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Lawmakers need only look in the mirror for the true cause of inflation

Ronnie Najarro
Ronnie Najarro
Eddie Diaz
Eddie Diaz
Opinion
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We all know that freedom isn’t free. But this year, the cost of celebrating that freedom is a lot higher than it was last year. According to a report from Wells Fargo, the cost of an Independence Day cookout is up 11 percent over last year. 

Things are even a bit worse here in Nevada, where the state inflation rate stands at 13.5 percent, more than 21 percent higher than the national rate. Beyond the increased costs you’ll pay for hot dogs, hamburgers, buns, and barbecue, that amounts to an additional $8,774 in increased costs per household every year.

And if you want to take a drive over the long weekend to see some of the Silver State’s natural wonders, be prepared to spend some silver. The gas will cost you an average of $5.58 a gallon, a full 70 cents per gallon above the national average.

When inflation soars, politicians always look around for someone or something to blame: Vladimir Putin, the oil companies, COVID-19. 

But politicians can find the real culprits in the mirror.

While geopolitical instability and pandemic-related supply chain problems have played their parts, the reality is that policies that lead to out-of-control government spending, borrowing, burdensome regulations, and economic barriers are primarily fueling the higher costs we’re all experiencing.

When the pandemic hit in 2020, Congress provided trillions of dollars in emergency spending. That spending continued into 2021, even as much of the country quickly experienced an economic rebound and economists warned about the resulting inflationary pressure.

All the money that has been pumped into the economy has led to inflation levels we haven’t seen in four decades. And it is crushing American families, especially those least able to afford it. 

Little wonder that 71 percent of independent voters say the economy is going the wrong way. Hispanic voters are even more likely to feel that way, with 78 percent expressing a negative view.

Taken with the ongoing supply chain crisis — a crisis caused by a surge in demand due to government spending coupled with regulations restricting access to goods — Americans are trapped in a perfect storm of economic calamity.

Instead of looking around for someone else to blame, politicians should be devising policies to help us get out of the storm by creating energy abundance, ending wasteful spending, and removing antiquated regulations that stifle innovation.

This is the only effective way to rein in inflation and ease soaring energy costs. And it’s the only effective way to unleash an economy where everyone is empowered to achieve the American Dream.    

Because while inflation threatens the economic well-being of most Americans, it is especially hard on Black and Latino families, who typically spend more of their income on staples that are prone to price increases such as food and gas.

Here’s how we can begin to get inflation under control.

First, stop overspending. Next, get out of the way and let energy producers produce. Environmental and climate regulations that restrict consumer choice and impose politically preferred technologies and fuels hurt the most vulnerable citizens by driving up costs, while doing little or nothing to protect the environment.

It would be a simpler world if we could just point to some bad guy on the other side of the globe and blame him for all our troubles. But Vladimir Putin didn’t create $30 trillion in federal debt, and he doesn’t have the power to mismanage American taxpayers’ resources.

Our political leaders in Washington need to stop looking for scapegoats and take responsibility for their actions. They can start by ending the spending spree and facing up to the true cost of their actions. That would be cause for some real fireworks.

Eddie Diaz is strategic director for The LIBRE Initiative-Nevada. Ronnie Najarro is state director for Americans for Prosperity-Nevada.

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