Biden planning to use cold-war era law in attempt to lower prices


If you’re an American and you haven’t noticed your wallet being pinched by increasing prices for almost everything, you’re either doing very well for yourself or you’re blissfully unaware of your surroundings. Either way, congratulations. But for everyone else, the economic pain has been hitting home and that reality continues to be reflected in Joe Biden’s eroding approval ratings. The situation has apparently reached the point where his handlers have realized that jawing about “Bidenomics” isn’t working and Uncle Joe will be forced to leap into action. So what’s the plan? It’s the same one that he’s rolled out before when he feels stuck between a rock and a hard place. Biden will once again break the rules and invoke the Defense Production Act, this time to attempt to forcibly increase the domestic production levels of medicines to drive down prescription drug prices. Nobody seems to be moving to stop this obvious abuse of the DPA because it’s all being done under a declaration of a “national security threat” caused by prescription drug costs.

From The Guardian:

The White House has announced it plans to use a cold-war era law to ease supply chain issues that the administrations argues are contributing to higher inflation – a key electoral challenge to Joe Biden’s re-election chances next year as polling consistently suggests voters are not buying his Bidenomics pitch.

In a statement, the White House said Biden will use the Defense Production Act to improve the domestic manufacturing of medicines deemed crucial for national security and will convene the first meeting of the president’s supply chain resilience council to announce other measures tied to the production and shipment of goods.

“We’re determined to keep working to bring down prices for American consumers and ensure the resilience of our supply chains for the future,” said Lael Brainard, director of the White House national economic council and a co-chair of the new supply chain council, in a separate statement.

Once again, this is not remotely close to the original purpose of the Defense Production Act and it’s an obvious effort to skirt congressional oversight and rule by executive fiat. It’s not that prescription drug prices aren’t a problem for many people in certain situations. They definitely are. But there are ways to address that without going the full authoritarian route. Biden is seeking to invoke wartime presidential powers when he hasn’t managed to get us into an actual war. (At least yet.)

He clearly doesn’t plan to stop with prescription drugs. He’s simultaneously convening a “supply chain resilience council” to determine other orders related to the “production and shipment of goods.” We used to have a thing in this country known as “the free market.” Production levels were determined by manufacturers and suppliers based on the rules of supply and demand. It served us well for a long time. During some periods when war was taking place, the DPA was an appropriate tool to use temporarily to ensure that the military’s needs were met in a timely fashion. It was not created to try to improve a president’s failing poll numbers by artificially driving down prices.

Of course, doing the job properly would require some significant work that this White House clearly is not interested in doing. You could lower inflation by putting a stop to the endless mountains of imaginary money that they keep having the Fed print. Fake money increases inflation and drives up prices and interest rates. To the surprise of no person with a functional brain, that’s what we’ve been observing for three years. If you stop doing that, prices and interest rates will begin to go back down, along with inflation. But that would require sacrifice and potential cuts that may be politically unpopular. And we can’t have that during an election year, now can we?

Congress has the ability to challenge this abuse of the DPA through the courts. The fact that no serious action along these lines has been attempted probably tells us all we need to know in terms of how things are running in the swamp these days. Most Republicans are still complaining about spending and the deficit, but few do much about it. When they attempt to, as the House GOP is currently doing with the Ukraine aid bill, Democrats rush en masse to defeat the measure, aided by far too many Senate Republicans. Until there is a thorough housecleaning in Washington, hopefully during the next election, don’t expect to see much if any progress.

Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher (aka HP Pundit) is not a Democrat or Republican. He is a free thinking independent bringing you news and commentary with a dose of much needed common sense.

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