As RedState reported, the latest inflation numbers have been released, and any number of colorfully negative adjectives could be used to describe them. Clocking in at 7.5 percent year over year, Americans are getting absolutely clobbered by ever-increasing prices on essential items like meat, gas, and used cars.
The news came in sharp contrast to the jobs report, which actually showed a substantial gain in January. But as is often the case, context is everything. The jobs market may be recovering, though it’s still below pre-pandemic levels. Yet, that doesn’t mean much to the majority of working-class Americans who already have jobs but are seeing their savings and buying power go up in smoke under Joe Biden’s inflation-inducing policies.
No one is more aware of that than Sen. Joe Manchin, who released a blistering statement Thursday, lambasting the idea that spending more money is the way out of this crisis.
My statement on consumer inflation rising to 7.5%, the largest 12 month increase in four decades: pic.twitter.com/67RizZR20u
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) February 10, 2022
Typically, what a senator from West Virginia has to say wouldn’t be all that newsworthy. But Manchin’s unique position as the deciding vote for the president’s agenda means everything he says carries weight. Here, he specifically mocks Washington, D.C., politicians stumping for yet another massive government spending bill. Manchin also mentions the national debt multiple times, which is a topic never usually touched by anyone with a D next to their name.
So, why is this important, aside from the entertainment value in seeing Democrats beat-box each other? It’s important because everything Manchin is signaling says that Build Back Better is going to remain dead. The president and his progressive cohorts were holding out hope of restarting negotiations and getting some substantial portion of what they originally wanted in the reconciliation bill. That can’t happen if Manchin isn’t on board, and it seems pretty definitive that he’s not on board.
In an election year, that’s a disaster for Democrats who desperately need some kind of policy win to tout going into November. The infrastructure bill has already become an after-thought, and Nancy Pelosi’s past suggestion that the BBB bill would be just the beginning of her spending binge now seems incredibly quaint. Democrats are in turmoil because the leadership of the party overplayed their hand. They promised too much, and now they are stuck at the mercy of a senator who has no incentive to give them anything.
In the end, that’s probably what Manchin putting this statement out is all about. It’s a brushback pitch, letting his party know he’s not interested in rerunning the intra-party fight that occurred last winter. Why would he want that, when he can solidify himself by doing nothing? Besides, politics aside, his position on inflation and spending is the right call for the American people. Shouldn’t that matter just a little bit?