By Carrie Sheffield
Candidates who ran on an America First agenda fought a close fight in Tuesday’s congressional elections, with at least the House poised to fall into the GOP’s hands and possibly the Senate flipping out of the left’s control.
With America First candidates from states like in Michigan, California, New Jersey and Florida picking up seats, conservatives must not squander their goodwill from voters and instead immediately enact an economic agenda to reverse course away from the crushing policies that pushed record inflation on American families.
First, Congress must force the White House to reverse the erroneous energy policies driving inflation. According to Fox News, AAA reports gas prices today are $3.80 but just $2.39 when Biden took office, a 62% increase. The price of oil has increased despite President Joe Biden selling oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which the Biden White House tried to tinker with for its own political agenda.
Biden begs foreign nations like OPEC+ and is reportedly opening backchannels to Venezuela in hopes of increasing foreign oil production. Meanwhile, America’s domestic oil producers have been stymied by pipeline regulatory uncertainty, oil and gas lease stagnation. They must also fight the creeping growth of so-called “ESG” or equity, social, governance initiatives that are attacking capital investment in oil and natural gas.
The Biden Securities and Exchange Commission has also exerted regulatory heavy handedness on climate-related disclosures, straying far outside its purview and bringing deep uncertainties to financial and energy markets.
The Biden administration has piled on more regulations in its first year than any other president in history, with the American Action Forum (AAF) estimating these new regulations total an additional $201 billion in regulatory costs and 131 million hours in new yearly paperwork requirements (or 65,000 full-time jobs to complete paperwork).
For comparison, another AAF analysis showed that over its entire four years, the Trump administration only totaled $40.4 billion in regulatory costs. The Trump White House Council of Economic Advisers estimated that this deregulatory strategy embraced by the Trump administration, where 8 regulations were cut for each new one implemented, increased real incomes for U.S. households by $3,100 per year.
The new Congress can use the Congressional Review Act to repeal onerous regulations on energy as well as labor and independent contracting.
Conservatives must repeal the funding for the excessive 87,000 new IRS agents who will wreak havoc on small businesses.
Facing a steep taxation hike in 2025 unless the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in late 2017 is made permanent, small businesses and other corporations face more economic uncertainty.
Overall, Congress must stop the excessive, multi trillion dollar spending packages that are keeping workers sidelined, refusing to re-enter the job market. This includes overly expansive, extended unemployment insurance, removed work requirements for welfare, along with prolonged deferred payments and a new proposal student loan forgiveness (which the Congressional Budget Office estimates will cost Americans about an additional $400 billion).
Congress’ excessive spending has also driven up inflation, resulting in the Federal Reserve hiking interest rates to painful heights, raising them six times this year. This significantly hurts borrowing costs for businesses, who then pass costs on to consumers.
The new Congress has a powerful opportunity to rejuvenate America’s economy. Let’s hope they roll up their sleeves and get to work.
Carrie Sheffield is a conservative commentator based in Washington, D.C.