The Obama campaign released a statement this morning that said called the rise of inflation to its highest rate in 17 years shocking. They also criticized John McCain for opposing short term economic relief. A new Labor Department study released today revealed that inflation has risen 5.6% over the past year, and is now at its highest levels since 1991. Inflation doubled the projected increase, and came in at 0.8%.
Jason Furman economic policy director of the Obama campaign seized on these numbers to make the case for why we can’t have four more years of Bush policies under a John McCain presidency. “America cannot afford four more years of a policy that puts tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations ahead of the real change America’s middle-class families need,” Furman said. “Families have now lost an entire decade’s worth of raises to inflation as weekly earnings adjusted for inflation lie below the level they reached in August 1998,” Furman said.
Furman also criticized McCain for not supporting a short term economic relief plan, “Senator McCain apparently thinks the economy is doing just fine, and refuses to support any meaningful, short-term relief…” Sometimes actions really do speak louder than words, and the fact that the McCain campaign hasn’t even bothered to put out a statement about these new numbers yet speaks volumes about the priorities of the campaign.
McCain’s economic plan is the same as Bush’s, tax cuts. However, tax cuts don’t help someone who has lost their job, health insurance, or home due to this economy. In theory, lower taxes should lower prices, but in the real world it doesn’t work that way. Producers pocket the tax cut, and increase prices to keep up with the costs of production. This is why tax cuts are not the answer.
The root of the inflation problem is the price of oil, which is causing other prices to skyrocket. The United States needs to embrace alternative energy, so that we can switch away from an oil based economy. The answer here isn’t to drill more and cut taxes, but to keep decreasing demand for oil, while at the same time embracing alternative energy. McCain pays lip service to this, but his plan is still oil dependent, but we shouldn’t expect anything less from a candidate who is financed by Big Oil?