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Just Rhetoric on Inflation

There he goes again. President Biden’s launched yet another round of blame-shifting for his 40-year-high inflation.

And he’s pushing Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Joe Manchin for a deal on a skinny Build Back Broker package. Biden, Schumer and other Democrats aim to include drug price controls in whatever BBB may emerge.

Biden has pointed fingers at various economic sectors and blamed them for supposedly causing record-high inflation. Last year, his blame-shifting went big on trustbusting, swinging the antitrust sledgehammer at many major industrial sectors.

Locke’s Notebook recently rebutted the nonsense of blaming oil and gas companies for Biden’s $5 per gallon price for gasoline.

Now Biden’s making more wild leaps of logic, claiming that big-government price controls on pharmaceuticals will tame inflation.

The White House trotted out National Economic Council Director Brian Deese to foist this spin on Face the Nation. What Deese said was economic nonsense.

He asserted that “the single most impactful thing that we could do right now is to . . . pass legislation that would lower the costs of things that families are facing right now like prescription drugs, we could lower the cost of prescription drugs by allowing Medicare to negotiate better prices that would actually lower federal spending, and it would lower the cost that people pay.”

Did you catch that? Deese claims that the one thing that would have the greatest impact on reducing inflation is (1) to pass another multitrillion-dollar taxing-and-spending bill (i.e., BBB) (2) containing government price-setting authority. Truly incredulous.

It’s just political rhetoric. Drug price controls would do nothing to reduce runaway inflation.

American Action Forum’s Douglas Holtz-Eakin nails it: “As a practical matter, it is quite the claim that 100 percent of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation problem will be solved by policy directed toward the 1.392 percent of the CPI that is prescription drugs.”

Make no mistake: Drug price controls won’t lower sky-high inflation.

The environmental zealotry and redistribution of wealth provisions of BBB will impose far greater inflationary costs than any miniscule “savings” from drug price controls.

What’s at stake is government dictating take-it-or-leave-it Medicare pharmaceutical prices to drug companies. This “negotiation” is coupled with a punitive 95 percent tax penalty on any drug whose price rises higher than inflation.

AAF warns, “. . . the most significant implication of the BBBA’s dollar-for-dollar penalties on price increases that exceed the rate of inflation is that, for the first time, the federal government would be unilaterally capping drug prices nationwide, both in federal programs and in the private market.”

Looking for a scapegoat for inflation? The blameworthy ones are President Biden and most of his party in Congress.

Biden-Schumer-Pelosi policies (e.g., massive reregulation, weaponizing federal agencies as tools of wokeness and of a radical Leftist agenda) and their inflationary $1.9 trillion in unnecessary spending in 2021 are a thousand times more to blame for the worst inflation we’ve seen since the Carter years than are prescription drug costs.

Facts and reason won’t stop a spin campaign concocted by a desperate White House. Laughable fictions from the mouths of political mouthpieces will keep coming—though nobody in real America is buying it.

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