While the Federal Reserve made news last week by raising its expectations on rapidly increasing inflation and moving up its timeframe on interest rate hikes, it was hardly breaking news to Kentuckians across our Commonwealth. They’ve felt the effects of rising costs for months.

Now more than ever, Americans need to wake up to the profound repercussions of excessive spending and rising inflation.

We currently have a $28 trillion deficit, and $3.1 trillion of that has been from just this past year. It will only continue to grow if the Democrats in Congress continue to give ‘free’ handouts and push massive spending bills that are filled with pork barrel spending.

Just a few weeks ago, while traveling through western Kentucky, a common theme I heard was a lack of labor participation because of increased unemployment benefits and a rise in prices caused by increased demand.

A local pizza shop in Murray, Kentucky has seen a rise in ingredient costs. A car dealership in Owensboro, Kentucky, has seen little to no incoming new car shipments from their manufacturer because of supply chain issues. And almost everywhere in Kentucky we are seeing a shortage of workers.

Of course, if you pay people more not to work than they would get for working, guess which one they’ll choose. Kentucky is one among very few states that is continuing COVID-19 unemployment benefits, and that includes an extra $300 a week to those on unemployment.

I like to refer to this as the ‘big heart, small brain’ syndrome in Washington. Lawmakers have big hearts, and so do I. I don’t enjoy seeing people suffer, and I wish we could do more to help. But if you give people $50,000 a year not to work, no one making less than $50,000 a year will want to work.

This type of disastrous fiscal and monetary policy might stimulate things in the beginning, but it will eventually deteriorate the currency and discourage capitalism.

If continued, we will not only burden our children, but also our grandchildren with unimaginable debt, higher taxes, and a worthless currency.

Do we really want to be the next Venezuela where 1 million in currency is worth 53 cents?

The Fed has said the rise in inflation is simply transitory because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but I say it’s just an excuse for more government spending and borrowing.

Just in May, beef prices rose 2.3 percent, airlines by 7 percent, and household furnishings by 0.9 percent. (If you’re watching your budget, perhaps you might want to think twice before eating steak for dinner!)

Large food manufacturers and companies have also seen an increase in supply chain problems, along with worker shortages, causing many to now raise consumer prices. General Mills, Campbell’s Soup, Chipotle, Cracker Barrel, and Shake Shack are among those hiking prices to offset rising supply costs and employee wages.

A $1,400 stimulus check is little of benefit when a burrito costs $18 and a box of cereal is $6.

We added three trillion dollars’ worth of debt last year. We’re probably going to add the same, if not more this year. Every dollar we print to service our debt reduces the value of the money in your pocket.

History needs to demonstrate that someone actually cares about the deficit and that it does matter. I promise to continually fight to restore fiscal responsibility and honest monetary policy, that won’t waste your tax dollars, and will always provide practical solutions for the people of Kentucky.

You can read the Op-Ed HERE.