Comment: A little help on inflation analysis from Sununu of New Hampshire

President Biden and his designated messengers just got some crucial last-minute information — from a most unlikely source — on Wednesday night. It made clear how they should be talking about the one issue nearly half of Americans say they really care about in this widespread midterm campaign.

President Biden speaks about his infrastructure program at Fern Hollow Bridge in Pittsburgh on Thursday. The span, which had collapsed in January, was rebuilt with federal funds. The biggest funding for Biden’s bailout is “all designed infrastructure, all designed to be spent in 24, 25 and 26,” Republican New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu told CNN’s Jake Tapper Wednesday night. Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

You probably assumed that even today’s change-resistant pols in high places would move on to rethink after a recent New York Times poll showed us that the old country cockroach always bothers us, a lot of the time. The economy/inflation was cited as the top concern by a whopping 44% of respondents. (Any other issue that was heavily covered by our news media was mentioned as the top concern by only 5% or less of respondents.)

The welcome insight on how to handle this economy/inflation problem was aired on CNN by a pointed and assertive conservative Republican, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, who of course never intended to help the Democrats. But it quickly got lost in the nocturnal gush that pours out of our Great News Funnels.

(Sununu deserves respect for bravely refusing to join the Trump sheep who publicly suck the former president into endorsing his debunked claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him. But today we’re not talking about that. Trump stuff.)

CNN’s Jake Tapper debuted Sununu’s Appearance for viewers, noting that Republicans say Biden’s $5 trillion post-pandemic economic stimulus package caused today’s inflation woes. Then he interviewed Sununu, who began by defending the standard Republican attacks on Biden’s massive stimulus package that’s fueling today’s inflation: “So look, everybody’s talking about the $5 trillion in the economy that caused inflation, that is absolutely true. There is no doubt.”

But in the next sentence, Sununu jumped into essential context which is precisely the kind of thing his fellow Republicans hope you won’t think about at all.

“What a lot of people don’t realize,” Sununu continued, is that “only a fraction has actually been spent. … The actual number of cut checks is very minimal. He added that the most important funding for Biden’s bailout is “all designed infrastructure, all designed to be spent in 24, 25 and 26. And so inflation is going to be very exacerbated for the next few years.

Sununu is absolutely right. Although nearly all of the $350 billion in available bailout funds has been distributed to states to spend, it has yet to be spent. And so, the next time you hear Republicans claiming that the current inflation crisis was fueled by a $5 trillion Biden program — and maybe throwing around words like “socialism” — remember the words. from Sununu. They refute the exaggerated claims of the Republican campaign.

What is the most powerful force fueling our current inflationary crisis? Sununu got into it too. “Europe is worse off than America, for God’s sake.”

This raises the essential truth: that what we face today is primarily global inflation that was not only fueled, but also fueled by the global supply chain shutdown at the height of the pandemic.

Sadly, missing in all of this is the visible presentation of Biden working as a leader to reopen the global economy — and hopefully fix these supply chain issues. The White House has done a better job of visually showcasing the president’s efforts on the very infrastructure projects Republicans criticize as “inflationary” — except, of course, when a project is in their state.

On Thursday, Biden traveled to Pittsburgh to celebrate the reconstruction with federal funds of the Fern Hollow Bridge, which collapsed in January. “It’s being done in record time,” Biden said, adding that he expects the new bridge to be finished “by Christmas, God willing. I’m coming back to cross that sucker.”

Perhaps the president will choose to make this crossing a symbolic event. He could invite some of his Republican opponents to march alongside him that day. And maybe he’ll even try another infrastructure project — a win-win plan for both sides to deepen their political games and try, just once, to build a bipartisan bridge to prosperity. .


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