While President Joe Biden and top economists in the federal government claim inflation will be short-lived, other experts say rising prices for just about everything will get worse — maybe much worse.
Billionaire investor David Rubenstein said Americans will likely be suffering inflation for some time.
“Inflation, as we all know, when it gets in the system, it’s very hard to get it out,” he said on Fox News. “It takes a long time to get it out, can take a couple of years.”
“So now I don’t think the inflation rate this year will be what it was last month or so. I don’t think we’re going to have 8% annualized rate of inflation, but I suspect something around 5% is probably not unlikely, maybe even 6%,” he added.
Milken Institute Chief Economist Bill Lee agreed, saying inflation would be “well over 3.5%” for the next five years.
“One of the things that we’ve seen is that inflation has, you know, very direct impacts on Americans, on American families and American businesses,” Director of the Congressional Budget Office Phillip Swagel told Fox News Digital. “It also has implications for the implications for the budget. For American families, the high inflation that we’ve seen the highest in decades has meant higher prices for food, for travel, for gasoline. It means that family incomes don’t go as far. Family budgets are stretched.”
Last month, the Labor Department announced the consumer price index (CPI), which measures what Americans pay for everyday items such as food and gas, soared to the highest level in 41 years. The CPI leapt 8.5% from a year ago, according to data released April 14. Taking out food and energy, the CPI still increased by 6.5%.
Such soaring inflation has not been seen since the late 1970s, when Jimmy Carter was president, and the early ’80s, after Ronald Reagan took over.
“Price increases came from many of the usual culprits,” CNBC reported. “Food rose 1% for the month and 8.8% over the year. … Energy prices were up 11% and 32%, respectively,” while “Shelter cost, which make up about one-third of the CPI weighting, increased another 0.5% on the month, making the 12-month gain a blistering 5%.”
The White House has repeatedly sought to distance the president from soaring inflation, going so far as to coin a new term, “Putin’s price hike.”
When Biden took office, a gallon of regular gasoline was $2.37, according to AAA. The average price of a gallon of gasoline is now $4.22, up 43% from a year ago.
Consumers see the price hikes daily at the grocery store. “The cost of meat, poultry, fish and eggs is 13% higher since February 2021,” CNBC reported. “Fresh fruit has gone up 10.6% in price in that time, while the price for vegetables has remained much more stable, increasing just 4.3%. The price of pre-packaged cereals and baked goods has increased 7.7%.”
Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent, and ran the Drudge Report from 2010 to 2015. Send tips to [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.