Will Democrats Listen to Joe Manchin Now?

Grim news from the Department of Labor on the inflation front: my PJ Media colleague Matt Margolis covered the story about inflation rising at a 7.5% clip — the highest it’s been in 40 years.

But the news comes as no surprise to one lawmaker on Capitol Hill. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has been ringing the tocsin on inflation for months as he stubbornly withstood pressure from radical left partisans to pass Joe Biden’s $2 trillion Build Back Better bill.

Related: Biden Achieves Another Historic Inflation Milestone

Manchin is losing patience with his party as he tries to pound into their thick skulls the damage they are doing to the lives of ordinary people.

“As inflation and our $30 trillion in national debt continue a historic climb, only in Washington, DC do people seem to think that spending trillions more of taxpayers’ money will cure our problems, let alone inflation,” the senator said in a statement.

The Hill:

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) sounded the alarm on Thursday after the Labor Department announced that annual inflation had risen at its fastest rate in four decades, emphasizing that Congress should not add “more fuel to an economy already on fire.”

Manchin was likely alluding to the push by Democrats to pass a roughly $2 trillion social spending and climate package, an effort he effectively killed in December after announcing that he would not support the behemoth legislation, citing concerns about inflation and the cost of the bill.

In an emailed statement, Manchin said inflation is “draining the hard-earned wages of every American” and “causing real and severe economic pain that can no longer be ignored.”

Whatever slim hope Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had in passing the Build Back Better bill, or some approximation of it, appears to be dead and buried.

Manchin on Thursday said “the threat of inflation is real” and urged the U.S. to “get serious about the finances of our country.”

“It’s time we start acting like stewards of our economy and the money the American people entrust their government with. Now, more than ever, we must remember it is not our money, it’s the American people’s money. It is not our economy, it’s their economy,” Manchin wrote.

“We all have a [responsibility] to do all that is possible to roll back inflation and manage our debts because the longer we or the Federal Reserve waits to act, the more economic pain will be caused,” he added.

For the government to get “serious” about the nation’s finances, there must be a fundamental shift in how Congress views the budget.

Our lawmakers are not “stewards of our economy” because they believe they aren’t dealing with real money. How can they? No sane person can imagine how much $5 trillion dollars is actually worth in the real world. These are abstract numbers, sort of like trying to imagine infinity.

But the people who are paying the taxes, the people who are the beneficiaries of this largesse, the human beings who are radically affected by the government either due to the crushing burden of taxation or the dead hand of bureaucracy controlling their lives — for these souls, $5 trillion is very real and affects them in ways that the elitists on Capitol Hill cannot even begin to imagine.

Perhaps one of the requirements for serving in Congress should be living as an ordinary American for a year or two. Let them deal with inflation on a fixed income. Let them feed their family when prices are going up 10% a month at the grocery store for some products. Let them deal with the reality of the policies they are pushing.

Only then will congresspeople understand what being a “steward of the economy” means.

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