Why it matters: There is no way to sugar coat the rise in prices, as some do by saying core inflation–excluding food and energy prices–is not high. Inflation excluding those things was 4% on annual basis in September. That is still high.
Be smart: We are having persistent, lasting inflation at levels higher than most anticipated, and it’s likely to continue well in to 2022.
- If we do not see signs that inflation is easing soon, the Fed will need to act by raising interest rates and wringing liquidity out of financial markets. That will slow our recovery. For now, the Fed sees inflation as still being temporary and will thus hold off on those actions.
Bottom Line: Inflation’s persistence makes it even more important that Congress scrap the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill. A spending bill that large, with much of the spending focused on funding personal consumption, will stoke inflation in the longer-term.
—Curtis Dubay, Senior Economist, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
TOP OF MIND
Take the Quiz! What’s in the Reconciliation Bill?
The reconciliation bill pending in the House of Representatives is 2,468 pages long and costs trillions of dollars. It includes hundreds of disparate provisions, and it’s likely no lawmaker understands all that’s in it.
Why it matters: The bill will contribute to inflation and is partially funded by punitive taxes that will destroy our fragile economic recovery.
What we’re doing: To educate lawmakers–and Chamber members–we’ve put together a quiz
on what’s in the massive bill. Here’s a question:
True or False: By 2027, taxpayers with incomes between $30,000 and $40,000 will pay more in federal taxes than they will under current law. (Answer is below)
Also, this week, the Chamber launched a second wave
of paid advertising opposing the reconciliation bill. Like the first round of ads
last month, these appeal to voters who understand the perils of raising taxes as the nation seeks to recover from the pandemic.
Answer: True as confirmed by the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation.
Discover & Deliver: Chamber Supports Local Innovators Across America
As Democrats debate how to reduce the size of the budget reconciliation package, it remains an open question
which healthcare provisions on their wish list will make the final cut. It’s also unclear whether the bill will include government price controls on pharmaceuticals, one of the primary ways Democrats propose to pay for the massive social spending package.
What happened: Yesterday, the Chamber’s Global Innovation Policy Center talked to local media
around the country about the importance of advancing medical innovation.
- More than 800,000 Americans jobs are directly supported by the American biopharmaceutical industry, supporting more than three million additional jobs in related industries. These jobs underpin local economies across the country.
- The innovative scientific community is also conducting more than 140,000 clinical trials across all 50 states to explore the potential of the therapeutics and vaccines we need to fight disease—from coronavirus to cancer.
Why it matters: Congress should focus on common-sense reforms that encourage, inspire, and protect American ingenuity–and reject proposals that undermine innovation through government-negotiated drug pricing proposals, like those included in the reconciliation bill.
Bottom line: With the right laws in place, we can ensure that America’s innovation ecosystem continues to thrive.
—Kelly Anderson, Senior Director, Health and Drug Policy, Global Innovation Policy Center
The Importance of Cybersecurity to the Energy Sector
Today, the Global Energy Institute hosted the latest installment of its EnergyInnovates series with a discussion on “Cybersecurity and the Energy Sector.”
Why it matters: The energy sector has long been a target of hackers and cyber criminals, however, this critical industry sector continues to treat the threat seriously to ensure that energy keeps flowing.
It is critical that the government and business work together to reduce vulnerabilities and maximize the resilience of our critical energy infrastructure from cyber threats.
- “This is all about the private sector as the target, and the federal government as the partner in protecting the integrity of these systems.” – Sen. Angus King (I-ME)
- “Last year’s National Defense Authorization Act contained over 25 legislative proposals introduced by the Cyberspace Solarium Commission…. I would submit that it was the most consequential piece of cybersecurity legislation ever passed in the country’s history.” – Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI)
- "In dealing with this existential threat, it's not just cyber. It's cyber and it's physical. The remedies to help harden the defenses must be both that: cyber and physical.” – Tom Fanning, Chairman, President and CEO, Southern Company
CHAMBER IN ACTION
- The worker shortage crisis “is one of the biggest problems threatening the country,” Chamber President and CEO Suzanne Clark told the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit, yesterday.
- “The worker shortage we are facing today has been exacerbated by the pandemic, but we will not see all of the nation's open jobs filled until we fix our workforce training system,” writes the Chamber’s Vice President of Education and Workforce Cheryl Oldham in an op-ed in Newsweek outlining why employers should invest in skilling.
- Yesterday, the Department of Homeland Security said it would allow non-essential travelers from Canada and Mexico, who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19, to enter the U.S. over land beginning next month. “This shift will allow long separated families to reunite after many months apart,” said Chamber Vice President of Immigration Policy Jon Baselice. “Safely lifting these travel bans will help struggling communities get back on their feet.”
- On Wednesday, the Chamber and the Center for Audit Quality hosted their Future of Audit Quality event. Catch up on the event and learn about the future of the auditing industry from leading professionals.
- With Support Your Local Chamber Day just around the corner on October 20th, this blog post on Above the Fold will help you celebrate and highlight your local chamber.