Take It to the Bank - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2047820

Take It to the Bank

The unemployment rate in April 2020 reached 14.8 percent. Thanks to interventions via the CARES Act, the Coronavirus Response and Consolidated Appropriations Act, and the American Rescue Plan, an unemployment calamity was averted. The current unemployment rate of 3.5 percent (Congressional Research Services) is better than could have been imagined.

But inflation overshadows the good employment situation. The task at hand is to correctly diagnose the inflation problem and not fall into the trap of boilerplate Republican reactions.

Because of global factors (COVID-induced supply chain disruptions, the Russian invasion of Ukraine) and corporate profiteering, prices have increased. The USA’s inflation rate of 8.2 percent is exceeded by 10 other industrial countries. The United Kingdom, at 10.1 percent, and Germany, at 10 percent — with market economies like ours — suffer more than the USA does.

Great Britain’s Conservative Party’s embrace of classic conservative (Republican) economic approaches (lower taxes for the wealthy) with economic nationalism (Brexit) did great damage to their economy. Their failing policies foreshadow what the United States will experience if Republicans gain control of the U.S. House and Senate: more tax cuts for the rich, holes punched in the safety net of Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid.

Republican Congressional candidate Nick LaLota is all in on the misguided Republican response.

By accurately identifying the problem, Democrats offer solutions that help all families.

By signing the Inflation Reduction Act, Americans will receive a cornucopia of price-reducing benefits, including tax credits for purchasing energy efficient appliances; reductions in premiums for those obtaining health insurance through the Affordable Care Act; and, for Medicare recipients, reductions in cost for medicines.

By signing the Infrastructure and Jobs Act, supply chain issues will improve by enhancing the efficiency of the transport of goods at ports, rail freight and air freight. By providing tax credits for fuel-saving weatherization, households can reduce energy costs. By signing the CHIPS Act, supplies of critical computer parts will be made in the United States.

On the “price at the pump” front, Democrats released gas from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and, in New York, Governor Kathy Hochul suspended three separate taxes on motor fuel.

(More inflation reducing steps have been passed, or blocked by Republicans — read it here: jec.senate.gov.

Locally, we can do our part by electing Bridget Fleming for Congress. Her legislative track record more than qualifies her as inflation fighter No. 1. Found at her website, “An Economy that works for all Americans” identifies the problem and offers solutions.

Take it to the bank.

Mike Anthony


Anthony is the former Southampton Town Democratic Party chair — Ed.