The consumer price index increased by 6.8 percent on an annualized basis before seasonal adjustment in November, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This is the fastest inflation acceleration since 1982. In November alone, inflation increased by 0.8 percent.
In January 2021, before Joe Biden took over the presidency, annual inflation was at a stable 1.4 percent. Inflation has remained consistently high since Biden took office. While inflation has already hit American families hard, Democrats are pushing policies which would make this problem even worse.
Since July of this year, the Biden administration has been insisting this problem would go away. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen described this inflation as “transitory.” Evidently, those claims have not held up.
Not only does inflation harm consumers by increasing household costs, but it can also have long lasting economic damage. Inflation erodes purchasing power, especially when wages do not keep up.
The erosion of purchasing power is especially concerning given that wages are decreasing. Real average hourly earnings decreased by 0.4 percent over the past month and have decreased by 1.9 percent over the past year.
According to BLS, the cost of many goods and services have increased significantly over the past year:
- Energy has increased by 33.3 percent in the past 12 months.
- Gasoline has increased by 58.1 percent in the past 12 months.
- Used cars and trucks have increased by 31.4 percent in the past 12 months.
- Beef and veal have increased 20.9 percent in the past 12 months.
- Bacon has increased 21 percent in the past 12 months.
- Furniture and bedding have increased 11.8 percent in the past 12 months.
- Men’s suits and sport coats have increased 14.1 percent in the past 12 months.
- Women’s dresses have increased 8.6 percent in the past 12 months.
- Postage has increased 7.2 percent in the past 12 months.
88 percent of voters say they are concerned about increased inflation, according to a recent Harvard CAPS and Harris poll. When asked what causes inflation, the top three answers were “Massive government spending,” “Significant amounts of money being injected in the economy by the Federal Reserve,” and “Uncontrollable government deficits.”
Still, Democrats are moving forward with their two trillion dollar reconciliation bill. If its provisions were made permanent, as Democrats intend to eventually do, this bill’s true cost could be $4.9 trillion, adding $3 trillion to the deficit, according to the CBO.The idea that this level of wasteful spending, packed with handouts to green energy, big labor, and welfare expansion, is appropriate during a time of such high inflation is careless and short-sighted.
The reconciliation bill also includes massive tax hikes on businesses, like the 15 percent global minimum tax, 15 percent domestic minimum tax, and a new surtax on adjusted gross income (AGI) that will hit pass through businesses. This, similarly, will be passed on to consumers through higher prices. According to a 2020 National Bureau of Economic Research paper, 31 percent of the corporate tax rate is borne by consumers through higher prices of goods and services. By an 81 to 19 margin, voters believe raising taxes on corporations will increase the cost of goods and services, according to a new poll conducted by HarrisX.
The Biden administration and congressional Democrats should focus on growing the economy and helping businesses and working families. Instead, at the expense of Americans’ financial security, they are pushing tax increases and wasteful spending.
Photo Credit: “5d2_8188ehC_1080” by Indiana Stan is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.