Vulnerable Iowa Democrat Cindy Axne Flip-Flops on Calling Inflation Real

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 29: Rep. Cindy Axne (D-IA) speaks during news conference discussing the "Shutdown to End All Shutdowns (SEAS) Act" on January 29, 2019 in Washington, DC. Also pictured is Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN). (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)
Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Rep. Cindy Axne (IA), the lone congressional Democrat from Iowa, has claimed over the last year that inflation is “false advertisements” and that there would be no long-term effect.

Now she has belatedly admitted that inflation is real.

During a recent interview with KNIA-KRLS, a local radio station, Axne was asked if she believed that inflation affecting the economy was linked to the increase in spending from the White House due to the pandemic. Axne said it is “shortsighted” to follow the narrative that the White House caused inflation.

“The facts are that although there is inflation, it isn’t just because of – you can’t ever just – listen, I wouldn’t blame inflation on President Trump, and I’m not going to blame it on President Biden,” Axne said to the radio host. “To do so is so shortsighted and doesn’t look at the reality of things.”

Axne claimed, without evidence, that inflation had surged because of “decades of moving products out of our country” and “decades of putting tax policy in place that hurt working-class families.”  She also blamed the pandemic for higher prices.

Several prominent economists linked to the Democrat party, including Larry Summers, warned last year that the massive spending bills pushed by the Biden administration would spark inflation. Summers was Treasury Secretary in the Clinton administration and the chief White House economist in the Obama administration.

However, Axne — who happily promoted and voted for the Democrats’ $1.2 trillion, 2,702-page so-called bipartisan infrastructure bill last year, which Biden signed into law and has been helping fuel inflation, and voted for the $1.9 trillion covid relief legislation that had sparked the warning from Summers — has made claims in the past that inflation is “false advertisements” and that there is no long-term effect.

Last July, during a town hall, Axne said inflation is a “false advertisement” because people were comparing the 2021 prices to the 2020 prices of consumer goods when she was responding to a constituent wondering if she was “concerned about the rising gas prices and the rise in the cost of consumer goods here in Iowa and in America.”

At the same event, when asked a follow-up on inflation by the Iowa Torcha local news organization, Axne also claimed that “No economists worth their salt has said we’re looking at a long-term inflation problem in any way, shape, or form.” At the time, she believed that the country is seeing “an economy that’s doing really well.”

Also, in July, only days later, Axne dismissed the idea that the economy is experiencing inflation during an interview with a Des Moines television station.

“We’re not even remotely close to a point to say that we’re at rising inflation,” she said, debating that the country needs “to wait ’til we have an actual, an expert, who says that’s what’s happening.” She added: “Right now, we’ve been able to, you know, keep inflation from being a big issue.”

But, despite Axne’s flip-flop on inflation, prominent economists linked to the Democrat party have called out inflation and blamed the Democrats’ spending.

Steve Rattner, who served as counselor to the Treasury Secretary in the Obama administration, wrote last November that Biden’s American Rescue Plan was the “original sin” that caused inflation.

“The bill – almost completely unfunded – sought to counter the effects of the COVID pandemic by focusing on demand-side stimulus rather than on investment,” Rattner added. “That has contributed materially to today’s inflation levels.”

Rattner also said in December on Bloomberg TV that it will “take multiple years” to work inflation out of the economy, and “it is going to be painful.”

Summers warned the country last year on the increase in government spending. During an interview with CNN, Summers said, “I do think that unfortunately some of the predictions that I made about the consequences of stimulus do seem to have come true.”

Nevertheless, inflation is at a 40 year high. It was reported that consumer prices are up 7.5 percent, jumping the most in nearly four decades as the new year started. As a result, inflation is zapping the savings accounts of American family’s basic needs and added pressure on the Federal Reserve to hike the interest rates in March. Breitbart News’s John Carney wrote:

Although many economists and anti-Trump journalists claimed President Donald Trump’s tariffs would raise prices, consumer prices remained low throughout his administration. Trump’s tariffs turned out not to be taxes on consumers. Instead, they were absorbed by Chinese producers and exporters and the profit margins of most large U.S. companies.

Inflation only began to accelerate last March after years of coming in below the Fed’s two percent target. The Fed had decided to keep interest rates low although the economy was recovering at a faster than expected rate. What’s more, the Biden administration pushed through billions of dollars of deficit spending in the American Rescue Plan. These combined to fuel demand for goods and services faster than supplies could expand, pushing up prices.

Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell, following the advice of many of the economists on the central bank’s staff, initially claimed that inflation was due to transitory factors. Fed officials forecast that inflation would fall in the latter half of 2021, predicting that supply chains would swiftly unsnarl and a rebalancing of consumer demand from goods to services would relieve pricing pressure. The Biden administration, under the tutelage of former Fed chair and now Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, largely followed suit and continued to press for even more spending.

At the news of Axne blaming everything but “Biden’s toxic agenda,” the Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), a House Republican-aligned group, slammed the congresswoman for rubber-stamping the agenda.

“Cindy Axne rubber-stamped Biden’s toxic agenda that sent prices through the roof,” said CLF Press Secretary Cally Perkins. “While Axne tries to paper over her failed record, Iowans know exactly who to blame for record price increases.”

Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter.


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