AMAC Exclusive – By Andrew Shirley
A new survey out this week found that inflation is causing some 60 percent of workers to rethink their retirement plans – or put retirement off entirely. The findings are yet another sign that, more than one year later, Biden’s “Inflation Reduction Act” (IRA) has been a complete bust, as conservatives predicted.
According to the findings from MFS Investment Management, 75 percent of Americans now say they will have to save more for retirement than they originally thought. Two-thirds of respondents said they are not confident they can retire at the age they want, while nearly a third said that they will not be able to retire at all.
What’s worse, there doesn’t appear to be much relief ahead. Earlier this month, Federal Reserve Governor Michelle Borman revealed that America’s crushingly high-interest rates would likely have to go even higher in an attempt to bring down inflation.
Although inflation has eased from record highs of over nine percent last year, it currently still sits near four percent – nearly double the Fed’s target rate of two percent.
Speaking at a conference in Canada, Borman stated, “Inflation continues to be too high, and I expect it will likely be appropriate for the committee to raise rates further and hold them at a restrictive level for some time to return inflation to our 2 percent goal in a timely way.”
For many Americans – particularly those looking to build wealth ahead of retirement – the combination of soaring inflation and sky-high interest rates has been financially devastating. Yet the rampant government spending of the past three years has made the hope of a quick resolution to America’s inflationary crisis less and less likely.
Borman’s announcement came on the heels of the Biden administration’s celebration of the one-year anniversary of the IRA in August. Biden sold this spending package to the American people as a historic investment that would bring down inflation by growing the economy from “the bottom up and the middle out.”
Notably, Biden dismissed criticisms at the time that much of the package just appeared to be a slimmed-down version of his failed $3.5 trillion spending bill, the “Build Back Better Act.”
Now, more than a year later, even Biden admits that he was disingenuous when describing the bill. “The Inflation Reduction Act — I wish I hadn’t called it that because it has less to do with reducing inflation than it does to do with dealing with providing for alternatives that generate economic growth,” the president said at a White House event commemorating passage of the bill, in what should have been a shocking admission of political dishonesty.
Subsequent analysis also found that the package will end up costing the American people far more than they were told. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the IRA would cost $783 billion. But Goldman Sachs predicts that the actual total amount will exceed $1.2 trillion.
The overwhelming majority of this spending comes in the form of tax incentives for green energy, with billions more indirect outlays for certain experimental technologies. The White House’s own Office of Management and Budget now estimates that the bill will hike deficits $216 billion between now and 2031.
With much of the money in the IRA now beginning to be distributed, Americans are seeing just how empty Biden’s promise that the bill would “curb inflation” was.
For instance, billions of dollars were allocated under the IRA to so-called “carbon capture technology” that included the building of controversial CO2 pipelines crisscrossing the country. But those projects – funded by taxpayer dollars – have only caused energy prices to rise even more.
From 2022 to 2023, the U.S. has already directly paid out over $250 billion to “clean energy” initiatives. Most of these payouts have taken the form of tax incentives and subsidies for large corporations to fund projects they were planning on doing regardless. While the companies themselves get richer, the American people see little benefit.
Meanwhile, the country’s debt has continued to spiral out of control. As of September, Biden had already added nearly $2.5 trillion to the national debt – an increase of nearly nine percent in less than three years.
Republicans’ success in flipping the U.S. House last year has temporarily staved off more trillion-dollar boondoggles like the IRA. But with the 2024 general election now coming into focus, Biden and his Democrat allies are no doubt gearing up for a push to create a new Democrat trifecta and double down on their failed agenda.
Andrew Shirley is a veteran speechwriter and AMAC Newsline columnist. His commentary can be found on X at @AA_Shirley.