We’ve all seen the headlines and we’ve been to the gas pump and grocery stores. The cost of goods and services is significantly higher today under President Biden than it has been for a very long time. And it seems the news keeps getting worse with each passing month.
According to a February 2022 survey by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), “the net percent of owners raising average selling prices increased seven points to a net 68% (seasonally adjusted), a 48-year record high reading.” This seems to corroborate the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which reported that the cost of goods and services, known as the Consumer Price Index (CPI), rose 0.8% in February on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.6% in January. That’s an increase of 7.9% over the last 12 months. BLS cited “gasoline, shelter, and food” as the largest contributor to the increase, with the gasoline index alone rising 6.6% in February–accounting for almost one-third of all the items in the monthly increase. The cost of food at home index rose 1.4%– the largest increase since April 2020.
Biden’s inflationary policies are expected to have cost one American household an extra $3,500 in 2021, on average, according to a study by the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business. But don’t just take it from this author. “Inflation is worrying middle-income Americans, with 49% choosing the threat of rising prices as the largest economic challenge facing the U.S. in 2022, according to a Primerica survey,” Bloomberg reported. According to the survey, “some 68% of people surveyed said their income is falling behind the cost of living, and slightly less expect their economic prospects to be worse (28%) or the same (38%) this year.” The survey was conducted by Primerica’s U.S. Middle-Income Financial Security Monitor which “polled 925 adults who earned between $30,000 and $100,000 in 2020.” In other words, inflation is the number one economic issue on the minds of Americans and those who are feeling the pinch do not have a positive outlook on the road ahead.
When middle-class Americans show signs of diminished optimism, lowered consumer confidence, and are dealing with tighter budgets, they are more likely to make a change at the ballot box in November. No doubt, this “buyer’s remorse” was revealed in the latest NBC News survey last week that found President Biden’s job approval rating at 40%, the lowest of his presidency.
Sadly, the President thinks he can point fingers to escape culpability for his own actions and policies. As the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board recently wrote, “Mr. Biden can blame Mr. Putin for many things, but not U.S. inflation. The root cause is homegrown: Two years of historically easy monetary policy, and explosive federal spending that fed economic demand even though the economy had long ago emerged from the pandemic recession.”
#Bidenflation, a term coined by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, has been making the rounds on Twitter, a reference to President Biden trying to escape ownership of his inflationary record. But the point is a real one for millions of Americans who are being choked by these hurtful policies and at the same time asked to blame foreign affairs for their problems. Americans are smarter than the White House gives us credit for and understand that increased taxes and spending will only worsen the economic picture.
Bob Carlstrom is President of AMAC Action
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