Ethics Hero: Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.)

We have come to quite a disturbing point in our political culture when an elected official can be designated an Ethics Alarms Ethics Hero for doing nothing more than telling the truth. Yet here we are.

The House Majority Whip wasn’t revealing any great secret, just telling the truth about what Joe Biden and so many other Democrats have been lying about—well, one of the the matters they have been lying about. Asked on MSNBC about the inflation affecting typical citizens that they feel might be caused by Democrats spending like there is no tomorrow, Rep. Clyburn answered, “Well, let me make it very clear. All of us are concerned about these rising costs, and all of us knew this would be the case when we put in place this recovery program. Any time you put more money into the economy, prices tend to rise.”

Oh. So it wasn’t the pandemic, or Trump, or Putin as the President and his paid liar, Karine Jean-Pierre, have been saying for months, or “unanticipated and large shocks to the economy” as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen claimed in June. It was all the spending by Democrats, like the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Biden signed in March, that sent prices soaring, and Democratic leadership knew it would do exactly that. And I guess they weren’t too concerned, since they went ahead with the huge spending bill anyway, even though the Administration was already exploding the National Debt.

Well, thanks for the candor, Congressman. We knew this anyway, but its refreshing to hear one of those most responsible admit it.

23 thoughts on “Ethics Hero: Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.)

    • I suppose there is: Typically the US government creates money by issuing bonds which the Federal Reserve buys with money it just created out of thin air. It seems to me, theoretically, that if the Treasury were to pay off the bonds the Fed could “disappear” that money the same way it was created.

      But that would require reducing the national debt.

    • I believe there is, but it’s supposedly ugly. Inflation is printing too much money. Deflation is generally speaking, printing not enough. Money must be printed every year, both to avoid currency destruction (the bills wear out and need to be replaced) and to keep pace with the growth of capital. My understanding of this is limited, but it is apparently hard to dial in to the exact amount that needs to be printed, so the government targets a 2% inflation and errs on the side of too much money. Not printing enough money, or deflation, is said to be very bad for the economy, so they never want to do that. Reported inflation is above 8%, yet most price indicators I have seen sare in the double digits, so I believe that real inflation is higher. We are in a recession by most counts, no matter what the Democrats keep saying.

      I would like to understand why deflation is a problem more than sky high inflation in a recession.

      • Low-but-positive inflation is preferred because it incentivizes the reinvestment of cash savings in economically productive ways. During deflation, you can grow your savings by stuffing cash into a mattress, so there’s no reason to make capital productive.

  1. … Rep. Clyburn answered, “Well, let me make it very clear. All of us are concerned about these rising costs, and all of us knew this would be the case when we put in place this recovery program. Any time you put more money into the economy, prices tend to rise.”

    While that last is true, at any rate for the reading of “tend to” that means it is how things usually work out unless a lucky break gives a windfall from elsewhere, for the sake of completeness I should mention that there are special cases in which that does not work out that way. Those cases do not apply here, but they can happen and sometimes have happened – albeit rarely. For instance, Hjalmar Schacht used tricks like that in 1930s Germany.

  2. I don’t know. To blithely state the obvious once the horse is in a different county than the barn is kind of annoying. “Brazen” may be a better word. Amounts to, “Sure, we created a bunch of inflationary pressure and knew it. So what?”

  3. Inflation happens when the ratio of money to economic output increases. That can happen because the money supply increased, or economic output decreased, or a combination of both.

    So yes, Democrats’ spending definitely contributed. But the pandemic did too, or rather the public health response to the pandemic, most of which was promoted and prolonged by Democrats. Lockdowns? Absolutely. School closures? Absolutely, education is an economic activity. Eviction moratorium? It sure didn’t incentivize new rental units. Their green war on fossil fuels? All economic activity is downstream of energy. Tolerance of crime? When businesses close, the economy shrinks – shoplifting is not an economic activity.

    Trump and Republicans don’t escape all blame. Spending during the pandemic spiked to astronomical levels, and though Democrats controlled the House, Republicans including Trump went along with it. He also allowed things like the eviction moratorium to continue, though they were championed by distinctly leftist bureaucrats.

    On the whole, though, virtually everything the Democrats have done since 2020 has been practically calculated to increase inflation. Don’t be surprised if the planned Oct 27 release of preliminary GDP figures for Q3 gets delayed, if not outright fabricated.

  4. Ethics Hero…? I suppose he’s an Ethics Hero if Harry Reid was an Ethics Hero for coming clean about his claims about Mitt Romney’s taxes by saying “Hey, it worked, didn’t it?”

    • Thin line of distinction there indeed. Reid’s admission was also very helpful, but it was unnecessary. He was basically admitting that he lied and was proud of it. That’s not what Clyburn did. Clyburn really believes that impovershing Americans is a fair price to pay for advancing the totalitarian agenda, he sees nothing wrong with it, and he’s being open about it, unlike the rest of his party. Good. Now we know what we’re voting for (or against.)

      • As may be. Still, I think that Ethics Hero is the wrong appellation here given other Ethics Hero designees – all of whom have done something ethically heroic, even if they’re otherwise deeply flawed. Clyburn kept mum about all of this until after the deed was done; if he were truly an Ethics Hero, he would have made these points prior to passage. Might I suggest that an alternative designation for such people be brought forth? Perhaps something along the lines of “NOW you tell me! Of The Month”…?

        • DID he keep mum about it? I don’t know that. I just assume he would have made the same point or did, but it wasn’t reported. It took a question by a legitimately inquiring journalist to elicit that statement.

          Nor is it too late. This is, in fact, the perfect time to clarify what’s going on—right before a national election. “That’s your party! That’s your party!” paraphrase Michael Corleone’s sister trying to make Kay see that she is married to a monster. The only difference is that Clyburn, unlike Connie, doesn’t see anything wrong with what his party is doing….and that’s also useful.

  5. Wait a minute: Clyburn rationalized the inflation saying it was choosing between having inflation or losing your right to vote.

    He went on say if people had to choose between paying 10 cents more for gas or losing their right to vote the choice was simple. You need to use all of what he said to understand his “truth telling”.

    • Here is the relevant part of the text of his comments which were extensive.

      “I don’t know of anybody who will say I would rather pay $10 or even 10 cents or even 20 cents less per gallon and allow you to take my rights away, my voting rights away and these other things that we know the other party is doing to suppress votes. That’s a fool’s choice we will not make.”

      “But why ask people to make that choice?” Diaz-Balart pushed back. “In other words, does economic policy necessarily equate what you’re talking about?”

      “Economic policy is always a concern. Look, I came out of a household that had difficulty with voting rights … People are voting on more than whether or not you run up the cost of gasoline.”

      He went on to blame Trump for not his “inept” handling of the pandemic and went on to say the Biden administration stopped the runaway death rates, opened businesses and schools, etc.

      If Clyburn is an ethics hero for stating the obvious, then I don’t understand ethics at all.

      • Clyburn is, in fact, an idiot. But his candor is important and helpful. He is telling us that…
        1. His party and he are not merely bungling into a recession and a harmful period of inflation that hurts all but the richest Americans, but are deliberately inflicting taht harm because they believe their ideological goals for long-term transformation of American society justify that pain and harm.
        2. This means that he and his party are being honest about who and what they are.
        3.He, at least, is not resorting to gaslighting and denying what should be apparent. He is telling the truth. This is what his party is.
        4. Why he (and the party) think it’s right to be this way is irrelevant. he’s being honest, and doesn’t even see how damning his admission is.
        5. Nor is he relying on the media to lie for him and the party, though they are doing its anyway, because that is who THEY are.
        6. He’s more ethical than anyone else in the party. He’s not following Alinsky. He’s sayng that his party believes that its better to have Americans poor than free.

        Got it! Thanks, Jim. And bravo.

      • He went on to blame Trump for not his “inept” handling of the pandemic and went on to say the Biden administration stopped the runaway death rates, opened businesses and schools, etc.

        Most Americans who died of COVID died under FJB’s watch.

  6. Clyburn said, “Well, let me make it very clear, all of us are concerned about these rising costs. And all of us knew this would be the case when we put in place this recovery program. Any time you put more money into the economy, prices tend to rise. And we do know that price gouging takes place. … We knew that the moment we went to aid the Ukrainians, the Russians would do what they could possibly do to undercut this administration. So, they cut this deal with the OPEC nations to reduce the production of oil so as to drive the price of gasoline up.”

    He later added that Biden “has restored the Americans’ confidence in this democracy. He came into office at a time when COVID-19 was running rampant throughout the country. People were dying, over a million people died. He arrested all of that. He put cash in people’s pockets. He put children back in school, unshuttered businesses. And we are now tackling our infrastructure, the largest infrastructure plan since Eisenhower’s interstate highway we have now put in place, broadband in every home, schools getting fixed up for climate change. And we are doing the things that are necessary to reduce costs for medicine and other things that people need.

    Yep. No gaslighting here.

    When you know that no amount of economic contortions can save you from the laws of supply and demand you have to admit the obvious and resort to rationalizations and other methods of deceit.

    • To people like Clyburn, Biden has “restored the Americans’ confidence in this democracy,” because people like Clyburn think “democracy’ means race-based hand-outs, open borders and political show trials. No gaslighting. Again: it is great to drop the mask. I bet Democratic consultants are rending their garments over Clyburn’s candor.

      • I concur that he dropped the mask but he did so not to expose the anti- democratic sentiments of his party he was rationalizing an incompetent plan and lying about accomplishments. Perhaps we are analyzing the behavior from different angles

    • I always marvel when the Democrats point fingers at Russia and OPEC for the high gas prices. Under Trump, we were producing enough oil to export it – if they had simply not touched that chunk of the economy, Russia would have stopped exporting, Europe would have turned to us, and we’d be in the middle of an economic boom. We’d be looking at the 1920’s instead of the 1930’s for inspiration. But, no – gotta appease the greenies first and foremost.

  7. Not sure, Jack. Maybe Clyburn being an Ethics Hero is simply too clever by half?*

    *I love using that phrase. Not sure what it means, but it just sounds great!

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