Biden Claims Of Falling Inflation Ring Hollow With Americans

Despite Joe Biden’s assurances that inflation is coming down, Americans are still being hammered by rising prices in multiple sectors. In particular, the cost of groceries continues to soar, hitting low- and fixed-income families the hardest. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly consumer price index report for January, prices for food at home were up 11.3% compared to last year, which is well above the overall inflation number of 6.4% year-over-year as of January.

Even with the 8.7% cost-of-living-adjustment that took effect in January 2023, Social Security beneficiaries have relatively less income for groceries than a year ago. The inflation is expected to persist, despite the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes. The rate increases are designed to bring inflation back down to the Fed’s target rate of 2% annually.

The inflation report released last week indicated the Consumer Price Index rose by 0.5% in January over December 2022.

The high cost of groceries is not unique, as other sectors are also experiencing similar inflationary pressures. For example, new car prices have skyrocketed, with the average price for a new vehicle in the U.S. jumping to almost $50,000, up 30% since 2019. Meanwhile, rising interest rates have caused monthly payments to increase even faster, with the base payments for a new car costing a budget-busting $777.

While car sales might be down, car manufacturers’ profits continue increasing. Ford’s gross profit rose 4.4% in 2022, while G.M.’s adjusted earnings grew by about $200 million to $14.5 billion. Tesla made an annual profit of $12.6 billion in 2022, with revenues up 51% over 2021, despite missing its sales forecast.

Gas prices are also primed to rise in the coming weeks. The average price for a gallon of regular is already back up over $4 in Colorado and nearly $4.75 in California. The average price of a dozen large Grade A eggs was $4.82 in January, which is more expensive than the most expensive gallon of regular in the country and even more than a pound of ground beef.

Despite these rising costs, Biden’s inflation tax continues to make Americans poorer, trying to buy the same food, cars, and houses they could buy before his administration’s massive and unchecked spending spree began.

Food retailers are trying to lower their wholesale grocery costs, with grocers dramatically increasing investment in their store brand offerings to help consumers stretch their food dollar. According to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, food prices are predicted to grow more slowly in 2023 than they did in 2022. Nevertheless, grocery costs are expected to remain above historical averages.