Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins spoke from the Senate floor today to urge her colleagues to reject trillions of dollars in proposed additional spending that would exacerbate the soaring inflation that is hurting Americans.
Despite assurances from the Administration earlier this year that inflation would be “transitory,” the Consumer Price Index, which measures the price of goods and services, ballooned by nearly seven percent. That’s the highest rate since 1982 and the sixth consecutive month of inflation exceeding five percent.
After passage of the Administration’s $1.9 trillion stimulus this spring, the price of goods and services went up. Last week, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office projected that making the social spending programs in the Build Back Better plan permanent would cost $4.9 trillion over a decade. Doing so would add $3 trillion to the deficit, unless paid for with new taxes beyond those that Democrats propose in the bill.
“Inflation is a regressive tax – it does not discriminate among the rich and the poor. It does not take into account the ability to pay,” said Senator Collins. “It is a cruel tax, one that punishes thrift by diminishing the value of savings. This is damaging to families that are saving to buy a home or for their children’s education. It can devastating to our seniors, who can do nothing but helplessly watch as the retirement funds that they worked for their whole lives don’t go nearly as far as they had expected.”
“Americans are seeing and feeling the consequences of Washington overheating the economy. We have an obligation to address this historic inflation crisis with the highest priority,” Senator Collins continued. “But instead of doing so, we are considering trillions in additional macroeconomic stimulus in the President’s Build Back Better plan. The consequences for an already overheated economy could be devastating. Given the clear link between recent extraordinary government spending and rampant inflation, we should not be adding more fuel to the fire. Our economy is ailing, so it would be wise to begin with the maxim that guides medical professionals: ‘First, do no harm.’”
In her remarks, Senator Collins cited some of the escalating costs that are walloping families’ wallets and small businesses’ budgets:
“Like the pandemic itself, we do not know for certain whether this inflation crisis will abate, be prolonged, or even accelerate,” Senator Collins concluded. “Our immediate focus should be on measures that we know will have a lasting and beneficial impact on our economy, such as implementing the bipartisan infrastructure law, opening up and repairing our supply chains, getting more Americans back to work, and protecting the earnings of hardworking Americans. What we should not do is pass trillions of dollars in additional spending in the Administration’s Build Back Better bill that would exacerbate the toll that inflation imposes on seniors, working families, and small businesses. We should not take that risk.”