President Joe Biden promised a return to life before former President Donald Trump.
He’s keeping that promise.
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Americans are getting a taste of what he meant by that: The Jimmy Carter years.
There’s unrest in the Middle East… gas prices are soaring… and now, inflation is causing the cost of just about everything to jump.
The Biden administration has claimed that inflation is just a side effect of the economy reopening after more than a year of coronavirus shutdowns – and that it will be temporary
But Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell was forced to admit they’re using a very creative definition of “temporary,” saying this week that he expects inflation to linger for months.
“This is a shock going through the system associated with reopening of the economy, and it has driven inflation well above 2 percent,” Powell told the Senate Banking Committee this week. “And of course we’re not comfortable with that.”
The 2 percent figure Powell used only hints at the true nature of the problem right now.
In April, the overall inflation rate hit 4.2 percent… or the highest rate since 2008.
That was just a warmup act, as it jumped to 5 percent in May.
And by June, it hit 5.4 percent as Americans continue to pay a whole lot more for everything from supermarket staples to automobiles.
Right now, Americans are feeling the pinch, and Powell’s claim that it’s “temporary” isn’t easing that very real economic pain.
“I can tell you that the families and businesses I represent … aren’t feeling that these price spikes are very temporary,” Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., told Powell, adding that the inflation numbers are “deeply troubling.”
Indeed, some of the specifics are even worse than the overall numbers.
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MarketWatch says the prices of used vehicles jumped by 45 percent, while CNBC said that inflation jumped 4.5 percent for all categories excluding food and energy, which is the fastest jump in almost three decades.
In addition, producers are getting 7.3 percent more for goods and services – the most since 2010 – while housing prices in America’s biggest cities skyrocketed by 15 percent.
But despite higher prices, too many Americans remain out of work. The unemployment rate is currently 5.9 percent, after being as low as 3.5 percent just before the pandemic and at the height of the Trump economy, when records were smashed every quarter.
Now, however, the numbers are so poor many people aren’t even reflected in them – they’re out of the economy altogether – meaning that 5.9 percent isn’t the true number, and the administration knows it.
“This figure understates the shortfall in employment,” Powell admitted.
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While the jobs continue to come back – slowly – other members of the Biden administration are admitting that the inflation situation is about to go from bad to worse.
“We will have several more months of rapid inflation,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on CNBC. “So I’m not saying that this is a one-month phenomenon.”
She claimed prices will return to normal “over the medium term,” but also didn’t seem ready to commit to that projection either.
“Of course, we have to keep a careful eye on it,” she said.
One Treasury projection says prices could remain high through the end of the year – which is not only not “temporary,” but could also temper the holiday season.
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But with prices still jumping, it may be the season of Scrooge instead.
— Walter W. Murray is a reporter for The Horn News. He is an outspoken conservative and a survival expert.