By Adrian Smith, U.S. Representative, Star-Herald Op-Ed, August 8, 2021 —
Since President Biden took office inflation has increased every single month. At a time when our nation is trying to rebuild and recover in response to COVID-19, the Biden Administration and Congressional Democrats don’t seem to mind that the price of everyday goods and services are on the rise while Nebraskan’s paychecks are worth less. These things do not just happen. Inflation reaching a thirteen-year high is a direct result of poor leadership by Democrats, and the ripple effect is only going to get worse.
President Biden pushed his $1.9 trillion spending package, the American Rescue Plan, through Congress and signed it into law earlier this year under the guise of “emergency” spending. Since then, his administration has continued to propose even more spending while simultaneously instituting economic policies that exacerbate worker shortages.
In March of last year, Phase III of the COVID-19 response, known as the CARES Act, was signed into law. The CARES Act served as a relief package that provided much needed assistance to Americans with tax relief, expanded unemployment benefits, and aimed to help businesses stay afloat. While many provisions in the CARES Act, including Unemployment Insurance, or UI, may have been appropriately targeted last spring, continuing this program now only encourages the American workforce to stay home. I applaud Governor Ricketts for ending the UI expansion so that we can get Nebraskans back to work and fill much needed positions. Democrats should take note.
Likewise, the Democrats’ recent expansion of the Child Tax Credit is destabilizing to our workforce. By decoupling the credit from requiring an income offset, they have created the first new welfare benefit in a generation. Regardless of whether it is needed, this expansion is pumping additional cash into our economy. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which I helped enact in 2017, had already doubled the child credit from $1,000 to $2,000. However, because the credit was required to offset actual tax owed, it was designed to encourage work, not discourage it like we see now.
We cannot keep pumping more and more money into the economy. The way to rebuild our economy is by safely reopening our communities, supporting the businesses within them, and connecting workers with employers. I will not stand for Democrats raising prices for consumers while depleting our nation’s hard-earned wages. American families should not have to pay the price of Democrats’ self-serving and uncontrolled policies. Enough is enough.