President Biden and Speaker Pelosi have set a record. With inflation spiking 7% in December, prices haven’t increased this quickly since 1982. For a bit of perspective, in 1982, Sony released the first CD player, E.T. debuted in movie theatres, and Time Magazine named “the computer” as its Person of the Year.
From increased costs at the grocery store and the gas pump, to spiking utility bills, Iowans are paying the price—literally—for Speaker Pelosi and President Biden’s multi-trillion-dollar spending binge. Working families can’t keep up with these price increases—inflation resulted in a 2.4% pay cut for the average worker in 2021.
People can’t afford the basics in Speaker Pelosi and President Biden’s economy. Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over the past year, the cost of bacon has gone up 18.6%, the cost of pork has gone up 15.1%, the cost of fresh and frozen chicken has gone up 11.5%, and the cost of eggs has gone up 11.1%. We aren’t talking about anything fancy—these are the items most people put in their cart at the grocery store.
Energy costs are soaring. With the price of gasoline up 49.6%, Americans are paying double to fill up their gas tanks. This disproportionately hurts people in rural areas who drive further to get to work or to run errands. And as natural gas prices spike, so have home heating bills. As we know in Iowa, winter is here, and many families are struggling to afford heating their homes. A recent study found that, in the last year, about 20% of Americans struggled to pay their energy bill at least once and 28% of Americans skipped buying food or medication so that they could pay their energy bill.
Inflation isn’t just a number or a percentage increase. It’s an elderly person on a fixed income who can’t afford to go grocery shopping and pay the energy bill. It’s a mom who is forced to choose between buying enough food for dinner at the store or filling up the gas tank all the way. It’s a small business that is waiting on a backlogged shipment, and meanwhile, can’t afford to keep the lights and heat on.
These are the stories I’m hearing from Iowans and then telling in Washington as Democrats continue to push for spending outside of our means. Whether it is Speaker Pelosi renewing calls to pass the multi-trillion-dollar Build Back Better Act, or the Biden White House planning to ask Congress for additional spending on COVID-19 (despite not having accounted for all of the funds sent to states in previous packages), I’ll continue reminding my colleagues that it’s your money they want to spend, not the government’s cash.
The last thing we should do right now is spend more money that we don’t have. I am laser-focused on getting out of this inflation trap that Democrats set for us through their out-of-control spending habits, and I will work with anyone who will work with me on common sense economic policies that will help working families afford their everyday lives and get ahead.