President Joe Biden would have us believe that things are getting better here in Utah. For too many of us, however, we’re still feeling the pain of high prices.

What Utah needs isn’t more “Bidenomics” — more spending, more regulation, more taxes — but instead more trust in the American people to do what makes sense for them. By empowering Utahns, we can reignite the American dream and ensure prosperity for all.

We don’t have to look far to find the “Bidenomics blues” here in Utah. Take a young married couple we met, eager to establish a strong foundation for their future family. But when they started looking into buying a house, the rising home prices and forbidding interest rates forced them to delay their dreams.

Or consider the small business owner we talked to. The business was stable, until inflation struck in 2021. There was no way out — the economic reality forced this small business owner to close shop.

The economic pain is so palpable, in fact, that NBC’s local Salt Lake City affiliate has an entire series titled “Unaffordable Utah.”

These stories highlight the human toll, and the statistics show us that the pain is widespread across our state.

The inflation rate might have dropped from its peak last summer, but prices are still rising, and it doesn’t look like they are coming down. Across the country, families are spending over $10,000 more each year for the same necessities than they were when Biden took office. And in Utah, inflation has consistently been higher than in the rest of the country — meaning we are spending even more than that just to stay where we are.

This isn’t sustainable, but Biden is insisting on continuing the same policies that got us here in the first place.

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When he spoke in Salt Lake City, he touted the “success” of the American Rescue Plan Act, the $1.9 trillion spending bill passed at the beginning of his term, and he praised the ongoing spending of his infrastructure package. Yet even liberal economists acknowledge that the American Rescue Plan’s spending spree made our inflation worse.

Biden has also been imposing costly regulations on our economy at a nearly unprecedented rate. In under three years, his administration has already generated regulations costing the American people $403 billion. That total is over $120 billion greater than the cost of regulations in President Barack Obama’s first three years in office, and over six times greater than the total cost of regulations during all of President Donald Trump’s term.

These regulations aren’t just more red tape. They are a silent tax bill sucking energy and initiative out of our communities — making it harder to start a business, experiment with a new idea or finally reach for that dream. More regulation and out-of-control spending are a proven recipe for pain.

Thankfully, there is a better way. Americans for Prosperity believes that the path to broad prosperity doesn’t lie in more government taxing, spending and regulating — the very policies that have put us in this mess — but instead in trusting the American people to make the best decisions.

Regulations necessarily put the government’s thumb on the scale, ultimately picking winners and losers. We need a free and fair economy where the best ideas win, not those that are the best connected to Washington.

Excessive taxes sap energy and the incentive to invest. Nobody knows how to spend your money more wisely and carefully than you do; excessive taxes lead to inefficient and wasteful government spending.

The same principle applies in health care, education, immigration and so many more areas of our public life — America would be a stronger and more prosperous country if we limited the reach of the government and trusted the people to make the best decisions. Freedom brings challenges, but it also brings opportunity and a prosperity that we all can share.

Bidenomics concentrates power in Washington, leading to higher prices and struggling communities. Utah deserves better.

Kevin Greene is state director of Americans for Prosperity-Utah.