Blaine’s Bulletin: Inflation is a Tax on All Americans
The year was 1981. Sandra Day O’Connor was confirmed as the first woman to ever serve on the United States Supreme Court. Almost a billion viewers around the world tuned in to watch Prince Charles marry Lady Diana Spencer. The Iran Hostage Crisis ended with the American hostages being freed after 444 days. And MTV was launched to the delight of teenagers across the nation. Life was very different in this country 40 years ago than in 2022, but one thing was similar: high inflation.
This week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the June Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is a key inflation index, showing inflation has hit a 40-year high. At 9.1% higher from one year ago, this is the largest 12-month increase since the period ending in December of 1981, surpassing economists’ 8.8% estimate. And it’s not just the rate of inflation’s increase that’s an issue, but broadening of the sources. While misguided policies have put our country in a position to rely more heavily on the global economy for food and oil which are drivers of inflation, the latest CPI report shows that prices of domestic products – like shelter and clothing – are also going up.
The most discouraging part about American inflation’s historic rise has been the Administration’s denial or complete lack of understanding of the facts surrounding it. Just days before inflation hit a 40-year high, the White House press secretary said in a press conference that “we are stronger economically than we have been in history.” I understand that they feel the need to apply some political spin to the news cycle, but that is ludicrous. This 9.1% inflation did not just happen out of the blue – it has been rapidly rising for the last year despite all of the assurances that it was just “temporary.” Denying what is happening and wishing it will go away isn’t a plan. Even many Democrats in Congress are acknowledging the fact that the American people cannot possibly bear the burden of the government spending and bad policies that put us in this position.
These are the latest findings from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics:
· Gasoline is UP 59.9%
· Energy is UP 41.6%
· Airline fares are UP 34.1%
· Eggs are UP 33.1%
· Butter is UP 21.3%
· Chicken is UP 18.6%
· Milk is UP 16.4%
· Coffee is UP 15.8%
· Bacon is UP 11.9%
· New vehicles are UP 11.4%
· Bread is UP 10.8%
· Fruits and vegetables are UP 8.1%
· Used cars and trucks are UP 7.1%
· Shelter is UP 5.6%
· Apparel is UP 5.2%
I know this is not the first time you’ve heard from me on inflation. Last month I wrote about the drivers of inflation and the policies I support to address it. But this issue is affecting every family in this country and cannot be ignored – especially when we’re hitting 40-year highs and setting records for the worse. In my Fourth of July district work period travels, the single biggest issue Missourians wanted to discuss was inflation. Whether it was at the feed store in my hometown or one of the many stops we took between the lake and St. Charles, inflation was the first question I got. From the pump, to the grocery store, to the energy bill, to back to school clothes for the kids, it all costs more than it should. Opening up America’s oil and gas spigots, clamping down on unnecessary federal spending, and eliminating costly government regulations that raise the cost of everything we buy is the way to address it. And those are the policies that I’ll continue working on and talking about early and often until this is finally brought under control.