Monthly CPI report brings more bad inflation news

by mcardinal

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News


Thursday’s Consumer Price Index report confirmed what experts already assumed and the average American can feel: inflation has been uniquely bad since February 2021. The report also indicated that, despite the efforts of the Biden administration and Federal Reserve, the problem has not yet abated but rather gotten worse.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the CPI increased by 7.5% over the past 12 months, an astronomic rate compared to most years and a number the Washington Post calculated was the highest in 40 years.

“Moments ago, the country got yet another terrible monthly inflation report under the Biden administration,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the floor of the Senate Thursday. “Yet again, the data confirm what working families already know painfully well: Rampant inflation and soaring prices are crushing the American people.”

The monthly inflation numbers for January were not any more comforting, as the cost of food, electricity, and shelter were up. The food and energy indexes both rose by 0.9% in the month. The energy index’s increase was partially offset by decreases in the cost of gasoline and natural gas. The cost of all items not categorized under food or energy rose by 0.6 percent.

President Biden told Kaitlan Collins, CNN’s Chief White House Correspondent, “While today is a reminder that Americans’ budgets are being stretched in ways that create real stress at the kitchen table, there are also signs that we will make it through this challenge.”

The president bristled during an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt when he pressed him on his previous claims that inflation would be temporary, calling Holt “a wise guy,” before saying “I understand, that’s your job.” This marks the second time in a month that Biden showed annoyance at a journalist for asking about inflation.

Biden has attempted to bolster his own popularity, as well as the popularity of his party as a whole, by focusing on more positive economic and jobs developments and also pointing to efforts he’s made to help inflation. 

In a tweet on Friday morning, Biden touted a substantial growth in manufacturing jobs.

Wages have also gone up across the board in 2021 but, as reported by CNBC last month, the effects of inflation equated to a 2.4% pay cut for the average worker.

McConnell blamed the sky-high inflation on the “reckless, far-left spending spree” of the Democratic party:

[To] be clear, the worst inflation in 40 years is not something that just spontaneously happened to Democrats on their watch The severity of this inflation was directly fueled by the reckless, far-left spending spree that every single Democrat in this chamber voted to ram through at President Biden’s behest last year.

McConnell said that economists, even those who are members of the Democratic Party, have warned against the Biden administration’s spending plans. During his speech, McConnell cited as evidence remarks from Clinton-era Secretary of Treasury Larry Summers and Jason Furman, who served under then-President Barack Obama as Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers.

 “But Democrats ignored their own experts,” McConnell said. “They plowed ahead, using the pandemic as a pretext to dump $2 trillion dollars into left-wing policies that were overwhelmingly unrelated to the healthcare fight against the virus. And we see the results all around us. Families are living with the results every day.”

As of November 2021, when the Pew Research Center examined inflation rates across 46 nations, U.S. inflation numbers tracked as third worst in the developed world, behind only Brazil and Turkey.