A year ago, Oklahomans paid an average of $1.87/gallon for gas, now we pay nearly $3 per gallon, just one element of the widespread inflation hitting our families. As of the end of September, there have been more illegal border crossings on our Southwest border than any time in American history. The vaccine mandates are pushing good experienced workers out of their jobs all over the country. Empty grocery shelves caused by delays and disruptions in our supply chain give Oklahomans an eerie reminder of America in the 1970s. This is just some of the fruit of the economic chaos in Biden’s America.
After President Biden spent months telling Americans he would bring a “return to normalcy,” Oklahomans are seeing first-hand what they knew would be true – Biden’s America is far from normal.
As I travel across Oklahoma, I hear frustrations from workers and business owners about supply chain issues. Some companies have to wait a year for items they used to get in days. This has significantly driven up costs for manufactured goods like vehicles and electronics. In fact, the price of a used car is up over 24 percent compared to this time last year. At the same time, we have a shortage of truckers, which only adds to the backorder problem. One trucking company manager told me that his drivers are getting recruited by other trucking companies as they approach a stop sign, which reminds me to say “thank you” again to all the truck drivers. We would not have a thing in our stores or homes without your work.
Biden’s press secretary joked that the backlog is the “tragedy of the delayed treadmill,” but the reality is shortages and higher prices have become the new normal under Biden’s leadership. As we approach the holiday season we will likely see a lack of toys, food, and household items on the shelves. Small businesses will suffer, shipping prices will skyrocket, and Americans will pay even more than they already do for basic necessities. I have talked to several small business owners who make a significant amount of their yearly income around Christmas each year, but this year they cannot get their inventory to sell in time for Christmas. That is bad for their customers and horrible for their businesses.
Meanwhile, the White House continues to call the same play from their crisis after crisis handbook – downplay their bad policies, minimalize their impact on real families, and blame President Trump. Oklahomans aren’t fooled by the messaging game from inside the Beltway.
This economic spiral started when Democrats passed their $2 trillion spending package in March, despite even left-leaning economists’ warnings that it would hurt the economy. It certainly has proved to be a disaster. Now, Democrats are debating a new $2-$3.5 trillion spending package that will certainly make our bad situation even worse.
I have continued to push to fix Congress’ broken budget process to greatly reduce our massive federal spending and voted against the bad polices that have put us in this position. When Oklahomans are paying more for everyday goods like fresh fruit, eggs, bacon, and bread, the last thing they want from the White House is more progressive campaign promises that will only lead to more inflation. The average Oklahoman is already paying $175 more a month for basic items like gas, groceries. and utilities.
It’s hard to remember that just two years ago, we had the greatest economy in our lifetime. Covid certainly had a huge effect on our economy, but this year the problem has not been the disease, it has been Biden’s “cure.” Biden should reverse his bad policies and implement policies that encourage work, slow inflation, and address the issues in our supply chain.
If this is Biden’s definition of normalcy, it’s safe to say, Oklahomans do not want it.
James Lankford is the junior US Senator representing Oklahoma. His website is: www.lankford.senate.gov.