On Thursday, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) called for his party in both houses of Congress to take a “strategic pause” in their efforts to pass two massive spending bills worth $4.7 trillion, according to CNN.
Manchin made his case in an op-ed with the Wall Street Journal, saying that “instead of rushing to spend trillions on new government programs and additional stimulus funding, Congress should hit a strategic pause on the budget-reconciliation legislation.” He further called for Congress to instead seek “more clarity on the trajectory of the pandemic,” which “will allow us to determine whether inflation is transitory or not.”
What is all this “Biden inflation tax” talk really about? What is the actual effect of inflation on the lives of real people?
Well, below is a chart that compares yearly wage and inflation rates for each month from 2017 through July of this year using Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Wage rates are in blue and inflation (as measured by the consumer price index) is in red. When blue is on top, as it was during the entire Trump administration, workers’ wages are beating inflation and their standards of living are improving. When red is on top, they’re not.
While President Biden claims that it is “indisputable” that his jobs plan “is working,” this chart unequivocally shows that it is not, at least not for American workers. Rather, inflation is surging, more than wiping out any wage gains those workers might have experienced.