By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — Have you seen the Joe Biden stickers popping up on gas pumps? The adhesive cutouts show the Silver Alert president pointing with the words “I did that!” underneath.
He’s pointing to ever rising gas prices.
Soon enough you may find Biden “I did that!” stickers on propane tanks and on the houses of shivering Americans..
Biden’s U.S. Energy Information Administration expects heating bills to be as much as 54 percent higher than last year as prices for natural gas, heating oil, and propane soar. The cost of heating with propane is expected to soar by more than 50 percent. Natural gas-heated homes are looking at an average bill of $746 this winter, up 30 percent from last winter. The Midwest is facing the most expensive heating bills since 2008-2009, when Joe’s former boss, President Barack Obama began his first term.
It’s deja vu, and it has much to do with the radical left policies and executive orders the left’s president has forced on America.
“Since becoming President of the United States in January, President Biden has enacted policies killing North American energy projects and discouraging energy production in the U.S. while at the same time green-lighting a Russian pipeline,” said U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil (R-Janesville). Steil joined 145 Republican colleagues last week in sending a letter to the president raising concerns about the rising prices of oil and gas.
The congressman noted one of Biden’s first official acts as president — signing an executive order killing the Keystone XL Pipeline project. That order claimed thousands of jobs and became part of a stew of federal actions that has contributed to soaring prices on just about everything.
Contrary to Obama’s former Economic Council chairman, soaring inflation isn’t merely a “high-class problem.” It’s hitting everyone.
Bill Smith, NFIB/Wisconsin state director said small businesses are getting battered by a lot of negatives — rising costs, unprecedented supply chain problems, and a debilitating workforce shortage.
“Our recent economic trends report the optimism index has declined and basically what it shows is small business owners are far less sure about the future,” Smith said. “It’s just not good out there right now.”
The NFIB’s Uncertainty Index increased by 5 points in a month, entering into concerning and historic territory.
Business is still dealing with the lagging effects of federal and state policies that have kept the unemployed out of the workforce. Gov. Tony Evers refused to end federal unemployment benefits that economy watchers everywhere say served as a disincentive to re-employment — even as small business wage increases hit a nearly 50-year high.
There is anecdotal evidence pointing to some unemployed Americans taking in enough government benefits — unemployment bonuses, stimulus checks, welfare, etc. — to remain out of the workforce.
Smith said Evers, who insists the expanded unemployment benefits have done nothing to worsen the worker shortage, needs to “get out of Madison and listen to employers.”
“No one is suggesting that any one incentive keeps people out of the workforce, but on a cumulative basis they have encouraged people not to go back to work,” he said.
The proof is in the pudding. The U.S. economy added a minuscule 194,000 jobs last month, down from a disappointing 366,000 added in August. As Clinton labor secretary Robert Reich notes, the U.S. economy is still 5 million jobs below pre-pandemic levels, and 2.7 million people have been unemployed for six months or more. Of course, the liberal economist believes the worker shortage is really just a “living wage shortage, a hazard pay shortage, a childcare shortage, a paid sick leave shortage, and a health care shortage ….”
In short, there’s a shortage of big government programs, according to leftists.
Apparently Reich hasn’t been paying attention to the $3.4 trillion in federal funding dumped into all kinds of government assistance. And he doesn’t seem to be looking at the “help wanted” signs, like the McDonald’s now offering $21 an hour, begging for workers.
Still, Biden and his radical left allies continue to sock it businesses and taxpayers.
As U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-Minocqua) notes, the federal government collected more taxes this year than ever before. Tax revenue surged by 18 percent — the biggest year over year increase since 1977. And Biden and crew want more. A lot more. Even as small businesses go under and retailers and manufacturers can’t find supplies.
“But while Washington, DC is booming, Main Street is struggling. The divide between those who live in America’s coastal political power-centers and the rest of the country is widening every day. And the Biden administration’s policies are making it worse.” Tiffany said in a letter to constituents.