Why falling inflation leaves Republicans 'in a quandary' with 'little left to stand on': conservative

Why falling inflation leaves Republicans 'in a quandary' with 'little left to stand on': conservative
Image via Creative Commons.

On Wednesday, December 14, the U.S. Federal Reserve, hoping to slow down inflation, announced yet another interest rate hike — this time, by half a percent. And the Federal Open Market Committee has voted to boost the overnight borrowing rate from somewhere between 4.25 percent and 4.5 percent.

This interest rate hike will make FDIC-insured certificates of deposit more profitable, but it will also make home mortgages more expensive. And Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts was highly critical of Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, making it clear that she believes another interest rate hike is a bad idea.

However, the Fed’s latest interest rate hike was smaller than the last four, which many economists see as a sign that inflation is slowing down. And according to Washington Post opinion columnist Jennifer Rubin, less inflation is bad news for Republicans — as they have been trying to disingenuously use inflation as a weapon against President Joe Biden.

READ MORE: 'The elephant in the room': Top Fed official says corporate price hikes are fueling inflation

In her December 15 column, the Never Trumper writes, “Has the worst of the pandemic-induced inflation already passed? The latest economic data released this week suggest so. That leaves Republicans in a quandary: After dedicating practically all of their midterm messaging of substance to President Biden’s supposed mishandling of the economy, they might have little left to stand on.”

Republicans have had a lot to say about inflation, blaming it on Biden’s economic policies. But inflation isn’t strictly a U.S. problem; it is a global problem that has been aggravated by everything from the COVID-19 pandemic to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — the worst military conflict in Europe Since World War 2.

Inflation has been bad in the U.S., but in many other countries, it has been worse. According to the Trading Economics website, the U.S. had an inflation rate of 7.1 percent in late November — compared to 9.9 percent in the Netherlands, 7.8 percent in Mexico, 10 percent in Germany and 11.8 percent in Italy. Liberal economist and New York Times opinion columnist Paul Krugman has been stressing that while inflation has been a problem in the U.S. in 2022, it’s important to bear in mind that the Biden era has also seen some of the United States’ lowest unemployment numbers in over half a century.

Nonetheless, the simplistic message of many Republicans and right-wing media pundits, according to Rubin, has been: inflation is hell, and it’s all Biden’s fault.

READ MORE: The Democrats didn’t perform well in spite of inflation. They performed well because of it

“Republicans might prefer to credit the Federal Reserve rather than Biden for the easing inflation numbers,” Rubin writes. “Or they might say the economy was always going to steady itself once supply and demand returned to normal. But that’s not the story they have been telling for more than a year. According to GOP gospel, all of that pandemic spending was a mistake, and Biden was steering the U.S. economy into a recession. Oh, and according to Republicans, Biden was somehow to blame for skyrocketing gas prices.”

Rubin continues, “So, which is right: Is Biden responsible for the economy, or not? A more honest and accurate explanation would be that Biden’s spending packages — e.g., investments in infrastructure, semiconductor manufacturing and green energy — were not as inflationary as Republicans claimed, and Biden’s support for the independent Federal Reserve, including his renominating Jerome H. Powell as its chair, helped rein in prices. Meanwhile, gas prices are simply a function of the worldwide marketplace, and they are thankfully coming down as the global economy slows. Alas, Republicans are not into that sort of measured approach these days. They prefer speaking in apocalyptical terms and painting a false image of the economy.”

READ MORE: 'We are on the right path': Biden takes victory lap over 'unabashedly good' economic news

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}
@2022 - AlterNet Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. - "Poynter" fonts provided by fontsempire.com.