The Real Effects of Inflation
A letter to House Republicans from Leader Kevin McCarthy:
Americans are now paying more for things they and their families need than they have in the past 13 years. Last month alone, consumer prices jumped 5.4% — higher than estimated and representative of a trend over the past several months.
- Gas prices are up 45.1%
- Milk is up 5.6%
- Fruit is up 7.3%
- Washing machines are up 29.4%
- Car rentals are up 87.7%
- Hotels are up 16.9%
Americans across the country are paying $10, $20, $30 more on groceries for their families every week. They’re paying more for gas to get to and from their jobs, to bring their kids to camp, and to drive their elderly parents to doctor’s appointments. They’re paying more for the materials their businesses need to operate — which means higher prices for consumers.
Here’s the bottom line: prices on everything from gas to groceries are skyrocketing. And we know inflation is hitting hard-working middle class families the hardest.
When working families have to spend more at the grocery store and gas station, that’s less they have for utility bills, prescriptions, and other necessities. Plus, inflation doesn’t seem to be lasting just a few months, as the Biden Administration has tried to convince everyone. Instead, economists surveyed in July by The Wall Street Journal forecasted that higher inflation could last for years.
A key driver of these price increases and increased costs of living is crystal clear: massive increases in government spending by the Democrats.
Democrats realize this, too.
President Biden continues to double down on trillions in government spending – specifically, a new $3.5 trillion in extra spending in the budget authored by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), on top of the $1.9 trillion Democrats passed in March and the over $4 trillion the government spends in a normal year.
Republicans have sounded the alarm on this and we will continue to hold Democrats to account for their reckless handling of the economy. A recent Monmouth University poll found that 71% of respondents are concerned that President Biden’s spending proposals could increase inflation.
While reports on inflation are often framed in percentages, how they impact people is what matters most. That’s why I recently asked my online followers to share stories about how inflation is affecting their lives. Though sometimes sad to read, each comment was further proof that our communities are hurting and in need of leadership.
Many living on fixed incomes or who rely on Social Security are seeing their income remain the same while their daily expenses climb. Some are physically unable to go back to work or pick up another job. Many made sure to point out that they are Americans who haven’t collected unemployment or welfare but rather choose to pick up another job or more hours when things get tough — but right now, it’s still not enough.
Here are some stories directly from them:
- Chuck Hefner from Arkansas: I’m on a fixed income. I retired from the state police and the National Guard. My everyday expenses are up, my small amount of money is worth less. For example, I just bought gas for my truck, last year it cost $35 to fill up, this time it cost $92.
- Bonnie Ames Whitley: I’m spending more on food, gas and anything I buy, even at the thrift stores. I am retired and disabled so it’s not like I can get a second job.
- Katrina Oram from Idaho: Gas is $3.78/gal. Milk is almost $3/gallon. We have cut spending at the grocery store a bunch since prices have gone up. No extra outings or eating out. Home improvements including yard upgrades are on hold till prices come down.
- Robert Greene from Bakersfield: Everything has gone up. Groceries, goods, vehicles. It has stopped us from doing a lot of different things that we were planning on doing in the future. We have had to make adjustments to insurance so we have insulin for our son.
- Leslie Burgess: As a middle class, very hard working family, we here in Texas cannot keep up with the high price of food. As a family of 7 I have been forced to use our church pantry in order to have fresh fruit, vegetables, eggs, and a little meat.
- Mike Bitter, lead Pastor at Martinwood Christian Church: My wife and I can’t do as much as we used to do for others so we’re not liking this. We are on a fixed income and working on building a church congregation from scratch. We are seeing many who are going without food, medications etc., so we are taking food to them to hopefully make their lives easier. We’re just trying to do our part as American citizens.
There are hundreds of comments just like this. There are also hundreds more from business owners who, on top of making ends meet for their own families, feel responsible for their employees and customers who rely on them.
- Kevin Stonitsch, owner of Adirondack Customs LLC: I have had to pay more to entice new employees, way more for lumber and building materials to run my business, fuel is up, employees cost of living is up, my wages have been flat for three years now due to Covid. Add on me as the owner paying for the first lockdown, first quarantine, my own quarantine now due to Covid in the family, on and on.
- Mary Toner in Kansas: I manage 3 apartment complexes for low income people. Many of my tenants are on social security, and a number of them are having to figure out how to eat, pay rent and pay medical expenses. It’s not pretty. With the rent moratorium ending, I’m afraid that some will be without a home. This bothers me greatly. These are good people, and they don’t deserve this.
- Robert Bernhard at Fast Track LLC: The toy industry is experiencing a 500%+ increase in shipping cost, 50% increase in plastics, 20% increase in paper and 15% in metals. Our industry is doing their best to minimize impact but this will really hurt the American people’s holiday season.
As we return to Washington, let’s remember the words of these Americans and the millions like them. These stories should inspire us to work even harder on their behalf in the days and weeks to come.
Our country has learned the hard way that Democrat policies make life more difficult for Americans:
- Defunding the police has led to a spike in violent crime.
- The massive expansion of unemployment benefits that pay people more to stay home than work are causing labor shortages.
- Open borders have led to a border and security crisis.
- Lockdowns have led to kids out of school.
- Radical environmental policy has led to energy supply shortages.
The American people are working hard under these conditions to support themselves and their families. Let’s be the leaders they and our country need.