LARRY KUDLOW: Inflation is heating up again

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Inflation is heating up again. Now, Joe Biden is slapping on tariffs Chinese products we mostly don’t buy anyway and, meanwhile, our nation’s finances are in complete tatters. 

The recent string of hotter-than-expected inflation reports continues with the April producer price index, whose topline number jumped roughly 6% at an annual rate and small business sentiment from the NFIB continues to hover nearly 20% below levels during the Trump years and, today, President Biden comes out with a bunch of new tariffs on China, including on electric vehicles and steel products that Americans buy hardly any of. 

We already have 40-50% type tariffs on most of these products, plus numerous anti-dumping provisions that were put into place during the Trump years. There were no counter moves or strategies to help American exporters or U.S. business ownership in China 

 FED’S POWELL SAYS CONFIDENCE THAT INFLATION WILL SLOW IS ‘NOT AS HIGH’ AS BEFORE 

No demands made to stop intellectual property theft or the forced transfer of technology, or mandate Chinese purchases of American farm or other commodities. The Bidens did not address the problem of cheap Chinese cars — manufactured in China, but exported under the radar screen from Mexico to avoid tariff under the USMCA and domestic content provisions. 

Perhaps, most importantly right now, there were no Biden attempts to stop China from importing Iranian and Russian oil, thus breaking sanctions and essentially financing two wars against the U.S. Not a peep on that from the Bidens! Too little, too late, too meek and, then, there’s the matter of America’s crumbling finances. 

             

Mr. Biden is in denial about $2 trillion budget deficits as far as the eye can see. Publicly held federal debt is projected to rise from $28 trillion this year to $48 trillion over the ten-year CBO budget window. That comes to 116% of GDP. Interest expense, which is running around $870 billion today, is expected to rise to $1.6 trillion over the budget period. That would put it considerably higher than spending on defense and national security. 

Food stamps are exploding, despite recovery from COVID and, of the roughly $110 billion spent on food stamps — that’s roughly up 60% from pre-pandemic level — only 24% of able-bodied recipients are actually working. These are all reasons why Joe Biden may have Donald Trump temporarily locked up in court, but Trump is pulling away in the key swing states. 

This article is adapted from Larry Kudlow’s opening commentary on the May 14, 2024, edition of “Kudlow.”   

Read the full article here

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