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Sen. Shelley Capito: Spending Spree Hurts W.Va.

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., speaks during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies hearing, Wednesday, June 9, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Stefani Reynolds/The New York Times)

When I walk into our local Kroger in Charleston, like most everyone else, I usually bring with me a grocery list of items to buy. I grab the items I need and then head to the checkout line to pay for it.

What I don’t do is set a random dollar amount I intend to spend, of someone else’s money, and then fill up my cart with various items just trying to reach my spending goal, not really caring at all about what exactly I just purchased.

While this sounds like a backwards way of doing things, unfortunately, it’s exactly what the Democrats are planning to do to the tune of $3.5 trillion – yes, trillion with a “t” – to check off their wish list of government expansion and social welfare programs.

And, they’re planning to do it without any input from Republicans who make up exactly half of the U.S. Senate, once again proving their calls for “unity” and “bipartisanship” usually ring hollow in the end.

This reckless tax and spending spree is filled with taxes on middle-class Americans and small businesses, and will ultimately be paid for by working families at gas pumps, car dealerships, and grocery stores.

Speaking of the grocery store, if it seems like the everyday items we buy are getting more expensive, or that $20 doesn’t go as far at the gas pump as it used to, you can thank President Biden’s inflation crisis, which is being fueled by the trillions of dollars that has already been poured into the economy.

Thanks to inflation, Americans are paying higher prices for many of the goods and services they can’t do without. In June, prices for U.S. consumers increased by 5.4% from the year prior, the biggest jump in 13 years.

In West Virginia, a gallon of gas is nearly one dollar more than it was a year ago, and we’re paying about thirty cents more for a gallon of milk than we did at this time last year.

Home prices are up about 15% from last year, it’s more expensive to eat out, and the price of used cars and trucks jumped more than 45% annually, which is the largest increase we’ve ever seen.

People are starting to take notice, too, and who could blame them? A recent poll showed seven in 10 Americans are concerned that President Biden’s enormous spending plans could cause inflation, and in a PBS poll from July, inflation topped the list of Americans’ concerns for the economy.

Unfortunately, it isn’t something that’s going away either. Even the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, recently said that, “inflation could turn out to be higher and more persistent than we expected.”

Yet Democrats, seeming to either not understand or care about the consequences of inflation for working families, are committed to another excessive government spending spree.

Passing another bloated, multi-trillion dollar bill is a recipe for consumer costs to continue to soar and a prolonged inflation crisis that we cannot afford.

Spending close to $4 trillion just to say we spent $4 trillion is irresponsible, and I’ll do everything in my power to make sure Washington operates its finances just like every family and small business has to back home.

The last thing we need to do is keep spending trillions of dollars we don’t have that will only hurt working-class West Virginians both now and in the long run.

Sen. Shelley Capito, R-W.Va., serves on the following Senate committees: Appropriations, Environment and Public Works, Commerce, Science, & Transportation, and Rules and Administration.

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