As the American media machine hyperbolizes about the situation in Ukraine, to distract from former Vice President Biden’s catastrophic failure with the economy and free-falling approval rating, some things are having a much larger effect on average Americans.
Putin’s posturing along the Russia-Ukraine border could not be less important to the families in rural America struggling under 7.0%+ inflation. That family should be more concerned about Jerome Powell and the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) plan to combat the looming economic armageddon, but the media focuses on external threats. Outside of the US, the rest of the world has a much more tempered view of the situation in Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reprimanded Biden’s rhetoric on the Ukraine-Russia situation by saying,
There are signals even from respected leaders of states, they just say that tomorrow there will be war. This is panic – how much does it cost for our state? We don’t have a Titanic here, I don’t consider the situation now more tense than before.
Of course, this is not the first time that the corporate press in the US has made geopolitical events between Russia and Ukraine seem a bigger deal than they were. In fact, part of the justification for the hysteria from American officials and media pundits is their claim that since Putin has already taken part of Ukraine (referring to Crimea), there is a good chance he will launch another invasion to take more of the country.
The common perception in the West is that Putin took Crimea by either force or a thinly veiled threat of force, but is that true? According to RT News,
With over 75 percent of the votes already counted, preliminary results show that 95.7 percent of voters said ‘yes’ to the reunion of the republic with Russia as a constituent unit of the Russian Federation. Only 3.2 percent of the ballots were cast for staying with Ukraine as an Autonomous Republic with broader rights. The remaining 1.1 percent of the ballots were declared invalid.
The overall voter turnout in the referendum on the status of Crimea is 81,37%, according to the head of the Crimean parliament’s commission on the referendum, Mikhail Malyshev.
The distraction from domestic troubles by showing the home population the looming threat of conflict with another nation-state is an age-old trick. Even China under President Xi, which poses a much larger threat to US national, cyber, and resource security than Russia, is not where the immediate danger originates. Do not let yourself fall for their sleight of hand, there are many more important things happening much closer to home.
There are forces within the American government that have been working against American interests and eroding the rights of Americans. The IRS has instituted a new, invasive measure people must go through when filing or viewing their tax returns. As the Washington Post reported,
But by this summer, anyone wanting to access their records — including details about child tax credits, payment plans, or tax transcripts — on the IRS website could be required to record a video of their face with their computer or smartphone and send it to the private contractor ID.me to confirm their identity.
Many taxpayers already have encountered the system as they prepare to file their tax returns, attempting to make estimated tax payments or peruse other records that normally can be accessed online. The company says that last month, more than 60,000 face photos were submitted in a single day, though it was unclear how many of those came from taxpayers.
Despite the concerning invasion of privacy, and funneling that information through private companies who have a history of selling it out of the backdoor (see Facebook and Meta), the work of the Federal Reserve has been even more concerning.
On Thursday, January 26, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System released a statement on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) saying, among other things, that they plan to raise interest rates in the coming year to combat inflation. Their assessment of the situation reads in part,
Job gains have been solid in recent months, and the unemployment rate has declined substantially. Supply and demand imbalances related to the pandemic and the reopening of the economy have continued to contribute to elevated levels of inflation. Overall financial conditions remain accommodative, in part reflecting policy measures to support the economy and the flow of credit to U.S. households and businesses.
The fantasies of Jerome Powell and company are woven throughout this statement. Of course, there is no direct causal link between a respiratory virus such as SARS-CoV-2 and inflation rates as they insinuate. Rather, inflation is a result of the massive amount of money they have created. Part of the blame for this does lie at the feet of President Trump for starting down this road, but the acceleration over the past 12 months under the steering of Biden, Pelosi, Schumer, and company has done irrecoverable damage to the economy.
These plans put forth by the Fed are unlikely to happen based on the economic consequences they would have, and how that would affect the upcoming midterms, but also given how the Fed has addressed this situation in recent memory. As Ryan McMaken wrote for the Mises Institute in response to the FOMC statement,
Indeed, it still looks like we’re looking at a repeat of 2016 when the Fed claimed it was going to implement four rate hikes that year. Only one rate hike actually occurred. Anticipated rate hikes based on Fed signals also failed to appear in 2019, when Fed wathers at Goldman and JP Morgan predicted four Fed hikes that year. What actually happened was one rate hike (from 2 percent to 2.25 percent), followed by rate cuts later in the year. That’s likely what Powell is referring to when he says the Fed must be adaptable and flexible. It must be prepared to become even more dovish at any given time.
War with Ukraine is only a distraction from the calamitous economic condition the democrats have managed to create in one year of being in control of the executive and legislative branches. Even China, which poses huge economic, ideological, and physical threats not only to the US but every capitalist democracy in the world, is not the real enemy of American families right now. The Federal Reserve, the Internal Revenue Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the rest of the alphabet soup agencies, and Democrat politicians in Washington D.C. are the greatest threat to your rights, not Putin or Xi.