The headline sounds politically inept as it is, but this bon mot from the House Democrats’ leading progressive is even more inane than it seems at first blush. Apparently at around the same time that the House passed the so-called Inflation Reduction Act, progressive caucus chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) tried explaining that inflation was nothing more than an academic theoretical construct.
Voters don’t care about inflation, Jayapal explained. They just want prices to stop going up. Er ….
My congresswoman, Seattle Progressive Pramila Jayapal, thinks “inflation is like a theoretical word that economists use.”
Send help. pic.twitter.com/83Udsuwu58
— Jason Rantz on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) August 12, 2022
JAYAPAL: [The bill] is going to lead to a reduction in overall inflation, but most importantly, to the budget that people have every single day. Inflation is like a theoretical word that economists use, but what families feel every day is the up-or-down of costs.
How profound, Ms. Wizard! Golly, if only there were a word for the “up” of costs, especially when the “up” is at a significantly accelerated rate. What word might that be? Why, it’s right on the tip of my tongue …
Inflation is the word, of course, and it’s not an academic exercise — not for economists, and very much not so for American workers. The latter have seen lots of “ups” over the past 17 months since Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan stimulus bill in March 2021, only balanced off by a “down” in gas prices last month that reflected a sharp drop in demand. Inflation has run above 4% since the first full month after Congress passed that massive spending bill under reconciliation, and has gone on so long that it’s lapped itself. We are now seeing high inflation over comparative data from last year where inflation was already running high, which makes all of these year-on-year numbers worse than even they look here.
In other words, inflation compounds:
Jayapal may want to try a Jedi mind trick on the weak by pretending inflation isn’t a real-world phenomenon. That will likely have very few victims, however, considering the impact that this inflation has had on Americans’ real wages. For the last five quarters — again, going back to Biden and Democrats’ last big-spending bill — Americans’ real disposable income has declined, which is also a comparative and compounding disaster when it comes to personal “budgets”:
Every data point below zero is lost ground from the data point preceding it. Five straight negative quarters adds up to a large loss in buying power in this inflationary wave.
But perhaps Jayapal truly believes that inflation’s only theoretical. If so, why then vote for something called an “Inflation Reduction Act”? The answer: because the bill does nothing for inflation. It does, however, spend lots of money on progressive hobby-horse agenda items, although not nearly as much as Jayapal demanded over the past year. She’s not interested in the “up-or-down of costs”; Jayapal’s only interested in getting more taxpayer funding for her pet causes. And, of course, she wanted to double the size of the IRS to wring every last dollar possible from the same people who worry a lot more about the “up-or-down of costs” under the governance of progressives.
Send help, indeed. Let’s hope the electorate does just that in November.