'Inflation is a tax:' Manchin pins blame on Biden administration for slow response

"When will this end? It is a disservice to the American people to act as if inflation is a new phenomenon," said the senator.

Updated: April 12, 2022 - 3:59pm

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Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin on Tuesday afternoon blamed the Biden administration for the record inflation numbers reported earlier this day, saying it "failed to act fast enough."

"The Federal Reserve and the administration failed to act fast enough, and today’s data is a snapshot in time of the consequences being felt across the country," said Manchin, a moderate in a heavily Republican state. "The American people deserve the truth about why record inflation is happening and what must be done to control it."

The Labor Department reported Tuesday its Consumer Price Index had risen 8.5% over the last 12 months, the highest number on record since the early 1980s. 

Manchin referred to the figures as a "chilling story about how these taxes on Americans are completely out of control."

He says that the hard-earned incomes and savings of Americans are being drained by sky-high inflation numbers.

Food prices are up 8.8% in the last year, and 1% in March alone. Gas prices, which have been a major source of political tension within the administration of late, were up 48% year over year, following an 18.3% increase in March.

“Let me be clear, inflation is a tax and today’s historic inflation data tells another chilling story about how these taxes on Americans are completely out of control," the West Virginia senator said.

Manchin has for months been warning about the hardships and political realities of inflation for months

Rising cost numbers were a key reason, according to the senator, that he opted not to support the administration's signature Build Back Better agenda.

"Here is the truth, we cannot spend our way to a balanced, healthy economy and continue adding to our $30 trillion national debt," he said. "Getting inflation under control will require more aggressive action by a Federal Reserve that waited too long to act. It demands the administration and Congress, Democrats and Republicans alike, support an all-the-above energy policy because that is the only way to bring down the high price of gas and energy while attacking climate change.

"The United States of America is equipped to be energy independent from Russia and other terror-sponsoring countries while also working to fight global climate change and break our dependence on the critical mineral supply change from China."

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