Hickenlooper admits Biden’s American Rescue Plan made inflation worse

For Immediate Release
February 1, 2022

DENVER, CO – Sen. John Hickenlooper acknowledged President Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan that was signed into law last spring has impacted current levels of inflation.

Hickenlooper, speaking in a Colorado Sun forum last evening, attributed current price increases to OPEC+ reducing oil output and supply chain disruptions brought on by the pandemic.

However, the first term Senator also indicated President Biden’s American Rescue Plan may have played a role in exacerbating inflationary pressures.

JOHN HICKENLOOPER: All these things added together to create inflation. Perhaps there was some impact from the American [Rescue] Plan, which is the part that President Biden really put into place. We can argue that.

There isn’t much to “argue” about when it comes to the American Rescue Plan’s impact on inflation.

Former Obama economic advisor Steven Rattner said the ARP was the “original sin” of inflation, while former Obama Treasury Secretary Larry Summers warned about the inflationary dangers of the $1.9 trillion bill before it was even signed into law.

Over $500 billion in spending this year from the ARP may further stoke inflation according to Jason Furman, former chairman of the Obama White House Council of Economic Advisers.

Even President Biden recently conceded the ARP made inflation worse:

The president said stimulus funds that he signed into law are in part to blame for demand exceeding the supply of goods, causing a backlog at major US ports and the highest rate of annual inflation since 1990.

“The irony is people have more money now because of the first major piece of legislation I passed. You all got checks for $1,400. You got checks for a whole range of things,” Biden said during a speech in Baltimore.

Despite the stimulus checks and unemployment benefits in the ARP, federal data shows inflation resulted in real wage losses for workers over the last year:

As consumer prices rose, real (inflation-adjusted) average hourly earnings fell 2.4 percent, seasonally adjusted, from December 2020 to December 2021, the BLS also reported on Jan. 12.

Wage increases minus inflation have been negative for nine straight months, economic advisor Ritesh Jain posted.

If you are covering Sen. Hickenlooper’s comments on inflation please consider the following quote from Compass Colorado.

Hickenlooper and Bennet ignored bipartisan warnings about inflation, and now Coloradans are paying the price,” said Compass Colorado Executive Director Kyle Kohli.

When Coloradans see higher prices and lower paychecks, they can thank the reckless spending from John Hickenlooper, Michael Bennet, and Joe Biden.”