Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News
On Wednesday, the White House attempted to put a positive spin on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest Consumer Price Index report, which indicated another month of 40-year inflation highs.
The bureau’s May CPI report revealed overall inflation increased at a rate of 8.3% compared to a year ago, slightly above projections that had the number at 8.1. The overall cost of food rose by 0.9% over the last month, while the cost to eat at home rose by 1%.
From April to May inflation rose by 0.3%, which was an improvement from a 1.2% rate of increase from March to April and the fact upon which the Biden administration seized.
“While it is heartening to see that annual inflation moderated in April, the fact remains that inflation is unacceptably high,” Biden said in a statement. “As I said yesterday, inflation is a challenge for families across the country and bringing it down is my top economic priority.”
Biden has routinely called for the Federal Reserve to take actions to curtail inflation and has attempted to mitigate the cost of fuel by tapping the nation’s strategic reserves.
The latter effort yielded a 6.1% drop in the cost of fuel in the last month, but any encouragement one might derive from that piece of good news must be weighed against the fact that the cost of electricity (0.7%) and piped gases (3.1%) both rose at a rate that counterbalances much of the gasoline gains.
Even if one views the cost of gas independent from all other factors, and includes the latest price decrease, the cost of gas has still risen by 43.6% in the past 12 months, a fact made even more startling when one realizes the spike in gas prices had already begun in true by May 2021. A year ago, the cost of gas had risen 56.2% compared to May 2020.
“President Biden has presided over one of the most expensive years for working families in modern American history,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor. He later added, “Democrats’ policies have fueled this runaway inflation. Their mistakes are why inflation has hit America much harder than other developed countries.”
Continuing with previous trends, President Biden was unwilling to take much, if any, blame for inflation. In his statement, he repeated claims that inflation was primarily the result of “global supply chain issues related to the pandemic and Putin’s price hike.” He also added a new target: Republicans.
Despite Republicans being outvoted in both houses of Congress, and a Democrat sitting in the White House, President Biden said Republicans were also to blame inasmuch as they have not offered a plan the White House views as appropriate to combat inflation and have not rubber-stamped Biden’s legislation.
“Congressional Republicans talk about inflation, but their only plan is to raise taxes on working families, taking even more money out of their pockets,” Biden said, referring to a plan Sen. Rick Scott has floated which has garnered minimal GOP support. “If they are serious about inflation, they should send me the bipartisan innovation bill to bolster our supply chains and make more in America, along with legislation that cuts costs and the cuts the deficit, reducing families’ prescription drug and utility bills and restoring fairness to our tax code. We’ve made enormous progress in getting our economy back on track, and these measures would help us sustain this progress and bring prices down for families.”
McConnell, though, was quick to reject the president’s claims.
““Everybody knows where this inflation came from,” McConnel said. “But President Biden can’t admit it. He just makes excuses that no one is buying.” McConnell added, “It is this President and his all-Democrat government who have drained American families’ pocketbooks. And every poll shows our citizens understand that sad reality all too well.”