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The Inflation Blame Game

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/David Goldman, Fil

The average American family is struggling right now. With historically high inflation and sky-rocketing energy prices, household costs are a staggering 8.5 percent more than they were just one year ago. The reason for all this is runaway spending from the Biden administration and Democrats in Congress. Heading into the midterms, Republicans should be laser-focused on helping the American people deal with these soaring costs. So why on earth is one GOP senator teaming up with Democrats to help big businesses raise prices and shift blame for inflation? 


In late July, Republican Senator Roger Marshall of Kansas inexplicably partnered with Democrat Dick Durbin of Illinois to introduce a bill that will completely overhaul how credit cards work. This legislation will take away consumer choice, hurt small local banks and businesses, and line the pockets of major retailers.  

The bill would enforce wholesale new regulations on credit card transactions.

Right now, individual consumers choose which credit network to use by choosing which credit cards they own. But if Durbin and Marshall get their way, the merchant will make that choice. It will be a race to the bottom as unknown networks with questionable security join the fray. Individual financial data could be put at risk. The end result could be equally devastating for local banks and credit unions.  

If this bill becomes law, America’s local financial institutions will be hit hard. These regulations will make it difficult for small banks to obtain financial inclusion, and they will have to limit their credit exposure as a result. That means hundreds of thousands of Americans could lose their access to credit and ability to secure a mortgage, car loans, and college funding.   


By partnering with Democrats on this effort, Marshall is providing a layup to the Democratic National Committee on its inflation messaging.

In May, Marshall signed a letter with Durbin to credit card companies blaming them for driving inflation. According to the Wall Street Journal, the letter argued that American credit card companies like Visa and Mastercard are making inflation worse by increasing fees for businesses. That’s wrong in two ways. First, fees were actually lowered for many small businesses. Second, job-creating American companies don’t drive inflation — terrible policy does. Since taking control of the White House and Congress in January 2021, Democrats in Washington have wasted trillions of taxpayer dollars. Just last week, they rammed through another $750 billion worth of spending, claiming it will tame inflation.  

The idea that credit card companies fuel inflation is ridiculous, and this legislation is a pathetic attempt by Durbin and fellow Democrats to shift blame. The American people aren’t falling for it. A recent CNN poll found that just 25 percent of Americans approve of Biden’s handling of inflation. They know who is responsible for the high grocery costs and soaring prices at the pump, and it isn’t credit card companies. It’s Democratic politicians and apparently some rogue Republicans like Marshall. And make no mistake about it: they will make their voices heard come November. 


 Jerry Rogers is the Vice President of the Institute for Liberty and the host of the Jerry Rogers Show on WBAL NewsRadio. Follow him on Twitter @JerryRogersShow


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