With 60% of people in the United States living paycheck to paycheck, households are turning to credit cards and retirement savings as lifelines.’

“‘With 60% of people in the United States living paycheck to paycheck, households are turning to credit cards and retirement savings as lifelines.’

“That, Mr. President, is the reality of life under Bidenomics.

“But you only need to listen to one of the president’s speeches to know that the president isn’t overly troubled by economic reality. 

“Lately the president has been taking credit for the recent moderation in the inflation rate. 

“That takes a lot of gall, Mr. President.

“It’s a bit like punching a hole in a boat and then taking credit for rescuing the occupants from drowning.

“Except that in this case the president isn’t even doing the rescuing.

“The rate of inflation has slowed in spite of the White House, not because of it.

“In fact, if the president had had his way, Congress would have passed a lot more reckless spending – and inflation would likely have gotten even worse.

“As it is, Americans are having to deal not only with the ongoing effects of Democrats’ self-inflicted inflation crisis, but with the steep rate hikes the Federal Reserve has imposed to dig us out of Democrats’ inflation mess.

“These rate hikes have made borrowing more expensive, putting the dream of homeownership or necessities like replacing an aging car out of reach for more Americans.

“And there may be more economic pain on the way if Democrats have their way. 

“The Senate Democrat leader recently promised – or perhaps I should say threatened – to pass an even bigger Green New Deal bill than the Inflation Reduction Act if Democrats regain full control of Washington in the next election.

“I don’t even want to think about how much that kind of legislation could cost taxpayers – or what damage that kind of legislation could do to our economy.    

“Mr. President, the president can talk all he wants about Bidenomics as building the economy from the bottom up and the middle out.

“To Americans who have lived under the Biden economy, Bidenomics means something very different.

“Perhaps the president should check in with the 58 percent of voters who say the economy has gotten worse over the past two years before he gives his next celebratory speech.

“Mr. President, I yield the floor.”