Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who officially launched his presidential campaign on Wednesday, told Fox News host Tucker Carlson that evening that inflation in the U.S. is being caused by out-of-control government deficit spending.
He added that this is in effect a tax that hits the lowest-income Americans the hardest.
“The general theme of my speech was this corrupt merger of state and corporate power, which is turning our country into a corporate kleptocracy, into a system of cushy socialism for the rich and this kind of brutal, merciless capitalism for the poor,” Kennedy said of his campaign launch speech in Boston.
The Democrat is the son of former Attorney General Robert Kennedy and the nephew of President John Kennedy.
Kennedy highlighted the incongruity of the federal government’s policy of funding the war in Ukraine to the tune of $113 billion in 2022 and bailing out Silicon Valley Bank and others for billions more, while cutting food stamps and medical coverage for Americans.
Pandemic-era enhancements to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) ended in 32 states last month. Additionally, the increased eligibility for Medicaid allowed during the pandemic will phase out by the end of this year.
Kennedy noted the federal government has been paying for the war in Ukraine, bank bailouts and other programs by printing money.
“We’ve printed 10 centuries of money in the last 14 years,” he said.
The nation’s money supply in circulation (referred to as M1) went from about $1.6 trillion in 2009 to $19.3 trillion by February of this year. The biggest spike came during the pandemic when it went from $4.3 trillion in March 2020 to $20.6 trillion in March 2022.
Much of this was caused by multitrillion-dollar, bipartisan-approved COVID relief deficit spending in 2020.
When President Joe Biden took office in January 2021, he and the Democrat-controlled Congress kept the spigot open with the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, the Inflation Reduction Act and other new appropriation bills.
Primer: The principal causes of America’s inflation crisis are Dems’ spending & Powell’s printing.
When he took the reins of the @federalreserve, the M1 money supply stood at $3.6 trillion. In just four years, he’s increased it to $20.7, almost 600%. And he’s still printing. 1/ pic.twitter.com/nIZpCBjn8h
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) April 4, 2022
All this deficit spending paid for with Federal Reserve-printed money “caused the inflation, which raises food [prices], which is a tax on the poor,” Kennedy contended.
“We’ve raised food prices for basic foods like chicken, dairy and milk by 76 percent in the last two years and now we’re cutting people’s food stamps and bailing out banks the same month. It doesn’t make any sense,” he said.
During the Carter administration in the late 1970s, the last time the country experienced high inflation, Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman explained that deficit spending is the true cause of prices spiking.
“Inflation is made in Washington because only Washington can create money, and any other attribution to other groups of inflation is wrong,” he said.
“Inflation is made in Washington, because only Washington can create money. And any other attribution to other groups for inflation is wrong…”
– Milton Friedman pic.twitter.com/rOgtMgPzX9
— Tea Party Patriots (@TPPatriots) August 8, 2022
“Consumers don’t produce it. Producers don’t produce it. The trade unions don’t produce it. Foreign sheiks don’t produce it. Oil imports don’t produce it. What produces it is too much government spending and too much government creation of money and nothing else,” Friedman added.
The economist served as a top adviser to President Ronald Reagan, whose administration successfully brought inflation down from nearly 13 percent to 3.8 percent by 1982.
A version of this article originally appeared on Patriot Project.