Today, I officially became a (not so) proud member of the “Five Dollar Club.” I paid over $5.00 a gallon to gas up my car at my favorite service station. Note, that price was to pay cash for unleaded regular. God forbid I should need to use premium, diesel, or pay with a credit card. Actually, I was lucky, because as I was pumping the attendant was busy raising the prices at the other pumps. Good thing I’m an early riser. By this afternoon the price could be over $6. (Just kidding, maybe).
Of course the price of gas at the pump is not the only thing that is rising precipitously. It is merely the most visible. Everything is up – food, rent, interest rates, airline tickets, clothing, etc. You don’t need me to tell you that. Anyone paying attention is fully and painfully aware. Putting it another way, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has disclosed that the average family is currently paying $460 per month more to support itself. Since many if, not most, families have been living paycheck to paycheck that is devastating news. As always, the hardest hit are the middle class, the poor and those living on a fixed income.
According to consumer advocate, Edgar Dworsky, food manufacturers have a new trick to hide price increases. In many cases they retain old the price but reduce the quantity in the package. For example, Pringles has reduced the size of its chips; Cascade has reduced the number of pods in the dishwasher package; Cottonelle has reduced the number of sheets in its rolls of toilet paper. Even restaurants have gotten into the act by reducing portions. Most people may not notice, which, of course, is the point. Welcome to the new wonderful world of “shrinkflation.”
The Biden administration has not shown it has the foggiest idea of how to resolve this massive problem. Even worse, it will not even acknowledge one exists. The first step toward resolving a problem is to admit it exists, and so far the Biden Administration refuses to acknowledge the gravity of the problem. It has steadfastly maintained that inflation is “temporary” and has “peaked.” On the contrary, numbers don’t lie. Our own eyes don’t lie. To paraphrase the late comedian Groucho Marx, “are you going to believe what I tell you or what you see with you own eyes?”
In addition, multiple news outlets are reporting that inflation increased to 8.6% for the month of May, and it is expected to accelerate further. Most business analysts and economists, such as Larry Kudlow, have opined that this is merely the beginning, not the peak, nor the end. Some of us will recall the pain of the runaway inflation and interest rates of the 1970’s. Once inflation takes hold, as it has now, it is pervasive and tenacious. Getting rid of it is very painful. In short, I fear we are “in for it.”
So far, rather than assuring us it has a plan to combat inflation, to get us out of this mess, the Biden Administration has been focusing on ascribing blame. It has blamed Putin, food manufacturers, “greedy” big businesses, Republicans, COVID, Donald Trump, and Fox News, among others. In short, it has blamed everyone but those in charge, those who have made the decisions that got us into this situation. Former president Harry Truman was famous for the saying “the buck stops here,” meaning that he, as president, was responsible. Biden’s attitude has been to “pass the buck.” Americans should not and will not be fooled.
Their favorite tactic has been to create distractions to divert the attention of voters. For example, we are now being bombarded with the “Insurrection” hearings. I refuse to watch one second of this one-sided, phony sham-show, which is reminiscent of the Salem witch trials and the Stalin-era Soviet Union “show trials” where the verdict was a foregone conclusion. This is further evidence of how out of touch with reality the Dems are. Few people care about this issue now when they are mainly concerned with real life issues like putting food on the table and paying the rent. As Hilary Clinton infamously intoned in another context: “what difference at this point does it matter.”
How bad will it get? How high will prices rise? No one really knows. But, in my opinion, we do know two things. (1) It will get worse before it gets better. (2) Biden and his cronies are NOT the ones who have the capabilities to resolve it.
The latest Quinnipiac Poll reported Biden’s approval rating to be 33%, which is a new low. Moreover, every poll is predicting that the Dems are heading for a (well deserved) disaster at the only poll that counts – the one in November. Unfortunately, we are stuck with Biden for two more years. (In my opinion, impeaching him and replacing him with Kamala Harris would be worse.) But, we can (and in my opinion, will) “flip” both houses of Congress on Election Day.. More on this in future blogs.