“By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes.”
This famous and often used couplet originated in the Shakespearean masterpiece Macbeth. Spoken by one of the play’s three witches, it’s a literary way of shouting, “Hey! Danger ahead!”. While it’s tempting to portray Nancy Pelosi and her vast contingent of obnoxious socialist female House Democrats doubling as spell casters in modern American government, the “wicked” showing up just about everywhere these days is inflation.
A report surfaced last week that showed inflation’s risen by 5.4 percent from a year ago, matching a 13-year high. As if inflation isn’t bad enough on its own, rising prices are often a preliminary sign that even worse things could be headed our way. Inflation is a problem for everyone, but particularly wage earners who live paycheck to paycheck and must shell out more of their hard-earned cash for essentially the same (or lesser) amount of goods.
Inflation is a tax increase on the poor. It makes it even harder for them to meet current obligations much less put money away.
As was predictable, the rear end covering “experts” blamed the increases on pandemic related supply chain issues, which (no pun intended) will eventually work themselves out when the world stops freaking over health concerns and starts acting normally again. Our benevolent government, led by senile president Joe Biden, has even negotiated an agreement with the Port of Los Angeles to remain open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, to encourage more imported foreign cargoes to flow throughout the economy and help restock those empty shelves at Walmart that Americans encounter on a regular basis.
Gee, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are on the Pacific Ocean, primarily servicing shipping from where….? Nothing like crawling to the CCP virus fostering Chinese to assist with our domestic inflationary problem, principally stemming from our government’s having dumped too much borrowed (or printed) money into the economy and then paying inflated welfare benefits to encourage working folks to stay home instead of slogging it out from nine to five.
Then there are the absurd COVID vaccine mandates which force individuals to quit jobs because they won’t deferentially bow to the government’s tyranny of the science paranoid. It’s fostering a nationwide labor shortage. Good for the holdouts -- that’s what freedom looks like.
Gasoline charges are noticeably up at the pump, too, reminding this observer of the weeks after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when prices jumped over the $3 a gallon mark for the first time in memory (yes, they did get even higher under Obama, but it took a while). The supply problems in 2021 have a lot more to do with bad government policies than they do weather related disruptions in delivering fuel to stations.
Demonizing energy producers as destroyers of the earth (due to “climate change”) and cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline have real life consequences for people who don’t labor in big marble buildings in the nation’s capital. Simple supply and demand principles guaranteed that prices would go up and up and up. Senile Joe doesn’t seem like he’s taken an economics course, and if he did, he probably plagiarized his final paper to scrape by. The rest he’s apparently forgotten.
What do the Democrats care? Joe Biden doesn’t haul out his personal credit card to purchase energy for his limos and his airborne rides on Marine One and Air Force One. Senile Joe’s public transportation comes at no cost to himself. Neither does Nancy Pelosi’s or Chucky Schumer’s. Let them eat cake! Stay in your place, serfs!
Inflation is rearing its ugly head in other ways, too. The already overburdened Social Security system is planning its largest cost of living adjustment since 1982 (remember the Jimmy Carter inflation?) because of it. It goes without saying that millions of seniors are on fixed incomes, and any boost in consumer prices hits this category very hard. The government is planning to send them bigger checks, but the money has to come from somewhere.
The very real inflation monster and its “wicked” after-effects aren’t talked about enough in today’s political discourse, otherwise politicians might have more incentive to hold themselves in check. Republicans are almost as guilty as Democrats in this respect, though Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell recently decided on his own to cave on the debt ceiling matter. He’s facing a heightened level of frustration within his own caucus for his weak-kneed surrender.
“The backlash Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) received from fellow Republican senators last week is a wake-up call to the GOP leader that he doesn’t have any more political capital to spend on helping Democrats raise the debt limit again, say GOP aides and strategists.
“McConnell is still secure in his position as Senate Republican leader, despite regular attacks from former President Trump, who has called for him to be replaced.
“Yet at the same time, Senate Republican aides and strategists say McConnell’s reputation took a hit last week when he agreed to a two-month increase of the debt ceiling after saying for weeks that Republicans wouldn’t help Democrats on the issue.”
Political capital? McConnell didn’t have much to begin with. Or put another way, political inflation is eating away at its value.
The aging Kentuckian regularly depends on a small contingent of RINO establishment senators to do his bidding, with conservatives already thoroughly frustrated by the “Murder Turtle’s” many preordained forfeits over the years. McConnell’s essentially held conservatives hostage during his reign the top of the party, all but excluding everyone but his establishment inner-circle on major topics. Every now and then McConnell tosses us a bone -- like when he denied the atrocious Merrick Garland hearings on his Supreme Court nomination in 2016 -- but when the rubber hits the proverbial road, Democrats realize Mitch will likely give in.
It was heartening to see Republican senators giving Mitch a tongue-lashing in the media for going back on his word to hold the line on making Democrats raise the debt limit on their own. The public censure was well deserved -- and overdue. McConnell might’ve had his reasons for giving Chucky Schumer another two months to sort out his own intra-caucus problems, but there doesn’t appear to be any benefit for the GOP.
Perhaps McConnell saw a poll that showed Americans blaming Republicans for abstaining from the debt increase. Never underestimate the gullibility of the uneducated and partisan segment of the population who couldn’t distinguish a borrowing increase from a sinkhole in their backyards. Liberals care only about political victories, and to them, seeing Mitch run with his tail between his legs to Chucky (and then having Chucky stab him in the back) and subsequently witnessing their Democrats gloating about another Republican capitulation was as good as it gets.
Bolton’s article insinuated that McConnell’s hold on the GOP senate leadership might not be as tight as it used to be, since his steadiest establishment allies -- such as recently retired senators Pat Roberts and Lamar Alexander -- have left Washington and several more of his close cohorts are either retiring in 2022 or contemplating doing so. Here’s thinking that some of these Mitch supporters will be replaced by fire-breathing conservatives who demand more from party leaders.
It's happened over in the House, where Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy appears to be wary of alienating his growing contingent of principled conservatives. The jury’s still out on whether the Californian can handle the pressure of being Speaker (after 2022), but there are promising signs he will at least be better for the conservative cause than Paul Ryan and John Boehner ever were. McCarthy deserves credit for holding his caucus together. To my knowledge, they haven’t supplied a vote for any of the Democrats’ big socialism schemes.
Of course there was the matter of Trump’s second impeachment after the January 6 incident, but McCarthy spoke out strongly against the ten Liz Cheney-led turncoats at the time. McConnell, on the other hand, condemned Trump. Therein lies the difference.
Has McConnell learned anything from this? He sent a letter to ol’ senile Joe warning the Democrat poohbah that he won’t be backing down again when the Democrats ramp up their anti-Republican rhetoric at the end of next month. It could be that Mitch purposely gave Democrats an extra period of time to serve as a longer rope from which to hang themselves. You never know -- it could happen.
Biden’s approval ratings continue to crater, so if the president becomes more involved with the situation on Capitol Hill, it might actually help the GOP.
We don’t need witches uttering literary couplets to understand that current inflation will only get worse if the Democrats succeed in passing their huge spending programs. Conservatives hope Mitch McConnell feels greater pressure to keep his word the next time the debt ceiling subject surfaces. Now more than ever, Americans need principled leadership. Will we get it?
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