Republicans seem to have a mantra for the 2020 midterm elections: “crime, gas prices, inflation.” Whereas they struggled mightily to make a coherent case against Biden in the 2020 election (“Hunter Biden’s laptop is on a Ukrainian war boat stuffed with cash, cocaine, and child sex slaves. Why won’t the media cover this?”), they appear to be onto something by focusing on issues most people can actually see vs. following a Steve Bannon fever dream around the dark web.
However, crime is largely exaggerated, and it’s not remotely clear how the party that wants anyone to be able to buy rocket launchers while also criminalizing abortion (legal abortions have been proven to make crime rates go down, as outlined in “Freakonomics”) is actually putting forth solutions to decrease crime other than the same, stale “lock ’em up” that hasn’t worked for 60 years. Similarly, their mantra of “prices at the pump” doesn’t really wash if gas prices go down (as they are and will further between now and November), and they’ve been proven to be fighting that at every turn anyway (as they are and will further between now and November). Not to mention, the best way to fix high gas prices is to make gas irrelevant by adopting renewable energy–which Republicans definitely don’t support. “If you hate gas prices, why not adopt a fully renewable energy plan?” “No, no, no, hell no!”
That really only leaves them with what they erroneously call “inflation,” but is really just corporate price gouging left over from CoVid having put a lot of companies out of business, and the biggest ones have gotten bigger. You see this in practically every industry, and I don’t see how Republicans would do anything but make it worse if they gained the House or Senate.
Recently, House Democrats passed a bill to stop oil companies from price gouging, but not one House Republican voted for it. Getting tough with oil companies is FAR more likely to have them lower their prices or ramp up supply (which Trump made a deal to lower in 2019 because he thought gas prices would be too low in the future) than removing the 18-cent gas tax which only incentivizes them to keep prices high to get out of paying that tax. Democrats also know that meat prices have gone up because there’s only 4 meat processing facilities in the U.S. and they’re raking in huge profits right now. After the midterms, they would likely vote in the same anti price-gouging measures with that industry and others like baby formula that are ruled by only 1 or 2 big companies.
What people keep calling “inflation” is partly problems with China (whose economy is much worse as they try for a ridiculous “zero CoVid” policy) and supply chain issues. But it’s also the simple fact that CoVid put a lot of competition out of business and the consolidated mega-companies that are left are basically charging whatever they want to in those industries. In almost every industry (airlines, telecom, diapers), there’s virtual monopolies or obvious price fixing among a handful of giants (like when the two companies that basically control the diaper market raised their prices at the exact same time or all the airlines decided to raise summer flight prices by 100-to-200%).
The only way to fix that is real anti-trust enforcement and regulation—which Republicans don’t support. It’s crazy to see Republicans bash Biden non-stop for “inflation,” but when real proposals to address it come up, they’re dead against them. Generally, they don’t believe the government should take an active role in the economy, so how in the hell would they stop it? “Biden isn’t doing anything on inflation…also, the President should leave private industries alone and deregulate everything.” Those terrible ideas are the reason we’re here now, not the solution.