Government Spending

Blame Washington, Not Moscow, for Surging Inflation

Few politicians are willing to admit deficit spending is the larger cause.

|

News from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) that February's all-item Consumer Price Index (CPI) skyrocketed 7.9 percent on a year-over-year basis came as no surprise to American consumers. It was the largest increase since 1982 and followed increases exceeding 6 percent each month since September. Anyone who does the family shopping, as I do, or who keeps the family SUV or pickup truck full of gas has been seeing this coming for almost a year.

Expressing concern about soaring gasoline prices, President Joe Biden called it "Putin's price hike." While shifting the blame for inflation to a foreign despot may be attractive politically, the BLS report tells us that the price surge had nothing to do with Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 24, too late to have much impact on the monthlong survey of daily gasoline prices.

The BLS report showed the food index was up 7.9 percent for the year and, yes, gasoline was up 37.9 percent. It may be worth remembering that the U.S. average price of a gallon of gas in January 2021 was $2.38; in January 2022, the price was about a dollar higher at $3.32. By March 10, the price was another dollar higher at $4.31. Yes, Putin's invasion is making a huge difference. But demand for gasoline surged much earlier when consumers, with money in the bank and uninterested in flying because of COVID-19 concerns, put family cars on the road in the midst of the great COVID shutdown, making the number of miles traveled in spring 2021 rise to new heights.

For too long now, our political leaders have been unwilling to accept the notion that their policies are the major source of inflation, that the inflation embedded in our economy is not transitory, that inflation is not just associated with sudden supply chain problems, and that inflation is not caused by business leaders suddenly becoming unusually greedy. Few have admitted inflation is created in Washington, here to stay, and likely to worsen over the next 12 months.

Many analysts (and even Biden's Council of Economic Advisers) now recognize that, fed by trillions of stimulus dollars distributed in 2020–21, surging consumer demand placed extraordinary pressures on the straining supply of home appliances, automobiles, residential structures, gasoline, paint, and even cat food. With money flooding and consumers shopping, prices had to sail higher.

Obviously, this is not to say that war-generated market turmoil does not matter. Anything that significantly reduces the supply of important commodities will generate higher prices. And while what makes gasoline or anything else more expensive matters very little to consumers who have little choice but to pay the price, those who worry about government policy and what might be done to redress the situation know there is a difference between changes in the relative price of one commodity (say, gasoline) and changes in the overall price level for all commodities taken together, as seen in the CPI.

Easing energy supply constraints and thus making gasoline cheaper will involve encouraging more drilling and more fracking, in addition to rethinking and revising regional formulation differences required by the Environmental Protection Agency that make gasoline more costly. We should remove anti-competition policies like the Jones Act, which bans foreign-built or foreign-owned vessels from U.S. coastal shipping, making it more costly to move petroleum products domestically.

But looking for ways to reduce overall inflation requires recognizing that inflation is first and foremost a monetary phenomenon. After all, the word itself refers to inflating the supply of money that then chases a limited supply of goods and services and thereby causes all prices to rise.

This gets us back to the trillions in printed stimulus money shipped happily to consumer checking accounts in 2020 and 2021. Early on, while the money printing presses were still running, noteworthy economists called for caution and predicted inflation would follow. Yes, much respected Florida State University* economist James D. Gwartney, Johns Hopkins University's much-admired monetary scholar Steve Hanke, and former treasury secretary and presidential adviser Lawrence Summers each sent warnings, predicting that government spending based on printed money would deliver a serious bout of inflation. Washington leadership was in no mood to hear the advice. Meanwhile, the printing press kept running, and more spending was being proposed.

Now, we find ourselves with the predictable result. But our political leadership, irrespective of party, almost without exception refuses to accept the monetary explanation. 

Unfortunately, refusal to focus on the source of inflation raises unhappy prospects for what we may hear for proposed remedies. Instead of limiting debt-based spending and revising regulatory constraints, politicians will more likely call for more command-and-control remedies. Look out for proposed wage-price guidelines, restrictions on corporate profits, and limitations on mergers, all for the purpose of keeping a lid on made-in-Washington inflation. This will continue to erode the prosperity of ordinary Americans.

*Correction: This piece previously described James D. Gwartney as a University of Florida economist. He works at Florida State University.

NEXT: Earmarks Are Back, and They're Just as Sleazy and Secretive as Ever

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. With an educated populace, no one should have to point this out. The transitory inflation on certain tobacco products kicked in about a year ago, and Russia didn't invade Ukraine until a few weeks ago. And I don't think they even grow tobacco in Ukraine.

    1. "certain tobacco products"

      Indeed. Just spittin' tobaccy.

      #DefendBidenAtAllCosts

      1. [JOIN NOW] I really make A LOT OF MONEY ($200-$300/hour) online from my laptop. Last month I received almost $50,000. this line work is simple and straightforward. ghj You don’t need to go to the office, it’s online work from home. You become independent after joining this position. I really appreciate my friend.
        ....
        Who pointed it out to me SITE….., http://moneystar33.blogspot.com/

      2. How is chewin' tobaccy immune to transitory inflation, I wonder?

        1. I make 85 dollars each hour for working an online job at home. QAAZ I never thought I could do it but my best friend makes 10000 bucks every month working this job and she recommended me to learn more about it. The potential with this is endless.
          For more detail … http://jobscash.tk/

    2. A skeptical person might observe that perhaps things like this are why our schools are focused on teaching everyone about how evil we all are instead of teaching people basic math and economics.

    3. Gas prices also climbed 1.50 at the pump before Russia invaded.

      1. Sure, but according to the Administration, that was your fault and that of the oil companies, and you should be grateful for your troubles instead of blaming Biden's policies. Thankfully now there's another guy you can blame, and now it's ALL his fault so you don't have to share the burden of shame all on your own. It's Biden's way of helping you.

        1. This is what all floundering despotcrocies do — find a scapegoat to attract the blame and create a hate-based sense of unity. The Russians are the new Jews.

    4. educated populace?

      I don't know where you're posting from, but here in most US cities, the public schools have been moving away from education and into indoctrination since before most "millenials" can remember.

      1. Indoctrination has always been the express stated goal of public K-12 schools, since the 1800s in the US, maybe earlier elsewhere.

        1. Yes, Prussia.

    5. You don’t want to try tobacco from that part of Europe…or the Balkans. Rank! (You can almost catch a “gosh I feel lightheaded” buzz off it though.

  2. It is a close race between the democrat energy policy and the democrat spending priorities as to which will first give them an excuse to take over the economy on "an emergency" basis.

    1. Don't forget the impending climate catastrophe. We've only got 7 years left.

      1. ^Comment dated 1/1/1970. 🙂

        1. That ice age was a bitch.

          1. “That whole thing was caused by the Jew Eizberg!” —Rob Misek

    2. What I want to know is why is the Fed asleep at the wheel? Does Biden have them under house arrest?

      The first interest rate hike should have kicked months ago. We got a lot of pain coming, but the longer we put it off the more painful it's going to be.

      Probably what's happening is they are going to try to stave off a recession until the midterms, then try to pin it on the GOP, but that's not going to fly anyway. But I suppose they have to try something, admitting they fucked up and try to fix it certainly doesn't seem to be an attractive option to them.

    3. Caudillo trumpistas ignore this pattern: Mystical republicans ban non-cartel enjoyables and unleash asset-forfeiture looters to rob to enforce their superstition. Money is withdrawn from banks lest some looter SWAT gang confiscate the wrong account. The base for investment and relending collapses and the politicians who voted for the seizures and confiscations order bales of paper currency and hire loans from crony bankers. Suddenly we have inflation AND Hoovervilles.

  3. Yeah this idea that Russia is to blame for 7% inflation is completely stupid and absurd, just an attempt for Biden to deflect blame away from his own big-spending policies.

    1. If he's lost Jeff, he's toast. But let's not forget that he didn't sign bills that weren't passed first. There's enough blood for a lot of hands here.

      1. We finally know Jeff's line for defending the left.

        1. They can win him back if they allow enough foreign sexual predators into the US.

  4. The government changed the way CPI is calculated in 1982 (and again in the 1990s) because the inflation was embarrassing them and they wanted to hide it. If you calculate inflation the way it was calculated in 1982, it's actually over 15%--the highest it's been since World War One.

    1. I vote TRUE... Put another way; The exact same brand new tractor purchased in 1965 used and completely worn out for 57yrs costs 2-Times as much today as it did brand new off the factory floor.

      That's the true level of inflation. Taking the 'degradation' factor out of the equation completely that's 360% every 50-yrs or 8% a year add back in estimated degradation it's more like 10% or better a year.

  5. I don't travel. Never even had a passport. But one thing I notice on travel shows is people trading in stupid denominations. Five thousand this or ten thousand that for something trivial.

    The dollar isn't a joke only by comparison. What did a dollar buy a hundred years ago?

      1. One problem is refusing to distinguish price and wage inflation. Cafe Hayek has a bunch of columns using items from Sear Roebuck catalogs and hourly wage statistics to compare how many hours of work it took to buy washing machines, jeans, TVs, etc, and they are quite surprising.

        1. And refusing to acknowledge that $1 in your wallet today is still the exact same $1 in your wallet next year. Inflation is just a way of stealing that $1 earned...

    1. It's not so much the cost of specific things as it is the cost of a lot more things that are basically required vs 100 years ago. They had cars a century ago, but far from every family had one, let alone two. A century ago, most people grew at least a few veggies if they lived in a single-family house, and bought virtually no food that traveled over a few hundred miles. My great grandparents lived in urban Chicago and had a couple of chickens for eggs.

      But that's not the biggest difference in spending. Consider your annual cost of digital services and the appliances that go with it. Between TV, computers, laptops and tablets, phones, games, and the internet, cable, and streaming services most people buy now,
      that was what a lot of people spent to support an entire family 40 years ago. People also knew how to cook from food staples instead of heating up prepared food. And "takeout food" wasn't a thing. It was what you did with the leftovers to put in a mulch pile or feed the chickens.

    2. Nobody ever doubted your first sentence.

      1. Or second.

        1. It's like sarc deliberately tries to discredit himself.

          1. I find it hilarious how proud he is of being ignorant.

    3. A 1920 double eagle was $20 and made from 1 oz of gold. Today it is $2100. So $100, 100 years ago would be worth $10,500 today.

    4. When it comes to currency, the US is the leper with the most fingers.

    5. Here are 1922 Berkeley newspaper ad prices for groceries, clothes, etc. during the first Prohibition-related recession (https://tinyurl.com/2fjhcnrp)

  6. "While shifting the blame for inflation to a foreign despot may be attractive politically, the BLS report tells us that the price surge had nothing to do with Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 24, too late to have much impact on the monthlong survey of daily gasoline prices."

    Better watch yourself, Bruce. Nobody's going to invite you to cocktail parties with that attitude.

  7. Joe Biden is a dementia-adilpated liar.

    1. And he’s surrounded with a bunch of Marxist kook academics that represent the most horrifying intersection of the incompetent and the incapable that the US has ever seen.

      God help us.

      1. Never assign to incompetence that which can be laid to conspiracy.
        Those "incompetent and the incapable" people got a senile man into the white house and proceeded to establish a dictatorial reign for two years, while openly destroying the national economy. Now the nation has been conditioned to accept orders from any bureaucrat with a twitter account, and not even buy a single pitchfork.

        Welcome to the revolution.

        (by the way, each and every step from the sixties to now is out of the playbook of Mr. Marx)

        1. Buy a pitchfork? Have you priced pitchforks?

    2. Who was President in 2020 when the government started handing out checks to individuals and handouts to large corporations? Obviously not Biden.

  8. In other words, it’s going to get much worse.

    1. It's gonna get a lot worse. Hell, one of Ukraine's biggest crops is sugar beets. Half of all sugar comes from beets.

      Russia just cut off fertilizer and Brazil gets most of its fertilizer from Russia. All that and the products that it produces are part of a global market, so even if we didn't get any of that from there, it puts a massive strain on the rest of the world supply, and that comes in our back door. WE don't get much fertilizer from there, but Oklahoma farmers are already feeling the effects.

      The same thing holds true for Ukraine's wheat and even stuff like most of the world's wood charcoal dust comes from Russia. It doesn't seem like much, but ask Kingsford whether it's a big deal.

      That doesn't begin to count increases in demand because people see shortages and start to hoard. There are so many pieces that nobody can see the total picture. But this is the shit that happens when you have a global marketplace and a few assholes that either want to fuck it up or don't understand the massive implications of dominoes and start throwing rocks at each other.

      1. It's in the best interest of the corporate media to paint Russia as the loser that's being dragged by Biden's sanction. That's why stories of Mcdonalds closing location in Russia gets instant headline. but no one really explores how Russian sanctions (by them or against them) affect us.

      2. Half of all sugar comes from beets.

        Uh, what? Not even close. Like 80% is from cane. Russia is the No. 1 producer of beets, with France and the US right behind them. Maybe beets rise to the level of 80% in any given harvest or yearly market but it's not the dominant source of sugar globally and certainly not Ukrainian. Moreover, it's been shown that the US is more than able and willing to survive on corn syrup.

        Agree about global markets/supply chains and many people having no clues.

  9. https://twitter.com/blackintheempir/status/1502127354348548103?t=wrkpXgpCq_jQADxJxKAooA&s=19

    I thought I had seen some shit in my 55 years, but then I saw them get millions of people to damn near cheer paying more for gas.

    1. And these stupid assholes are too obtuse to realize that high oil prices make Putin stronger. We have to do something to remove these people while there’s still time.

  10. Even the amount of deficit spending likely wouldn't have caused as much trouble if they hadn't been printing new money to fund pretty much all of it. The debt would probably be more cumbersome on the government, but if they hadn't increased the money supply at the M1/M2 levels, there wouldn't have been as much disruption of everything else.

    1. In a sense, the inflation is a type of 'tax' for all of the spending that has occurred without concomitant tax increases. TANSTAAFL after all.

      1. In a SENSE?!??! Inflation has ALWAYS been recognized as a tax. Good grief.

        1. Well, to be fair, there was a guy here saying inflation was profit.

          1. Multiple guys. Joe, Mike, shrike to name a few.

            1. They’ll be thrilled when the treasury starts issuing trillion dollar notes.

          2. GOVERNMENT profit, I suppose.

      2. Heinlein recommended plutonium as the metallic monetary standard. That could handily replace the gold standard and add practical elasticity to offset political meddling.

    2. Pegging the dollar to the kilowatt-hour could end inflation and adjust the money supply to the rate of production. But violent laws banning trade and production are just gonna haveta go, so expect televangelized mystics to seek any pretext to instead preserve inflation and deficit borrowing.

  11. News from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) that February's all-item Consumer Price Index (CPI) skyrocketed 7.9 percent on a year-over-year basis came as no surprise to American consumers.

    NB: the CPI does not measure inflation, it measures consumer prices.

  12. https://twitter.com/MAGAJew2/status/1502343920918880257?t=pbJKmVvILWa1N00q0skM7Q&s=19

    Biden brags about the economy, then says:

    “The American people just trying to stay above water don’t understand this”

    [Video]

  13. https://twitter.com/MAGAJew2/status/1502353452227309568?t=7PtW9S7iL0vDzuhD37bVNw&s=19

    Biden: “I’m sick of this stuff! The American people think the reason for inflation is the government spending more money. Simply. Not. True."

    [Video]

    1. In a way he's right, though that's picking at terms. Government spending per se doesn't cause inflation. Deficit spending causes it. And then it causes a second round snowball effect by dampening the economy which causes government revenue to shrink, which creates more deficit because the assholes in government will never shrink their spending to account for losses in revenue.

      But it's also not the only thing. Stupid/asshole actions in a global marketplace set off shortages and domino effects that also contribute to the problem.

      1. Printing unsustainable amount of money causes inflation. If we gave everyone million dollars (in some misguided attempt to eliminate poverty), the price for everything would skyrocket. It's basic economic concept.

        Since stimulus spending is government spending, Biden's attempt to be pedantic should fool no one outside of the 40% of Americans who still approve of his job performance.

      2. In a way he's right, though that's picking at terms. Government spending per se doesn't cause inflation.

        In the sense Biden is using the term "inflation" (namely, "price inflation"), government spending alone, even without deficits, causes inflation: since the government competes for scarce goods and labor with consumers, consumer prices go up when the government spends money.

      3. Given that the Fed will HAVE to increase interest rates --- really, no other option --- has Biden or his mentally competent people running the show thought about what that does to the deficit/debt?

        We have MASSIVE deficits with effectively zero percent rates now. Going up to even 1% blows numbers through the ever-loving roof.

        1. That's the one thing that SOME of them do understand and precisely why interest rates have been so low for so long.

  14. Remember this applies to everything they say/do. EVERYTHING.

    https://twitter.com/SallyMayweather/status/1502260867861258243?t=A82U00P8O_qvRip6i_g18Q&s=19

    The ppl who claimed Trump would crash the economy & start WW3 have crashed the economy & started WW3.

    1. I thought the economy was a little overhot...?

      Does it even matter to you if the things you repost make any sense, or is the propaganda value enough?

      1. Moron. Sending everyone "free" money did overheat the economy. Which helped fuel inflation. Inflation impacts consumer spending. At first it appears everything is going well, because consumer spending is increased, even if consumers aren't buying more products, they're paying more for the same products. Eventually, inflation gets to the point that people start reducing how many goods they pay for or change to less expensive store brands and generics or purchasing smaller volumes. That's where we are at now. This impacts the market investors start looking for safe havens. Inflation by itself puts the markets into bearish territory. Economic activity decreased, and hiring slows, both due to higher overhead, and decreasing consumer purchasing. At the same time, the feds are trying to put the brakes on by increasing interests rates but if they raise them to much or at the wrong time, it pushes a strained economy into recession. The feds are likely to raise rates at least three times, however, the economy is already slowing. They should have been raising rates last summer, but that would have been admitting it wasn't transitory. Now rates are likely to push us into recession, which may cure inflation but hurts the economy. And it may not slow inflation much as the supply issues are unlikely to be resolved. It may slow inflation a bit. So Biden might be right in saying inflation may moderate by the end of the year, but only because he put us into a recession.

        1. I was responding to the claim that the economy has crashed. Is 7% inflation the same as crashing? I like people to be precise in their language, because there's a lot of fucking lies and propaganda in this place.

          Of course people's behavior in the marketplace changed due to the pandemic. Specifically, demand for goods went way up (because people were staying at home). Any basic libertarian can explain to you that when demand goes up and ships get stuck waiting in line at the one West coast port we have, prices go up.

          That's not an explanation for everything, but it's good enough to avoid hysterics and conspiracy theories.

          1. It will most certainly crash if we stay on this course.
            History will tell you that.

            1. What course would that be?

              1. The course that ends with everyone being killed.

              2. You really are willfully obtuse.

          2. You’re a dishonest cunt.

          3. 7% inflation on an economy that's just recovering from covid lockdown isn't something to sneeze at. And there's a war going on.

            If you saw a single tree get lit up, our immediate thought isn't "But wait, the whole forest isn't on fire"

            1. That amount of inflation is about what you'd expect after coming out of a Covid lockdown. You know what's another word for 7% inflation? A booming economy.

              Nobody can guarantee that the economy won't actually go to shit, but right now it's showing some of the strongest numbers on record along many dimensions. The single cherry-picked problem everyone's focused on, of course, is that it's just growing too fast!

              1. Tony: when we get to ten
                dollars a gallon we’ll really be rocking!

                1. He’ll blame it on Trump and Putin.

              2. Betting odds have Donald Trump more likely to win 2024 presidential election than Joe Biden.

                https://www.predictit.org/markets/detail/7456/Who-will-win-the-2024-US-presidential-election

                1. I don’t know if we can make it that far. The democrats may start a nuclear war long before that.

          4. When inflation is significantly larger than GDP growth then, yes, the economy has crashed. And that is the current situation.

          5. Someone explain to Tony there was no inflation in 1929-1933 when prohibitionist looting crashed the economy. Indeed, money appreciated under mattresses at a rate no bank's interest offerings could match. Yet Crash and Depression were there for all to see and blame on anything BUT laws making trade a crime. Oh, and welcome back to Hoovervilles under Bidenista prohibitionism.

        2. "Moron." in response to Tony. But you're being redundant.

      2. [Tony] I thought the economy was a little overhot...?

        You think many things that just ain't so.

    2. Yet it was Trump who holds the record of the highest deficit ever, dear douchenozzle!

      And Biden actually withdrew from the 20 year war, douchenozzle, and is ACTIVELY not at war.

      1. and is ACTIVELY not at war

        Then why do we still have troops in Syria?

        1. It’s. Uttpkug Bain’s his usual faggoty pedophillic self.

          1. ‘Buttplug’

      2. Months after Trump's agreement date to leave and as poorly as could be done. Good job, Joe.

  15. https://twitter.com/Oilfield_Rando/status/1502323191687139331?t=RSQPRe_tBFc1hYWgarBinw&s=19

    Any guesses on what hardships we’ll be told to patriotically endure next week to sustain the piss poor policies of the ruling class?

    1. The first step to liberation is the elimination of the democrat party.

      1. That's what Herbert Hoover, Alf Landon, Wendell Willkie, Thomas Dewey, Michinomiya Hirohito and Adolf Hitler all said.

        1. You’re a useless idiot. You just babble and make vague arcane references to the same specific things, you must have written school papers about them before you got old and became as senile as Joe Biden.

          If you were prohibited from saying looter, spoiler, prohibitionist, mystical, infiltrator, and plank, you would be unable to make a comment.

  16. Put the blame where it’s due. This war in Ukraine was planned and executed by the west in 2014 by funding extreme zealots Nazis who are still being funded along with the western puppet Jewish president.

    The US was just caught red handed trying to bring Poland into the war, which would have brought NATO into WW3, by transferring Russian fighters to Ukraine.

    There is no more concrete proof of being affiliated with a group than working for or funding that group.

    Every one of you supporting “Ukraine” is a Nazi. You work for Nazi goals. You can’t claim ignorance of this fact anymore. Just recognize the extent of this global conspiracy.

    If you or the current government of Ukraine don’t care about principles, what’s the civil war there about? Is war just how you get what you want?

    These people Mr. Biden is cutting checks to in Ukraine aren’t being labeled fascists the way the term is thrown around on Twitter. They are full-on, jackbooted, stiff-armed, “Heil Hitler,” cheering-at-Nuremberg Rallies Nazis — and they’re proud of it.

    http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2022/mar/8/biden-plays-into-putins-lies-by-arming-neo-nazis-i/

    1. Fuck off and die, Nazi scum.

    2. You’re a Nazi. Kill yourself.

    3. LOL. "It was the JOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

  17. Biden used his appearanced in Pennsylvania to lay out his latest thinking on the Ukraine-Russia conflict, defend his record and swat away some recent Republican attacks, including the blame the GOP has assigned to him for the high gas prices and inflation.

    'I'm sick of this stuff,' he told the crowd. 'We have to talk about it because the American people think the reason for inflation is the government spending more money - simply not true.'

    Joe Biden is only interested in being President for his ego and bank account. These people who think the Presidency is a job are really letting Biden down.

  18. It's certainly true that if there'd been no stimulus relief and the country were in a deep depression, we would have much less inflation (not none, there's still supply bottlenecks and the risk premium on oil) but I would have hoped that we learned in the 1930s that price stability at the cost of widespread misery rarely ends well.

    1. If we had not acted like fools the last two years, we wouldn’t be in this position.

      1. We need to to get rid of the democrats.

    2. You obviously have no idea what happened in the 1930’s. Progressive policies turned a downturn into a prolonged economic disaster.

    3. Don't know how "extending a depression by over 10 years due to government meddling" is a good option, but you do you.

  19. Deficit spending has been the norm since 1980, with great acceleration after 2001.

    Yet, inflation was nowhere to be seen.
    https://www.minneapolisfed.org/about-us/monetary-policy/inflation-calculator/consumer-price-index-1913-

    Republitarians need a new mantra.

    1. What a surprise, Sevo’s Bitch blames the Republicans.

      1. Pretty sure it’s Buttplug.

        1. It would fit; personal, lame handle, denying inflation using positively imbecilic 'evidence'. Got "turd" written all over it.

          1. It is kinda, nice, though that most people refer to it as "Sevo's bitch" which is more accurate than their screen name.

    2. "...Republitarians need a new mantra."

      Lefty shit piles need to fuck off and die a painful death.

    3. The deficits are roughly proportional to inflation.

      In addition, the government CPI is bs

    4. that’s stupid analysis: inflation isn’t happening because it didn’t happen in 2001?

      People who think like that really shouldn’t be shaping economic policy for an unwilling public.

  20. Capitalism is supported by a thriving economy and yet we have fools saying that because we provided poor people with cash, that our economy is dying because of inflation.
    Thank God we can blame Biden & ignore the 900+ drilling permits that are NOT being utilized or the fact that US oil producers are simply following their corporate charters by enjoying the $130/bbl pricing without having to pay any employment expenses. We need to blame him for the price of corn & beans rising because he stopped paying farmers as part of his trade war.
    God Knows its Biden's fault that workers are demanding more money for their time, why don't these people realize that their increase in wages is killing America?
    Let's also blame him for the fact that inflation that inflation is higher in those fly over states that rely on governmental socialism for their existence.

    1. We didn't just flood poor people with cash, we flooded EVERYBODY with cash. And we still are, with $1.5T more being shoveled out the door as we speak.

      1. $4,109,589,041 a day

    2. Good God, just do you come up with this ignorant drivel yourself or do you have a cheat sheet?

    3. ‘Poor peole’ got scraps while your Marxist friends spent over 90% of the money establishing slideshow funds and rewarding their campaign donors amd operatives. Beyond that, you’re a democrat shill and a fool who pukes up administration talking points like pablum.

      So in closing, fuck off.

      1. It was basically a check to sit down and shut up while they looted the treasury. Again.

        Now they don't even need to pretend, it's just looting.

    4. Go ahead and stop supporting the red states with socialism any time you’re ready.

  21. And America in particular has done jack shit about a huge reliance on gas.

    You would've thought after seeing this a few times before we'd go for renewables and shit WE control but no, everyone has to have their ugly mcmansion in the suburbs away from "those people".

    Sure, the Fed and Washington share blame but the American people have by and large chosen the noose around their neck when they decided that cars and gas prices (two huge drivers right now of inflation) were paramount to "the American dream."

    1. You would've thought after seeing BILLIONS of stolen money stuffed into renewables and their return being 1/100th of that.. As well as Nazi-Banning of massive swaths of 'real' energy........

      Dumb*ss Mofo like you wouldn't still be high-chairing their practicability. Is it the plan to see just HOW STUPID you can be?

      Here's an idea; GO F'EN DO IT instead of trying to FORCE everyone else too!!! And do it without the BILLIONS of STOLEN 'others created' resources and gov-gun toting forces.

      If it's so "GREAT" it should be a no-brainer choice for you...

      1. Next up; How raising gas taxes will lower the price of gas...... /s

    2. TJ lit into you pretty good, so I’ll be brief. Basically if we don’t have a senile imbecile in office slavishly trying to ‘end oil’, and be so weak and inept that it emboldened Putin to invade Ukraine, then things would be ok. But you voted for this bullshit, so it’s on you.

      Don’t start blaming Americans for driving cars. That’s bullshit, and so are. Stupid motherfucker.

    3. It’s funny how, in the end, you socialists really hate people.

  22. Gas prices are now officially around 6 buck a gallon at LA. If you were actually earning 15 dollars an hour working full time here, filling up an empty tank will now cost nearly a day's wage depending on the car. And if you had commute from Bellflower to Newport for work everyday - it ain't looking good.

    Economic growth is a pipe dream now. Assuming that Biden doesn't announce another round of stimulus checks, Americans may end up running their credit card bill, often buying things human beings don't really need.

    1. If this country is going to survive, the democrats have to be removed.

  23. quote: "and, yes, gasoline was up 37.9 percent.

    Hah!! I WISH!!!!

    I just paid, half an hour ago, the outrageous sum of $5.14 for DYED OFFROAD diesel )for my equupment) and the same place had road diesel (tax addded) at $5.54 the gallon. One year ago I was buying diesel (road taxed) at $1.89 per gallon into the tank. From $1.89 to $4.54 is a tad MORE than 38%.
    And WHY? :ets start with Dopey Joe's frist day in office, where he thumped down a pile of EO's. One of them closed a criticalpipeline by which our energy supply from right here in the uS would be delivered. He also froze all oil and gas leases, essentially shutting down all the home resources. I knew then we would be in for a wild ride, starging just about a year after he did that. HOW can one man control SO much, under iur form of government? WHERE are the checks, the balances?

  24. In case it wasn't obvious; The left's entire plan has always been to MONOPOLIZE and take over everything the USA Citizens has. They are a Nazi-Regime.

    1. I see them as more Leninist.

      1. Same thing.

  25. It's neither the government nor Moscow. According to Jim Cramer of CNBC, it's the millions of Americans who won't work because of Covid. Whether it's people afraid of bringing Covid home to young children or elderly family members, people who have quit as remote work has ended, or people who won't work until vaccine mandates have ended, you have people who won't work, and employers are raising wages to get them off the bench and back in the game.

    The labor participation rate is 1.1% lower now than in January, 2020. That's 3.6 million people not working or looking for a job.

    A hotel near me normally has 99 full-time employers. Right now, it's got 70 on the payroll. Even the general manager has to clean rooms. And that's despite increasing hourly wages.

    1. 30 years ago someone told me working for what you get was just a personal "choice" one makes in the USA. Sadly; that statement is truer today than it was then. We are literally living in a communist society and it's only a matter of time before enough people "chose" to no longer supply the necessary resources needed to live.

      As-is how every single communist nation has eventually crumbled.... Rewarding people for being lazy and allowing them to steal (The DNC flagship) instead of being productive will be the ruin of this once great nation also.

    2. People are still afraid of COVID?

      1. Jim Cramer is. You should hear him talk about it. The guy’s deranged.

  26. whats amazing to see now is the sheer number of people who seem to believe that taxing the rich, essentially taking either idle or fictional paper wealth and putting in towards further consumption will somehow put downward pressure on prices

    we really are screwed.

  27. Thanks for the pertinent chatter but, somehow it doesn't feel better now that I know who to blame. Perhaps using what we know regarding what is enough could solve much of what we claim are problems. Rampant unending consumerism without end will bring down sapiens civilization again as it has repeatedly over time.
    Just saying.

    1. Are you one of those Karens who say “So much growth is unsustainable! We need to stop growth!”

      1. Are you one of those, without label, who say growth is sustainable forever!? Interesting.

        1. Yes, in fact it is.

          1. Thank you. Facts are good to know. Absolute certainty is comforting. I hope we are both present to experience the outcome. I, for one, am fascinated in the journey.

            1. Hey Sugar Bear, consumerism isn’t what is about to get us into WW3, and consumerism isn’t the problem with fuel prices.

            2. Your English is weird. Your mental behindness is starting to smell European to me.

            3. Should have been more circumspect:
              Humanity did not quit the stone age because we ran out of rocks, and the history of humanity is simply doing more with less.
              This cannot be repeated often enough: EVERY free exchange, by definition, leaves both parties with increased wealth. Perhaps there is some limit to the exchanges, but...

              1. Free exchange by whose definition? Economist or hungry foot-soldier? Pollyanna springs eternal. Nature's iron-fist may overwhelm Smith's invisible hand? Ideals quickly shelve known pragmatic real life experiences for the sake of preferred posturing in debate. Again, I hope we are both present to experience the outcome. I, for one, am fascinated in the journey.

                1. pg188 & pg189 WILLFUL BLINDNESS, by Margaret Heffernan
                  Moore‘s job was to look for all aspects within a company‘s processes and procedures, as well as within its balance sheet, that exposed it to risks. This meant, inevitably, spending a great deal of time poring over balance sheets. But for Moore, the greatest exposure didn‘t lie in the numbers. It lay in the people, the culture, and their incentives. He came to see that the firm‘s management—the CEO and his executive teams — were so driven by earnings (and by their own compensation, which derived from earnings) that they couldn‘t, and wouldn‘t, see the impact that the company‘s culture had on individual morality or on the wider society that the company served.
                  When he shared his insights with the CEO, Moore was fired. He was later vindicated when, in September 2008, the bank collapsed. Testifying to the UK Parliamentary Select Committee six months later, his rage was still palpable.
                  "Anyone whose eyes were not blinded by money, power, and pride, who really looked carefully, knew there was something wrong: that
                  economic growth based almost solely on excessive consumer spending, which was based on excessive consumer credit, which was based on massively increasing property prices which were caused by the very same excessively easy credit, could only ultimately lead to disaster. But sadly, no one wanted or felt able to speak up for fear of stepping out of line with the rest of the lemmings who were busy organizing themselves to run over the edge of the cliff behind the pied—piper CEOs and executive teams that were all being paid so much to play that tune and take them in that direction."

                  1. Oh thats where youre coming from. Not knowing when a derivative is possibly just a little too derived and being unable to distinguish fundamental economic value and growth from high risk lending or leveraged investments that arent sufficiently secured.

                    See, even though 2008 was a shitshow, I’m telling ya it’s a small price to pay compared to other systems that spring from the kind of fear that guides your wish to abandon growth and prosperity prematurely. It is in ignorance of the net gains made by capitalism and consumerism before crashes that every good system experiences unfortunately.

                    See my other comment: systems like socialism, born out of fear, born out of a desire to never play the game at all just so you never have to lose, are designed to converge in the crash. The proponents keep forgetting or accepting that, by refusing to play the game, not only will they never lose buy they will also never win.

                    I prefer not to live in fear. Apply this to recent medical “controversies” as well.

                2. Free exchange by the economics 101 definition. What Sevo says is pretty elegant: A consensual exchange between two parties happens because both value something the other has more than what they have. Ergo, after the exchange, the overall utility increased for both. Merely by reallocation. Almost magically. Didnt even have to produce anything.

                  Natures iron fist can always strike outta nowhere. And because that is so, do we sure think it is therefore wisest to hide under a rock and abandon growth and prosperity prematurely, out of fear?

                  Maybe your attempts to discuss things are genuine as opposed to figures like JF, so I will put it this way: Growth is nothing but a function of things going right. Consumerism tends to fuel this process.

                  I don’t know what “known pragmatic real life experiences” there are that make you think consumerism itself was the problem. But that anti-growth mindset is actually what will continue to force European nations to trail behind us. Yes, capitalism crashes every once in a while. Every good system does. The difference is that other systems, like socialism, are downright built and set up to converge in a crash.

                  I constrained myself severly to keep the length of my comment down. Please attack my points.

                  1. Thoughtful response. Thank you. My best at brevity as well, given the forum/format.
                    Capitalism/consumerism is the elixir for growth and progress of sapiens society, well proven. Oligarchs, monopoly, narrowed profit margins versus magnanimous, offer their tarnishes. My focus drifts to long-term sustainable planet/environment for sapiens society. My limited vision, time and academic abilities show me that capital won.
                    The markets and governments seem to be run by the moneyed, private or public. Many are left, quite contentedly, others quite miserably, on the sidelines rather than partaking in the largess that is the potential we see so many glimpses of.
                    Darwin was correct, and we have won! Let us focus upon spreading the spoils of winning the competitive survival more equitably and universally and sustainably. It begins with many proper and well designed constraints.
                    Would that we could. See you on the other side.

                    1. Let me end where I began: Perhaps using what we know regarding what is ENOUGH could solve much of what we claim are problems.

    2. "We?" Or izzat just parroting?

      1. We, certainly and absolutely, as all are invited.

  28. Expressing concern about soaring gasoline prices, President Joe Biden called it "Putin's price hike." In reality it's "Biden's price hike" even though Putin isn't helping.

    It seems that the Democrat party is worried about the mid-term elections and they orchestrated the conflict to shift the narrative.

    To me this is the Democrat party going back to it's roots as the warmongering party. That the Democrat party is being cavalier with the lives of people to aid themselves politically.

  29. Conservangelist Republicans claim insight into inflation, which is ordinary supply and demand applied to printed fiat currency. Yet these same financial lizards are baffled speechless by the thought that The Volstead Act and other confiscatory laws declaring production and trade are crimes and demanding armed force interdict "those" markets might affect the economy. Bidenist prohibitionism requires injections of paper currency to stave off the banking panics prohibition caused under the gold standard.

    1. Yep; Just like FDR [D] who coincidentally ran a decade long Great Depression but I'm sure loyalists can just push that blame on the last [R] administration as always.

  30. Inflation this year is global. Th ignorance on this board must be contagious.

    "In 15 of the 34 countries classified as AEs by the International Monetary Fund's World Economic Outlook, 12-month inflation through December 2021 was running above 5%. Such a sudden, shared jump in high inflation (by modern standards) has not been seen in more than 20 years."

    https://blogs.worldbank.org/voices/return-global-inflation#:~:text=In%2015%20of%20the%2034,in%20more%20than%2020%20years.

    1. The USD is globally used - did you have a point besides party-flag waving denial-ism.

      1. No, he’s doesn’t.

  31. "The primary reason for rising gas prices over the past year is the coronavirus pandemic and its disruptions to global supply and demand.

    “Covid changed the game, not President Biden,” said Patrick De Haan, the head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, which tracks gasoline prices. “U.S. oil production fell in the last eight months of President Trump’s tenure. Is that his fault? No.”

    “The pandemic brought us to our knees,” Mr. De Haan added.

    In the early months of 2020, when the virus took hold, demand for oil dried up and prices plummeted, with the benchmark price for crude oil in the United States falling to negative $37.63 that April. In response, producers in the United States and around the world began decreasing output.

    As pandemic restrictions loosened worldwide and economies recovered, demand outpaced supply. That was “mostly attributable” to the decision by OPEC Plus, an alliance of oil-producing countries that controls about half the world’s supply, to limit increases in production, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Domestic production also remains below prepandemic levels, as capital spending declined and investors remained reluctant to provide financing to the oil industry....

    The notion that the United States gained “energy independence” under Mr. Trump, and reversed course under Mr. Biden, is also misleading.

    Even before Mr. Trump took office, the United States had been projected to become a net energy exporter in the 2020s “because favorable geology and technological developments result in the production of oil and natural gas at lower costs,” according to the Energy Information Administration.

    The country became a net exporter of petroleum in 2020, the first time since at least 1949. That remained the case in 2021. It became a net exporter of natural gas in 2018 and remains so today, with exports reaching record levels in 2021.

    The term “energy independence” can also suggest that the United States did not rely at all on imports. That, too, is untrue. In 2020, the United States still imported 7.9 million barrels of crude oil and other petroleum products a day.

    The Keystone XL pipeline, which would have expanded an existing system transporting oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast, has been a political and environmental battleground since its conception in 2008. The Obama administration denied the company behind it, TransCanada, a construction permit in 2015. The Trump administration approved the permit in 2017, but the project stalled in the face of litigation. By the time Mr. Biden rescinded its permit on his first day in office, just 8 percent of it had been built.

    Even if Mr. Biden had greenlighted the project and TransCanada, now known as TC Energy, had won its court battles, it is unlikely that the pipeline would have been operational today given that the company estimated in March 2020 that it would have entered into service in 2023. And “even if it were completed overnight, there’s no capacity for oil to be put into this pipeline,” Mr. De Haan said, pointing to supply chain issues and labor shortages that continue to affect American and Canadian oil and gas producers.

    Absent the Keystone XL pipeline, crude oil imports from Canada have nonetheless increased by 70 percent since 2008, transported by other pipelines and rail. The Trump administration itself told PolitiFact in 2017 that the pipeline’s impact on prices at the pump “would be minimal.”...."

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/09/us/politics/fact-check-republicans-biden-gas.html

    1. The oil will make it's way in despite the keystone no matter what the dems or republicans say. We have plenty transport capacity aside from that and it was recently that we had $2 gas so fucking obviously that's not part of the problem.

      1. Wow; The "excuses" are endless...............
        summary,
        "Even if the gov-gun toting Anti-Gas party didn't exist...."
        "Even if Democrats have had a financial crisis 3-Times in office..."
        "Even if Democrats didn't always push for bigger gov....."

      2. Uhm. Yeah. You're an idiot. lol

      3. "The oil will make it's way in despite the keystone no matter what the dems or republicans say..."

        Are you familiar with "friction" as a economic concept? Do you understand the losses involved when the government distorts the market?
        Are you fucking stupid?

        1. I'd also ask why would they block Keystone then, if this is the case.

    2. “given that the company estimated in March 2020 that it would have entered into service in 2023”

      Gee, so it would be coming online in 9 months. What a waste that would have been. I guess it’s better for it to be 5+ years out now.

      This is why you people shouldn’t be in charge of resource allocation: you squander long-term benefit for short-term thinking.

      1. Also love that there is zero chance of prices reducing due to upcoming increased availability of a commodity.

  32. Good article.
    The Russian invasion of Ukraine has proven a godsend to the DC regime. It allows them to blame Moscow for the inflation and shortages which their own policies created. And as the war continues, this is going to spiral downward as more scapegoats will be sought. If nothing else, the war exposes the utter corruption of the regime.

    Libertarians, be prepared.

  33. J_West demonstrates the logic prevalent on this board, which is clinging to ignorance while ignoring facts allows you all to continue in your idiocy.

    1. You leftards have worn out the big lie of 'facts' cry about a decade ago... Let me guess; and the science says the 'facts' are true? /s

      1. I just presented you with facts above TJJ. The way it works with people who exercise logic, is if you disagree, you either counter those facts with others to disprove them, or you accept them and learn. Calling the other person(s) engaged in the exercise names is what buffoons and young children do. You're of age, correct?

        1. "Calling the other person(s) engaged in the exercise names is what buffoons and young children do."

          And that's why nobody cares to discuss anything with leftists anymore and will not try to convince them with logic. Too time consuming and the outcome is usually nil. One major nail in that coffin was the way Fauci and the CDC were handling "facts" and "science" in the last two years or so.

          1. So 5.56, you come on a board like this for bias confirmation and have no interest in communicating with those with whom you disagree? Sounds boring to me.

            Above I posted a long quote from an article with a cogent point of view supported by purported facts. If you think it is wrong, here's your chance to counter it with other purported facts or to interpret it's differently. Think of the glory and winning over any lurkers to your side. That's why I do it everyday here.

            1. "So 5.56, you come on a board like this for bias confirmation and have no interest in communicating with those with whom you disagree?"

              No, I just don't have an interest in communicating with information-resistant idiots like you who continue to spew the same bullshit despite being corrected multiple times daily by the entire board here. Again, wait for the midterms, loser.

  34. Why not blame both? Prices are going up all over and Washington doesn't control the entire world or entire world market. Putin is exacerbating the problem by being a piece-of-shit nazi fascist asshole murderer of an entire nation. I don't think we should be making excuses for him.

    1. I don't think we should be making excuses for broken Latin, either. But nobody cares what I say. There's this other guy whose handle legit reads Ghatanathoa, but he could care less to fix his typo. Or maybe it's something really clever that goes above my head. Who knows?

    2. "Why not blame both?.."

      Because some of us are not imbeciles and can differentiate between causes?
      Perhaps you might learn to "think", but it's looking doubtful.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.