Sunday, November 28, 2021
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CARTOON: A presidential pardon

| November 24, 2021 1:00 AM

The editorial “cartoon” blames President Biden for inflation. Is government action a cause?

Consumer demand drives the U.S. economy, high demand has created goods shortages (remember toilet paper). Some companies are ordering — and hoarding — more goods and parts than they need so they don’t run out.

Americans continue to spend more on goods than on services. Is part of the problem us?

Transportation delays remain high. Before the pandemic, ships had set arrival times and went straight to a berth for unloading. Now Asian factory output is at record highs. The empty containers then occupy port space until returned but limit the space for full containers to be unloaded.

As with ports, rail lines are moving more goods up 7.5% from a year ago. Truck shipments were up 1.7% in September. Yet there aren’t enough drivers or trucks to move all the freight.

No President can control gasoline prices. Petroleum has different refining processes. It is then sold through the international market. Why are gasoline prices high at the pump even though oil and gas companies' costs are declining? President Biden has asked the Federal Trade Commission to review whether illegal conduct is costing families at the pump.

The infrastructure bill will strengthen supply chains and reduce inflationary pressures. This bill was supported by Senators Crapo and Risch. Build Back Better legislation will fight inflation and keep the economy growing. These are not causes of rising costs but may stabilize our economy and bring better paying jobs to many.

PHIL WARD

Coeur d'Alene