Mississippi Treasurer David McRae 

Mississippi Treasurer David McRae 

 

The Halloween candy is gone in our house, which can only mean the holiday season is nearly upon us. Many families have already begun planning their Thanksgiving menus while others are strategizing about their Black Friday shopping routes. Whatever your tradition, 2021’s holiday season is expected to be the most expensive in history due to unprecedented inflation.

By some counts, turkey prices are up 27 percent, potatoes are up 13 percent and cranberries are up 5 percent. Even a pumpkin pie at Costco costs 17 percent more than it did last year.

Meanwhile, stores are struggling to fill the shelves. As such, the Black Friday competition might not be on price, but on availability of the gifts you’re looking to find.

The supply chain disruption is a direct result of the policies coming out of the Biden administration, which have disincentivized work and driven up energy costs.

For example, just as the economy was starting to recover from COVID-era shutdowns, the Biden administration offered bloated unemployment benefits that surpassed the wages of available jobs. As a result, the White House provided an unprecedented incentive for Americans to stay out of the workforce.

Months later, the administration deepened America’s worker shortage by attempting to enforce a vaccine mandate, pushing employers to fire those willing to show up but who were hesitant about getting the jab.

Now, let me be clear: I have personally chosen to be vaccinated. But that was my choice based on the research I did. I hope all Mississippians do their own homework and make their own choice on the matter, but I will not support having the government make this decision for you. That’s why I announced early on that State Treasury employees would not be mandated to get the vaccine.

Thankfully, I join a chorus of Mississippi policymakers, including Gov. Tate Reeves, who are taking the fight against the vaccine mandate to the Biden administration, and in recent weeks, their efforts have been resoundingly successful in the courts.

The other major contributing factor to the supply-chain crisis is the administration’s attack on America’s energy independence. On Day 1, President Biden shut down the Keystone XL Pipeline by executive order. Months later, he offered a budget that would eliminate fossil fuels. Now, he’s attempting to shut down a pipeline in Michigan – all while begging Russia and OPEC to increase their oil production. These actions have dramatically increased the price of fuel, thereby increasing the cost of transportation and energy.

As the state’s top financial officer, these signs are distressing. We will continue to fight these poor policies in whatever way we can. Additionally, we’re doubling down on our efforts to return unclaimed money to the people of Mississippi this holiday season — think of it as an economic stimulus that doesn’t add a penny to the burden taxpayers already bear. Please join us in this effort by searching for unclaimed money in your name at Treasury.MS.gov/UnclaimedMoney.

David McRae is the 55th Treasurer for Mississippi. He helps manage the state’s cash flow, oversees College Savings Mississippi and has returned more than $30 million in unclaimed money to Mississippians. For more information, visit Treasury.MS.gov.

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