opinion | Note: The Republicans also do not have a plan to fight inflation

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Note: Republicans also do not have a plan to fight inflation.

some of my Last columns They criticized the Democrats’ approach to inflation, both their reluctance to take steps that could be modestly beneficial (eliminating tariffs, speeding up legal immigration applications); and its flirtation with potentially harmful policies (such as price controls Or measures that will discourage companies from increase production).

Some people have asked, quite reasonably: What do you think then of Republican plans to cut prices?

Unfortunately, it is difficult to say. Because they don’t exist.

Republicans have spent a lot of energy and ad buying blaming Democrats for inflation. And it is true that fiscal (and monetary) policy has helped make the economy “hot”. There have been some happy outcomes from these choices: It is possible that President Biden’s stimulus bill in March 2021 will help reduce unemployment. Much faster than expectedwhich prevented some long-term “scars” Workers saw after the Great Recession.

But there were trade-offs. By boosting demand at a time when supply chains have been faltering due to COVID-19, government stimulus is likely to have pushed inflation a bit higher.

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this is not Just Inflation driving factor other countries They are also facing high price growth, and they haven’t passed Biden’s US bailout. Instead, they face the same supply-side constraints that we do. series of display shocks In recent months, like the war in Ukraine, global inflationary pressures have been made worse, particularly with regard to energy and food.

But for Republicans, this exact story breaks down into one cursed word:Biden inflated. “

It is politically effective, if not entirely accurate. Voters always blame incumbents for general macroeconomic conditions, even when policymakers have little control over them.

So what did the Republicans propose in place of Biden’s agenda? as I am pointed beforepretty much bupkis.

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They talked about how much they hate Democrats supposed socialism. They talked about what they are wont Do — like pass Biden’s agenda to Build Better, which Republicans say will make inflation worse. (Biden was sometimes argue That this agenda would reduce inflation. My own view: She probably has a file little effect regarding inflation in both cases, and measures such as global pre-kindergarten investments or climate investments should be judged on their own merits).

Republicans have gotten rid of some of the marginalization, such as increasing oil production by “ReopenKeystone XL pipeline. Unfortunately, this extension of the pipeline doesn’t exist yet, so it can’t be “re-opened”, not even any time soon. it was just 8 percent constructed When Biden rescinded the permit from the US side last year, despite years of development and support from his predecessor.

Likewise, the Republicans chant the slogan “energy independence“But it is not clear what mean by that Or how they propose to achieve it.

Their inflation plans aren’t the only policies Republicans have refused to articulate.

During the 2020 campaign, the GOP did not release any platform, only Pledge a blank check To support what President Donald Trump wants. Last January, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) was asked what his party would do if it regained control of Congress.

“That’s a very good question.” replied. “And I’ll tell you when we get it back.”

Maybe honestly Republicans I don’t know What will they do if they return to power? Or they may have realized that their economic policies, if you take their rhetoric literally, would be unpopular.

Their proposals include, for example, requiring every American to pay Something on federal income taxes, represented by Republican Senate National Committee Chairman Rick Scott (Florida) Proposal. Rooted in the Republican myths of “makes versus takers,” this may sound unpopular, until you realize it means raising taxes on nearly half of Americans. (Other Republicans, including McConnellThey distanced themselves from Scott’s plan, and Scott himself retracted it).

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Presumably, McConnell and other Republicans have not made specific proposals because they would prefer the midterm elections to be a referendum on the Democrats. It’s best to leave GOP rivals a blank page on which voters can project their hopes and dreams (inflation or something else).

Thus, despite inflation should Offer enough material to sell the public their superior economic policies, and instead ambitious Republican politicians Fighting with Mickey Mouse. or Punishment of immigrant children. or complain about it Premium Ice Cream and Peloton. or mount in another way culture wars.

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But culture wars do not lower prices. They do not stock shelves. They sometimes exacerbate supply chain problems, as happened when Texas Governor Greg Abbott (right) recently Border traffic slowed Trying to own libs.

It’s not fair, but Republicans get away with not presenting a plan because they are not responsible. Democrats control the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the White House. The public thinks presidents and legislators did it More effect More on the economy than they actually do, which is frustrating, but they are getting in the way.

Democrats still have to do everything within their (limited) power to curb inflation — and not wait until voters realize, after the midterms, how little Republicans think about solving the problem.

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