This week we got more startling numbers showing that inflation continues to spiral out of control. But beyond those headlines, we also have a better understanding of what this economic carnage really means for ordinary people.
With consumer prices up 9.1% from June 2021 to June 2022, inflation is now at its highest since 1981. Thanks to this inflation, workers’ real wages, or inflation-adjusting wages , are actually declining, dropping significantly over the past year.
How’s that for “Build Back Better?”
A new analysis by EJ Antoni of the Heritage Foundation puts these numbers into concrete, everyday terms. He reported that the average worker has lost $3,400 in annual income to inflation since President Joe Biden took office, while the average household with two working parents has lost $6,800.
“There are a lot of families that go over their annual food budget,” Antoni told Fox Business. “I can’t stress enough that this really crushes consumers.”
The expert added that the costs of inflation now amount to far more in losses for workers or households than they received in total stimulus checks.
Antoni’s specific data sheds light on the real consequences of inflation. In effect, inflation is a “stealth tax” on the public – a way in which the government confiscates and redistributes resources without officially raise our taxes. This allows politicians to escape the political backlash that comes with raising people’s taxes – if people aren’t aware of what’s going on.
But we should hold our elected officials accountable for the suffering, because inflation is rooted in political choices.
The feds decided to print trillions of dollars out of thin air to “stimulate” the economy during COVID-19, but all it really did was make existing dollars less valuable. Moreover, it racked up billions in budget deficits and flooded the system with wasteful “stimulus” spending that failed to deliver the promised jobs, but succeeded in “stimulating” inflation.
It’s not entirely Biden’s fault, to be fair. Many other government officials, from those at the Federal Reserve to Congress, also bear the blame. And yes, some of the reckless printing and spending started under former President Donald Trump.
But Biden came to power and, ignoring warnings from Democratic-aligned economists, poured more fuel on the fire by adding trillions in wasteful spending as one of his first acts in office. Additionally, the president has made some essentials such as gas more expensive through his anti-market policies and onerous regulations.
Workers whose paychecks have been effectively eroded by the thousands are paying the price.
Brad Polumbo (
) is co-founder of Based-Politics.com, co-host of the Policy Based
podcast and a Washington Examiner donor.