Weekly Column

Last February, I stopped by a coffee shop in central Nebraska. A cozy community hub, the shop was known for its great coffee and fantastic food and pastries. A variety of Nebraskans sat at tables or in circles of family and friends with coffee in hand.

This coffee shop was a regular stop for me when I visited that town. The owner loved his shop, but he told me about some of the challenges he was experiencing as prices rolled toward peak inflation. His electric bill had skyrocketed from only $40 a month to over $300 a month — a 650% increase.

Sadly, shortly after my visit, that coffee shop closed. Inflation got the best of it — just like many other businesses across our state and our country. The effects of our bloated economy are tragic for families, businesses, and consumers. 

As millions struggle, President Biden is making claims he can’t support. In a speech earlier this month in South Carolina, the president said of his economic agenda: “Our plan is working.” He claimed that his plan, nicknamed “Bidenomics,” is working “in rural America, the heartland, all across America.”

As Nebraskans, we are the American heartland. From coffee shops to ranches to kitchen tables, we don’t think Bidenomics is working. 

I get letters every day from Nebraskans who are struggling under inflation, kickstarted by this administration’s almost two trillion-dollar stimulus package in 2021. I regularly hear stories of hardship from my fellow Nebraskans — whether they’re farmers, teachers, or small business owners.

As one of our Nebraska farmers told me a few weeks ago, “Prices take the elevator up, but the stairs down.” Inflation causes costs to rise quickly, and they stay up there for a long time. One big economically irresponsible move from the administration sets the stage for years of struggles. That’s Bidenomics in Nebraska.

I came across an article earlier this year in which several rural businesses shared their struggles with a local newspaper. Business owners said that they felt “at a loss” for what to do as their livelihoods crumble under economic pressure. 

A honey farmer shared that consistently rising prices squeeze his family into a difficult position when doing things as simple as putting their honey in jars. Sometimes they can only afford to get containers or lids for their honey — but not both. 

“We’re kind of forgotten about way out here,” he said. That’s Bidenomics in Nebraska. 

And, as the Biden administration chatters about its support for the middle class, thousands of people in that category are pulling out all the stops to pay their necessary expenses.

The Salvation Army of Lincoln reported a couple months ago that it’s seen a 50% increase in service requests in just a year. People are going to charities to get help paying rent and utilities as the economy suffers. That’s Bidenomics in Nebraska.

Nebraskans aren’t listening to the administration’s inflated claims about helping the middle class, but they are listening to mortgage increases and dwindling savings accounts. I think the President should step down from the podium, stop delivering empty promises, and actually get down to business fixing the disaster he’s created.

As a member of the U.S. Senate, that’s what I’ll continue pushing as I write and vote on legislation. We need an economy that works, not one that’s being damaged for the sake of a political agenda. That means cutting unnecessary government spending that propels inflation. That means reversing the excessive regulation that’s holding our economy back. I’ll keep showing up for Nebraskans and showing the administration that Bidenomics is harming us.

Thank you for participating in the democratic process. I look forward to visiting with you again next week.

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