The latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) data released Tuesday reveals that year-over-year inflation for the month of March hit 8.5%. This was a 1.2% increase from the previous month of February. Inflation has become a major problem for most Americans and unfortunately, it does not seem to be showing any signs of slowing down.
The CPI is a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a market basket of consumer goods and services. It has been a metric for measuring inflation for years but does not always paint a perfectly accurate picture of overall inflation. However, it does provide a closer look at how particular sectors are doing from an inflationary standpoint. It can have explanatory power for why your bills continue to go up, especially on important reoccurring items in your household budget.
Most taxpayers have probably noticed that food and grocery prices have gone up quite a bit in the last year. The CPI data reflects that growth and shows that food, in general, has gone up 8.8% in that time. Food prices are expected to continue to rise to historic levels for a number of different reasons in the near future due to things like supply chain issues, the increased price of fertilizer, and general shortages due to terrible policymaking in response to COVID-19 by various echelons of government.
Another commodity that has proven problematic to most taxpayers as of late is the price of gasoline. In the last year, gasoline has risen 48% and the price of oil has increased 70%! This, ofcourse does not come as a surprise to anyone who has filled up at the pump in the last few months. There are a number of factors that have caused this but the problem can ultimately be boiled down to bad policy in the end. The United States has halted its efforts to produce oil in mass and has shut down projects like the Keystone Pipeline under the disastrous Biden regime.
The price of used cars and trucks has gone up 38% in the last year as well, causing more problems for travelers that are already struggling with the price of gasoline. The left’s solution to this problem is not to allow the U.S. to start producing oil en masse again, ultimately ending our dependence on foreign oil, but rather has been to chastise Americans for not buying brand new $70k electric vehicles. This is one of the many reasons why Biden’s approval rating sits at an abysmal 42%.
The solution should be simple and it is the same solution that can be applied to all economic woes. The government needs to get out of the way. Regulation slows production and economic growth. Yet seemingly, the worse things get the harder the government seems to want to clamp down, focusing more on environmental and ‘woke’ extremism rather than helping everyday Americans that are barely making it day to day.
Texas, which generally does better than the rest of the nation, has its own struggles. Texas has the 6th highest property taxes in the nation, and many Texas taxpayers are in the midst of getting hit with extremely high appraisals and tax bills as this is written.
The bad news is that Texas taxpayers will have to wait until January of 2023 in order to have hope of any real change in policy. So far Governor Abbott has refused to call a special legislative session to deal with the litany of issues the Texas legislature failed to deal with during the last legislative session. These issues include eliminating property taxes, banning taxpayer-funded lobbying, prohibiting gender modification on children, and recent issues brought into the spotlight by the grassroots Texans relating to a demand of ‘anti-grooming’ legislation like that passed in Florida. So far it does not appear as though Abbott will be calling a special session to assist Texans, so taxpayers will simply have to wait and ride out the storm until next year.