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'Stop spending trillions of dollars' | GOP senators weigh in on rising prices

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and Sen. Todd Young (R-Indiana) said increased spending at the federal level has contributed to rising prices at stores and at the pump.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Republican senators from Indiana and Kentucky are calling on their Democratic counterparts to stop excessive spending habits because it's costing Americans. 

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, said inflation is happening because the government has been spending without getting anything in return.

"Inflation is a regressive tax," Paul said. "It hurts the poor and the elderly and those on fixed incomes more so. It's from spending; it's from offering something for nothing, which is an illusion."

Paul said stimulus checks may have helped people in the short run, but now it's catching up to people who are paying more at the pump and at grocery stores. 

During the pandemic, the federal government spent record-breaking amounts to help sustain a struggling economy.

Paul said he worries the current inflation we're seeing is from last year's spending patterns and, since we're borrowing more money this year, he feels prices could jump even more. 

"This is sort of the rub to people who are might succumb to, 'Oh, this politician says I can have free daycare, or free college or free cell phones,'" Paul said. "It's not really free. It's going to be paid for through inflation, and when you have rising prices, the people who get hurt worse by the higher rising prices are people have lower incomes and people on fixed incomes."

Sen. Todd Young, R-Indiana, also said he thinks the federal government is overspending. 

"The most important thing we can do, frankly, is stop spending trillions of dollars that the American people aren't asking for," Young said. "That exacerbates the current inflation situation, increasing the cost of living and making people's housing and gas and meat and essentials cost way more than they should. This is something that our national Democrats have been responsible for in recent months, and it needs to stop."

Young also suggested waiving tariffs on items that need to be sourced from overseas and removing some restrictions on the trucking industry. 

"We can make sure that we expand the number of hours that our truckers can drive and bring more people into the trucking industry to drive trucks, which is something I have legislation to help advance," Young said. "That too will help free up one of the bottlenecks in our supply chain."

Prices are rising due to a surge in shipping costs. At this time last year, ocean freight rates from China to the U.S. West Coast were $3,847 per 40-foot container. 

Now, the same container will cost $17,377 to ship, according to Freightos, a Hong Kong-based online freight marketplace. 

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 Contact reporter Rachel Droze at rdroze@whas11.com or on FacebookTwitter or Instagram 

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