According to the Democrats and many mainstream pundits, the US economy is “resilient.” As Laura Ingraham put it, “it’s all peaches and cream according to Joe and his team.”
But what’s the truth?
Peter Schiff painted a less rosy picture during his appearance on The Ingraham Angle, saying the coming currency crisis is going to fuel the inflationary fire.
Setting up the discussion, Ingraham pointed out that the savings rate has dropped to the lowest level since the Great Recession. Meanwhile, Americans are piling up debt. Meanwhile, we’re starting to see significant layoffs, especially in this tech sector. Is this a sign of a healthy economy?
Former UBS America CEO Robert Wolf said he does see a bright side in all this, arguing that this is nothing like 2008. He said we’re not seeing a lot of leverage in the banking system, the labor market appears strong, and American consumers continue to spend. He said he’s worried about inflation but doesn’t anticipate a “hard landing.”
Peter said he agrees in a way — it’s not like the 2008 recession or the financial crisis.
It’s actually going to be much worse than that. This is just the beginning. I think we’ve been in a stealth recession all year. But I think the recession is going to get much worse in 2023. But what’s also going to get a lot worse is inflation. Because one thing that has kept the lid on consumer prices in 2022 has been the strength of the dollar. But I think the dollar has lost that strength.”
The dollar index has been falling. In fact, in November, the dollar had its worst month in 12 years. The first few days in December weren’t much better.
I think we’re going to have a currency crisis in 2023, and that’s going to fuel the inflation fire just as the unemployment rate is really spiking and this recession is kicking into a higher gear.”
Ingraham pointed out that consumers aren’t particularly optimistic. She also noted that with the Strategic Petroleum Reserve having been drawn down, we’re about out of ideas in terms of controlling energy prices. Wolf agreed that energy prices will likely continue to be an issue.
Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently blamed the inflation problem on consumers spending money on goods during the pandemic. She’s not completely wrong. But as Peter pointed out, she left out half of the equation.
What Janet Yellen is overlooking is just where did all these consumers sitting at home get all this money to buy all that stuff? They got the money from the US government that flooded the economy with PPP money and unemployment benefits that in many cases were two to three times what people earned when they actually had jobs. And so the government made it possible for the unemployed to sit at home and keep spending money as if they still had jobs and were productive members of society. So, the inflation was created by government.”
Wolf mentioned tax cuts, but Peter said that’s not the answer.
We just substitute taxation for inflation. What we actually need are big cuts in government spending. And unfortunately, we’re not getting that. We’re getting more government spending.”