U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding inflation:
“Last week, the American people received yet another absolutely crushing inflation report.
“More than a year after Washington Democrats’ policies set off the worst overall inflation in 40 years, the prices of some of the most essential items for working families are skyrocketing at their fastest rates in a generation.
“Electricity costs are rising faster than they have since 1981. And grocery inflation has eclipsed a high from 1979. Parents trying to put food on the table are now contending with annual price hikes of 16.2% for a loaf of bread, 17% for a gallon of milk, and 40% more for a dozen eggs.
“Now, the very same day this painful news broke, just a few hours later, Washington Democrats threw a party for themselves on the White House lawn to celebrate their economic policies.
“You cannot make it up.
“The official numbers had just confirmed that American families have seen the single worst year for both food and electricity inflation since the fallout from Jimmy Carter.
“And the Democrats’ response was to throw themselves a party for spending hundreds of billions more, raising taxes, and making working-class Americans pay off the loans of doctors and lawyers.
“You might think the Biden Administration couldn’t possibly get any more out of touch. You’d think that kind of display would have to take the cake.
“But alas, Madam President, last night, on ‘60 Minutes,’ President Biden gave an almost comically out-of-touch interview on the inflation crisis.
“The President argued — with a straight face — that the American people ought to be grateful for last month’s terrible inflation report because it could have been even worse.
“‘Guess where we are? We’re in a position where, in the last several months, [inflation] hasn’t spiked.’
“Struggling Americans are supposed to be grateful that we have plateaued at a steady, ongoing inflation rate of more than 8 percent?! The President wants a round of applause for steadily clocking month after month after month of the worst inflation in 40 years?
“Madam President, the inflation rate plateauing does not mean that prices themselves have leveled off. It means prices are still steadily climbing all the time! At an historically fast pace, the worst in a generation!
“Month after month after month, Democrats’ policy failures are continuing to add inflation on top of inflation. The inflation rate plateauing above 8% does not mean that families are catching a break. It means exactly the opposite. It means that families are continuing to see prices go up, and up, and up all the time.
“Simply surviving, just getting by, in Washington Democrats’ economy costs 8.3% more than it did a year ago. But remember, the 12-month numbers now dramatically understate the damage that Democrats have done, because it only looks back one year, when Democrats’ inflation spiral was already up and running.
“Here’s the number that really matters. Since the day that President Biden was sworn in, since the day that this one-party Democratic government took power, our country’s inflation rate has been 13.2%.
“And according to President Biden, if you’re angry about that, if parents are upset, if workers are frustrated, they just aren’t putting things in proper perspective.
“Considering the American people give President Biden an 38% approval rating on his handling of the economy, I’d say it’s the White House that needs to get some perspective, not the working people of this country.
“And get this. When President Biden was asked how we can avoid a recession, since Democrats’ policies have forced the Federal Reserve to raise rates sharply, the President doubled down on his fantasy land.
“He suggested, ‘we’re growing the economy… it’s growing in… a way that it hasn’t in years and years.’
“But that is complete nonsense. You measure real GDP growth after inflation.
“From early 2017 until the beginning of the COVID pandemic, Republican policies had the economy humming along, with robust growth, low unemployment and low inflation. A great trifecta for the American people.
“But now, with President Biden’s policies in place, we’ve seen two consecutive quarters of real GDP actually falling. Once you account for the inflation that Democrats have caused, our economy is not growing at all. It is shrinking.
“Families talk about the term ‘shrink-flation’ at the grocery store or the big box store.
“That’s when not only have prices gone up, but the size of a package has gone down, so you are both paying more and getting less. Like the size of a bag of chips or a box of cookies, or the number of sheets in a roll of paper towels, or the weight of a bag of fertilizer.
“High prices and smaller quantities.
“And this is basically what President Biden and Democrats have done to the entire U.S. economy. Everything costs more, even as GDP is shrinking in real terms.
“Just like American families have seen their real wages plummet after inflation, the same thing has happened to the country as a whole, for two quarters and counting.
“The President might want to talk to a couple of working Americans who are trying to survive under his policies before he sits down for his next TV interview.”