This writer has been asked many times to make predictions concerning the 2024 national and state elections.
No predictions will be forthcoming.
The United States is unmoored from dependable principles. That is why politics has become so contentious. In this kind of a political theatre, only further contention – some of it absurdly silly – is predictable. Where the two major parties agree on nothing, no one in politics may even agree to disagree.
Inflation is one instance of an irresolvable contention that could be resolved by fair-minded men and women.
Inflation is goring all of us. None of us have escaped its fierce bite. We are reminded every time we go to the store to buy a loaf of bread that those of us on fixed incomes – nearly all of us, since real wage increases have become rare -- are shelling out more devalued dollars for the loaf. We are spending more dollars for products and services because our money has been seriously devalued by inflation, an insidious hidden tax.
Inflation is produced entirely by government overspending. It is wholly a political manifestation of a willful misunderstanding of how the economy works.
The classic definition of inflation is – “too may dollars chasing too few goods.” There are too many dollars in circulation because the U.S. government has printed too much devalued fiat currency to pay its bills, mostly incurred through extravagant spending. Inflation may therefore be decreased by decreasing spending. Permanent long term cuts in spending are to inflation what crosses and wooden stakes are to vampires. You cannot reduce inflation without reducing debt. For those indisposed to increase taxes there are only three methods of discharging debts: borrowing money, debasing the currency by printing money, and passing along the debt to future generations.
The national debt, rapidly accumulating for the last 20 years, is $31.4 trillion and rising. Connecticut’s biennial state debt is about $43.09 billion. These debts can only be reduced, without stoking the fires of inflation, by long term cuts in spending. So, cut spending. You can cut 10% of anything without causing disabling effects. Just do it.
Spending cuts are not likely in Connecticut, some would say, because those who execute political power in a state in which Democrats outnumber Republicans by a two to one margin are reluctant to offend tax gobbling organizations, principally state unions, that help Democrats in their reelection campaigns. Why bite the hand that feeds you?
The assault on reliable energy is another instance in point. The current presidential administration of Joe Biden has commenced a war against fossil fuels and the internal combustion engine.
All people in the nation that rely on a politically unimpeded private marketplace are victims of that war, begun, so we are told, to save the world from environment collapse. The disastrous measures taken by Biden to reduce environmental damage will have little effect in saving the nation from minimal environmental degradation. Nevertheless, Biden has… done what? He has curtailed the production of fossil fuel supplies, thus driving up the price of energy that will be paid in inflationary dollars. His chief replacement mechanism is turbine run wind power, an unreliable energy source the components of which are made in China, a country unfriendly to the United States but very friendly – so U.S. House Republicans tell us – with several members of the Biden family.
In addition to Biden’s war on the internal combustion engine, the president has also opened a front against gas stoves. This political sortie hits very close to home, and it will further cause restaurants, heavily impacted by a government shutdown of businesses during the late politically caused COVID pandemic, to fire their staffs and shut their doors. All of this graphically demonstrates that neo-progressives who in recent years have overrun state and national governments have a primitive and fantastical understanding of the U.S. economy.
The Biden administration, as well as national and state Democrats, has been focused on fixing things that are not broken while perversely refusing to confront what used to be called “the present danger.” All rational foreign policy is rooted in a realistic appraisal of friends and enemies. Spy balloons flying over U.S. air space and military installations, China’s attempts to provoke the Biden administration by reinstalling in Cuba, once an outpost of the Soviet Union, a refurbished spy station indicate a certain animosity that should make friendly overtures – not to mention an embarrassing oriental subservience -- less likely. Unlike most politicians, most Americans would have no difficulty in tagging China, Russia and Iran as permanent enemies of the United States.
The Biden administration, chronically unable to rest comfortably in the sound proposition “The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” truly believes that diplomacy, rather than a judicious combination force and diplomacy, will alone be able to win the hearts and change the minds of committed totalitarian ideologues.
All of them would benefit greatly from a close reading of William Inboden’s masterful retrospective analysis of the Reagan administration in a recently published book titled The Peacemaker.