Thursday, June 13, 2024

Heritage Expert: Inflation is back with a vengeance

by BIZ Magazine

WASHINGTON—The Bureau of Labor Statistics today released the consumer price index (CPI) data for the month of August, showing 3.7% inflation over the last year. Monthly inflation was 0.6%—the highest in 14 months—with an annualized rate of 7.8%. Core inflation over the last year was 4.3%, more than twice the Federal Reserve’s 2% target rate. Since President Joe Biden took office, the CPI has risen about 17%, an annualized rate of more than 6%.

Meanwhile, prices for many consumer staples have risen much faster than the overall inflation rate under Biden: gasoline up 54%, flour 34%, poultry 25%, dairy products 24%, baby food and formula 25%, pet food 24%, rent 17%, and vehicle insurance 34%.

Heritage Foundation public finance economist EJ Antoni issued the following statement in reaction:

“As previously forecasted, inflation is accelerating in the wake of the Treasury’s $1 trillion borrowing spree that began after the debt ceiling suspension in June. Now that the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is no longer being depleted to artificially hold down oil prices, the real cost of government spending and over-regulation is being exposed.

“The average American worker now pays more on his or her hourly wages through the hidden tax of inflation than in federal income taxes. Despite President Biden’s misleading claims of a booming economy and improving conditions for workers, the typical American family is now effectively about $7,000 poorer today than when the president took office. That’s the result of inflation reducing real earnings and higher interest rates increasing financing costs.

“It’s even worse if you’re trying to buy a home. The monthly mortgage payment on a median price home has more than doubled under Mr. Biden, costing a family an extra $13,000 per year for the same house.

“As members of Congress reconvene this week to debate government spending for the upcoming fiscal year, they would do well to remember that their previous profligate spending fueled the inflationary crisis we face today. Until the spending is curtailed, the inflation is here to stay.”

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