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Price levels rose 6.4% between January 2022 and January 2023, according to data released on Tuesday morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, exceeding analysts’ forecasts as energy, food, and shelter prices apply pressure to household budgets. Biden, who has offered a rosy view of the economy despite challenges such as inflationary pressures and supply chain bottlenecks, said prices are “coming down” last week in his State of the Union address.
“Inflation has been a global problem because of the pandemic that disrupted supply chains and Putin’s war that disrupted energy and food supplies,” he said. “But we’re better positioned than any country on Earth.”
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO) told The Daily Wire that spending proposals offered by the commander-in-chief are worsening cost pressures.
“President Biden is in denial and has no plan to stop the inflation he started,” he remarked. “In his State of the Union address to the nation, the President promised more of the same reckless spending, welfare for the wealthy, and Green New Deal handouts that have made everything from gas to groceries unaffordable for working Americans.”
Food and shelter prices rose 0.5% and 0.7% last month, respectively. Energy prices, which had declined 4.5% in December 2022, were responsible for much of the disinflation, a trend which now appears to be reversing since gasoline and utility gas services rose 2.4% and 6.7%, respectively, in January 2023. The elevated fuel costs occur after gasoline prices reached their highest levels on record last year.
In accordance with a deal struck between House Republicans and Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the caucus seeks to negotiate with the White House on measures to reduce the federal deficit. Smith contended that the “first step to fighting inflation is to put a stop to the wasteful Washington spending” that erodes household income.
“With the ongoing negotiations over the debt ceiling, President Biden and congressional Democrats have an opportunity to come to the table and work with Republicans to find common-sense solutions to root out wasteful spending that is fueling inflation,” he added.
Biden also said during the address that he has presided over the “largest deficit reduction in American history.” Although Biden oversaw a decline in the deficit from $3.1 trillion in fiscal year 2020 and $2.8 trillion in fiscal year 2021 to $1.4 trillion in fiscal year 2022, according to data from the Office of Management and Budget, he neglected to mention that the record spending came as a result of stimulus measures passed to lessen fallout from the lockdown-induced recession. The deficit posted last year exceeds those witnessed in the years before the crisis.
Other lawmakers asserted that runaway deficits contribute to inflation. Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) said that “getting spending under control” would provide families with relief, while Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) added that “Biden’s inflation crisis shows the true cost of trying to replace the productive economy with government.”
Rising price levels have presented difficulties to households over the past two years. Some 50% of respondents to a recent Gallup survey said they are “financially worse off” compared to one year ago, while 35% said they are “financially better off,” constituting the most dismal results for the poll since the economy crashed in 2008 and 2009.