Roger Wicker

Sen. Roger Wicker

For millions of Americans, a routine trip to the grocery store has become a frustrating experience. With inflation continuing to soar, shoppers are paying higher prices for basic necessities like bread, milk, and eggs.

Many have also noticed that they are getting less product as marketers subtly reduce the portions to hide rising costs — a trend that some have called “shrinkflation.” It is increasingly common, for instance, to find cereal, toothpaste and shampoo products containing fewer ounces than just a few months ago. These may feel like clever marketing tricks, but they are the inevitable result of inflation caused by government overspending.

Republicans have been sounding the alarm over inflation for months, but Democrats continue to rush ahead with reckless spending plans, seemingly without regard for the consequences.

Gas, automobile, home prices still rising

Despite assurances from the Federal Reserve that all this will be “transitory,” there are no signs that inflation will slow anytime soon. Gas prices just reached their highest level since 2014, with Mississippi drivers paying an average of $2.89 per gallon. Home buyers are still facing the toughest market in years, and experts predict housing costs will continue rising next year. Used car prices have also reached absurd levels, surging by 42% over the last 18 months. And energy costs are up 25% over the past year and will likely continue to rise as we enter the winter months.

With Christmas season around the corner, shoppers are also being told to expect higher prices for gifts. Salesforce, a national marketing company, predicts that Christmas shoppers will face price increases of up to 20%. These price surges are being caused by a combination of inflation, supply chain problems, and a historic labor shortage, with a record 10 million unfilled jobs across our economy. These stresses have driven up inventory costs for retailers by an estimated $223 billion. And according to the Labor Department, businesses who want to grow their production capacity are paying more to invest in equipment than at any time since 1982. All of these new costs are being passed on to consumers in the form of higher shelf prices.

Inflation wipes out wage gains

Our nation would be well positioned for a strong economic recovery if not for persistent inflation. Most Americans who lost their jobs during the pandemic have found work again, and wages have risen by five percent since the pandemic began. Yet inflation has completely erased those gains. Pay has gone up, but rising prices are outpacing American paychecks. This is the hidden tax on every American, and it is getting worse because of liberal inflation policies.

Democrats double down on inflation

Our economy is resilient, but it is drowning in federal spending passed by Democrats this year. President Biden and his party seem unfazed by the rising cost of living. They are now seeking to pass historic tax hikes and trillions of dollars in more reckless spending, which I fear could trigger a full-on inflation crisis. This is a socialist recipe for sending prices through the roof and making it even harder to live the American dream.

ROGER WICKER is a U.S. Senator from Mississippi. Readers can contact him at 330 W. Jefferson St., Tupelo, MS 38803 or call (662) 844-5010.

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