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With Biden Absent, Some Southwest States Combat Inflation

Erin Norman, senior messaging strategist at State Policy Network, recently published critical commentary of President Joe Biden’s inflation-fighting plan.

Introduced last week, Biden highlights his plan in the Wall Street Journal. Composed of over 1,100 words, he spent one third of the article telling Americans how good things are right now.

But the public begs to differ. CNN released a poll finding 77 percent of Americans have a dismal view of the country’s economy. Worse, State Policy Network’s polling shows that 95 percent of Americans are concerned about inflation.

The consumer price index does not lie. The last 24 months have seen marked increase in inflation at the hands of reckless monetary policy from the waning days of Trump, aggravated by actions from the Biden administration with continued money-printing. December 2021 saw inflation rise to 7 percent, and 2022 is looking just as bad, if not worse.

AAA tracks gas prices in each state, with the price of one gallon of regular unleaded gasoline skyrocketing to $6.37 in California. The average price throughout the southwest crossed the $5.00 threshold to $5.07.

With a crumbling economy and inflation out of control, Biden is absent at the helm. Some states have stepped up to fill the void. Utah has cut taxes and Arizona courts have halted an income tax increase. No such help exists for California, and New Mexico has resorted to tax rebates.

If southwestern states suspended gas taxes like New York, motorists would save millions of dollars annually. Cutting the gas tax in New Mexico would save families over $240 million at the pump, every year.

Cutting taxes and issuing refunds are exactly what voters say they need. In the same SPN poll, 65 percent of voters stated that state tax relief will have a positive impact on their personal finances. States should continue taking the lead on policy, as they are able to delivery faster, more effective, and more meaningful solutions than Washington.

By Patrick M. Brenner

Patrick Brenner is the founder and president of the Southwest Public Policy Institute, a limited-government research institute and think tank focused on the southwestern United States. An advocate for open government, he leads the institute's government transparency and accountability efforts.

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