Wicker Combats President’s Inflationary Policies

New Legislation Would Help Local Governments Stimulate Growth

May 22, 2023

American families received another unwelcome reminder of President Biden’s failed economic agenda this month. Prices rose yet again in April, just like they have for the past two years. High inflation continues to be a drag on the economy – but with new effects. It has been a factor in the collapse of three large banks and has led more Americans to fear for the future. Meanwhile, President Biden waited weeks to begin talks with Republicans over the debt ceiling, raising the specter of global economic meltdown. The fruits of his failed leadership saddle American families with a higher bill for necessities like gas, groceries, and rent.

President Biden’s Inflation Hits Families Hard

Administration officials told us repeatedly that inflation would be a short-term blip. But as higher prices persist month after month, tighter finances have started to feel like a new normal.

As higher interest rates have made borrowing costly, it has become more difficult for families to make big purchases. The price for new cars has risen 20 percent, and used cars are nearly 30 percent more expensive. The housing market normally wakes up in springtime. This year it stayed dormant. Increased rates reduced the purchasing power of everyone involved: Buyers balk at higher monthly payments, and sellers wait for lower rates before getting a new mortgage.

A recent survey found the economy was respondents’ top concern, a sign that Americans are worried about inflation’s effect on their lives. This anxiety is eroding the sense of optimism that has made our economy so powerful for so long. Today, nearly half of Americans think the economy will get worse in the next year, and over a third think it will stay the same.

Republican Bills Focused on Main Street

As President Biden’s inflation holds back an economy trying to improve, local governments need to be able to attract investment and create jobs.

While Democrats want to spend their way to prosperity, Republicans have been able to spur markets by incentivizing private investments. To do just that, I recently introduced a bill called the Rural Jobs Act. This legislation would make changes to an existing tax credit for investors who bring capital to rural and low-income areas. The program has already proven to be a successful way to stimulate development in distressed communities. However, those benefits have gone mostly to urban cities. The Rural Jobs Act builds on the success of these efforts but tailors the program to ensure that rural communities receive a proportionate share of the benefits.

This month, I also reintroduced legislation that would help state and local governments build roads, bridges, and utility systems. Often, municipal leaders finance these projects by issuing bonds, which have grown more expensive with today’s interest rates. The first bill – the LOCAL Infrastructure Act – would decrease the long-term cost of those bonds. The second – the American Infrastructure Bonds Act – would give local leaders more decision-making power over infrastructure projects. Legislation like this would help states and cities build schools, parks, and waterways, which draw even more business activity.

The American economy was built on the hope that hard work will lead to better days. President Biden’s inflationary policies dampen those dreams as families struggle to make ends meet. My proposals would help to keep that possibility within reach for all Americans.