When I taught high school history and economics for 15 years, I used to get this question from a student at least once every year—”why can’t the government just print the money and eliminate our debt?” It’s quite the good question coming from a 16 or 17-year-old. Rather than dive into the experiences of Argentina, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, or even Germany’s doing just that in the 1920s, I always used the most practical example that they might understand.
I asked this question:
“If a plane flew over Walpole (the town where I taught) and dropped thousands of dollars in everyone’s backyard, how long do you think it would take the pizza shops or anyone else to realize they could ask and get a lot more for their products?” They always understood.
It’s a shame that Democrats in Congress didn’t and continue not to grasp this lesson from their own schooling or experience. Witness their jamming stimulus number three through on a pure party-line vote in March.
Worse, Democrats keep proposing still more spending, as if trying to outdo their colleagues. The more profligate with the largesse, the better, in their minds. Those few that suggest any moderation or prudence receive scorn and disdain from their fellow leftists. Perhaps they know their days are numbered and that they may never have control of the legislative branch again for years.
So what does the $1,400 that was borrowed and went out to middle and lower-income individuals achieve? To hear Democrats and their allies in the liberal media mob tell the story, the stimulus checks kept X number of families from going hungry or Y number of households from homelessness. But more money circulating has fueled price spikes across the board on practically everything. The very definition of inflation is too much money chasing the same amount of goods.
No one ever asks this question: if the average person will now have to spend $1,500 – $2,000 or more in 2021 due to higher food and gas prices, how exactly are people better off with the $1,400? They and the overall economy are both worse off! Further, inflation hits the poorest the hardest, as nearly all of their disposable income goes for the essentials. Elites don’t have an issue with paying an extra $10-15 for their steak at their favorite restaurant.
Democrats and elites are even trying to convince senior citizens to be giddy that they may be getting a 4-5% “raise” in their Social Security benefits in 2022. Yet it’s no raise at all. A cost of living adjustment just allows one to keep up, or put another way, not fall further behind. The Social Security Administration does not and has never handed out “raises” like the kind we think of with employers.
So, again, same question:
how is Grandma better off when she gets her $65 per month “raise” (the average increase due to the average recipient) on January 1, 2022? While equivalent to $780 for all of 2022, Grandma has likely already forked over more than that just to eat and pay for essentials like toothpaste, toilet paper, and the like in 2021. Answer: she’s not better off. No one is better off with inflation. It robs us all of our purchasing power. The current culprit is careless and reckless Democrat fiscal policy.
Voters appear prepared to exact their retribution at election time 2022 on those who robbed them of their hard-earned money. It should be easy. They are reminded of their plight every time they fill their gas tank or check out at the grocery store. Inflation will be Biden’s and the Democrats’ albatross, as neither can very well take back the stimulus or the bonuses are given out not to work. Sadly, once inflation starts, it’s incredibly difficult and then ultimately painful to stop.
Jeff Szymanski works in political communications at AMAC, a senior benefits organization with 2.4 million members. He previously taught high school economics for 15 years.
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