What’s driving inflation? The Biden administration’s policy decisions.
- BY Sarah Coffey
Inflation is out of control. And the president’s poor policy decisions are largely to blame.
It’s unsurprising that a majority of Americans are concerned about the rising prices of consumer goods. Low-income families, especially, are seeing their earnings eaten away by skyrocketing prices of everyday essentials like gas and groceries.
While the president blames everyone but himself for rising costs, FGA’s research highlights four key policy decisions from the White House that are driving the highest inflation since the 1980s:
President Biden’s energy policy is sending costs sky-high. Gas prices have climbed not due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine but rather because President Biden has little interest in America becoming energy independent.
During his first month in office, Biden effectively ended the Keystone Pipeline and halted leases for oil drilling on federal land. The administration has also proposed a regulation pushing managers of retirement plans to consider “climate change” in their investment decisions through environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria.
It’s simple economics—amidst high demand, these policy decisions have suppressed the supply of oil and gas in the nation, making what supply we do have even more expensive. And when goods cost more to transport, those goods will inevitably cost more. And Americans are ultimately paying the price at the pump for these overbearing regulations.
The president’s policies of disincentivizing work and adding millions of able-bodied adults to welfare rolls have also created a labor shortage. Businesses are desperate to fill more than 11 million open jobs—a near-record high. That’s two open jobs for every job seeker.
While inflation has reached a 40-year high, labor force participation has reached a 45-year low. This directly coincides with increased welfare benefits that have encouraged millions of able-bodied Americans to stay on the sidelines instead of work, such as increases in food stamp benefits, the suspension of work requirements, and of course, the numerous stimulus checks and unemployment bonuses. This lack of labor has inevitably driven up costs for businesses, which are then passed on to the consumer.
Further, massive new government spending just won’t cease. Government spending—up 60 percent over the last three years—is also driving inflation. Additional welfare benefits and new regulations cost taxpayer’s money. President Biden has proposed an additional $14.4 trillion in new deficits over the next decade—even after accounting for his tax hikes.
Adding able-bodied Americans to welfare rolls—when they could be filling one of 11 million open jobs—not only costs the American taxpayer even more, but it also diverts resources from the truly needy.
Plus, the president has passed a historically high number of job-killing regulations. Compared to his predecessors, President Biden was particularly heavy handed in pushing through economically detrimental regulations during his first year in office. He created 69 new regulations compared to Trump’s 22, Obama’s 52, Bush’s 36, and Clinton’s 45. Just in 2021, nearly 75,000 pages of regulations were added to the Federal Code.
Implementing new rules and regulations costs money—but it also often comes at the cost of business. Overregulation adds more difficulty to the operations of businesses, often resulting in higher costs.
President Biden’s policies are driving inflation. There can be no doubt about it. And Americans are likely to continue to suffer at the pump and in the checkout line until he prioritizes making policy decisions that rein in excessive spending and help encourage able-bodied Americans on welfare to return to the workforce.