OP/ED: Congressman Doug LaMalfa discusses spending, supply shortages, soaring prices

Submitted by the Office of Congressman Doug LaMalfa

As we head into the holiday season, Americans are beginning to see the real-time impacts of President Biden’s attempt to navigate America out of a recession while simultaneously proposing trillions of dollars worth of tax-and-spend legislation. The economy is already flush with cash due to all the stimulus checks, unemployment benefits, and higher wages that have granted American consumers greater spending power.

We already saw the effects of this last year when Amazon’s profits soared 220% over the course of the COVID pandemic, and the volume of imports delivered to our shores increased by more than 20%. Yet, the administration is also pushing a $1 trillion infrastructure bill and a reconciliation bill that adds another $2 trillion in spending. This additional $3 trillion of spending will fuel more demand, both directly — such as in the form of increased purchases of parts for electric-charging stations — and indirectly, as subsidies push more consumer spending elsewhere.


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However, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has insisted the backlog of goods and increased prices are positive signs. By his logic, the supply chain crisis we are facing is due to the simple fact that “demand is up, because income is up, because the President has successfully guided this economy out of the teeth of a terrifying recession.” Unfortunately, this lack of concern is not unique in the President’s Cabinet. Jen Psaki, the White House Press Secretary, condensed this very real crisis down to a “tragedy of the treadmill that’s delayed.” These comments demonstrate a complete disregard for not only the impact this unprecedented backlog of goods at our ports, but also for our farmers that already had to contend with a historic drought this year.

This picture from the Port of Long Beach, on October 16, 2021, shows cargo containers lined on the docks, ships, and railyard in addition to the large amount of ships waiting off the coast. Office of Congressman Doug LaMalfa photo

Earlier this year, I was hearing from constituents in the agriculture industry that had no way to export their crops due to foreign shipping companies opting to return to Asia without American goods. Chinese shipping companies decided to violate trade laws by solely exporting to the U.S., and to date, the Biden administration has yet to call them out for the havoc they are wrecking on California farmers, and the supply chain generally. To date, three in four containers from the U.S. are going back empty, according to Redwood Logistics CEO Mark Yeager, and in October, during peak harvest season, 80% of scheduled shipments were canceled.

Californian exports accounted for more than 10% of all U.S. exports in 2020, and when it comes to agriculture, California accounted for 16% of all U.S. exports in 2019. The standstill is severely damaging America’s farmers. Strawberries, blueberries, walnuts, almonds, and many other California products are perishing as they wait to be loaded. American truck drivers are being punished for these delays, even though ports are operating slowly and foreign ships are leaving before their cargo is loaded. The situation is out of our truckers’ control, but they are forced to pay the bill.

The Biden Administration and Governor Gavin Newsom finally agreed last month to move ports to 24/7 operations, but this will take nearly two years to work – by which time most U.S. producers and truck drivers will be out of business, and foreign countries will have found new markets to replace America.

These are national average numbers (I wish gas was that cheap in California). Office of Congressman Doug LaMalfa photo

In the meantime, Americans are on track to having the most expensive holiday season in history. According to the American Farm Bureau, the cost of turkey will jump by nearly a third – from $1.21 per pound to $1.60 per pound. The rapid onset of inflation is already affecting the cost of bacon (which has gone up 19.30%), pork (12.70%), meat and eggs (12.60%), and chicken (8.1%).


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Even though prices were at an all-time low last year, this Thanksgiving is expected to set a series of new record highs. Pent up demand from COVID shutdowns, combined with overspending by President Biden and Congressional Democrats, and a lack of attention to our supply chains has boosted inflation into dangerous levels. I hope everyone banked that $0.16 the Biden Administration bragged about saving on July 4th festivities, because everything from fuel to food will cost a lot more this holiday season, if you can find it.

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Trevor Montgomery, 50, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).

Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.