Republicans point to inflation in bid to retake Congress

Many economists say the price increases are fueled by the aftereffects of a worldwide pandemic and likely will not last. But Republicans wish to storm into next year's midterm elections arguing that steep government spending President Joe Biden and a Democratic-controlled Congress has triggered inflation which will ultimately hurt everyday Americans.

Republicans point to inflation in bid to retake Congress

Many economists say the price increases are fueled by the aftereffects of a worldwide pandemic and likely will not last. But Republicans wish to storm into next year's midterm elections arguing that steep government spending President Joe Biden and a Democratic-controlled Congress has triggered inflation which will ultimately hurt everyday Americans.

TheEditor
TheEditor
18 June 2021 Friday 12:22
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Republicans point to inflation in bid to retake Congress

The economic reality is more complex. However, with Republicans only having to pick up a couple of seats to regain the House and Senate, the party increasingly sees the possibility of sustained higher costs as a means to join policies made in Washington together with the experiences of voters whose pocketbooks may be feeling the strain.

Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., said his constituents have"seen the greater prices on gasoline specifically, but also groceries and the expense to keep their companies running." Such voters, he said,"understand, intuitively, that this is due to Democrats' economic agenda and large spending plans."

Consumer costs rose 5% over the past 12 months, the largest one-year increase since 2008. Excluding more volatile items like energy and food, prices were up 3.8% over the last year -- the largest 12-month leap since 1992.

Those jumps were driven by comparisons to the pandemic-hampered 2020 economy, but nonetheless show costs climbing sharply, together with the price of cars increasing 7.3% in May and food prices increasing nearly half a percentage point over precisely the same period. Gas prices have risen from a nationwide average of $2.48 to $3.13 per gallon beneath Biden, the first time since 2014 that it has topped the 3 brink .

Former Federal Reserve economist Claudia Sahm said this year's inflation rates will probably remain far higher than usual, but that is chiefly because of this pandemic shoving inflation uncommonly low last year. There is also a boom in consumer spending because of pent up demand as the virus the lingering effects of disruptions to global supply chain, she said.

An example Sahm pointed to is a virus-triggered shortage of semiconductors that has slowed creation of new cars and aided used auto prices spike, at least temporarily.

"It is not a structural change in the market, it's a couple of months," Sahm said.

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