Americans all across the country, including here in Texas, are suffering from the fiscally irresponsible policies administered by both the federal government and the Federal Reserve in response to the pandemic. The massive amounts of Quantitative Easing and stimulus dollars (money printing) that were injected into markets over the last two years continue to wreak havoc on taxpayers. The decision by both the Trump and Biden administrations to create nearly $6 trillion new dollars has finally caused the proverbial chickens to come home and roost.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics released new Consumer Price Index (CPI) data on Thursday showing that in February 2022, inflation has reached 7.9%. As the CPI summary explains:
“The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.8 percent in February on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.6 percent in January, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 7.9 percent before seasonal adjustment.”
This data continues to confirm an ongoing trend seen over the past few months in that inflation shows no signs of slowing down. Dr. Vance Ginn, the Chief Economist for Texas Public Policy Foundation, noted that:
“NEW CPI #inflation: Up 7.9% y/y rate highest in 40 years from bad policies in DC.” and that, “Prices up 8.65% under #Biden, annual rate 7.37%. At that pace, prices 2X < 10 yrs. Prices in Feb rose at a 10.0% annual rate, which prices 2X in less than 8 yrs. Infl-adj earnings down 2.4% y/y.”
Ginn then went on to give examples of consumer goods that have been affected by the recent rise in inflation.
#Inflation y/y % change highlights:
pork roasts, steaks, and ribs 15.6
fresh and frozen chicken parts 15.0
fuel oil 43.6
reg unleaded 38.7
natural gas at home 23.8
new vehicles 12.4
used vehicles 41.2#CPI @TPPF
— Vance Ginn (@VanceGinn) March 10, 2022
These numbers are likely not surprising to anyone who has visited a grocery store or bought nearly anything in the last few months. Most Texans are seeing a price increase on not only basic grocery staples but most recently in gas and energy prices. Texas’ gas prices are nearing all-time highs, and as with other goods, those increases show no signs of slowing down. As the prices rise, more and more Americans have begun to join the ongoing cries to begin increasing our own domestic production of oil and gas, including the renewal of construction of the Keystone Pipeline (after President Biden revoked permits for its construction at the beginning of his term).
Texas grassroots leaders have floated the idea that Governor Abbott should suspend the gas tax (Motor Fuels tax) in Texas, yet in TFRs opinion, this would be yet another executive overstep by our governor and the executive branch. The merits of a gas tax suspension should instead be deliberated by the state legislature. Therefore, TFR would like to see a special legislative session called to make this happen. Executive overreach is problematic, as witnessed when Abbott locked down Texas in 2020, resulting in the killing of thousands of businesses and jobs.
The question of whether inflation rates can be reigned in is completely up to policymakers in Washington D.C. Economists are expecting double-digit inflation in the coming months and as of now, it does not look like there is much anyone is willing to do to stop that from becoming a reality.