Donald Lambro

Ohio has seen prices jump to $3.86 a gallon, and Illinois "is bracing for $4 a gallon statewide, with average prices jumping to $3.95 a gallon," says the website that monitors gas prices around the country.

"Few states saw decreases last week."

But even more shocking is that the government's core Consumer Price Index (CPI), which excludes food and energy costs, rose 0.3 percent last month. That's the largest increase since August 2011.

"The cost of housing, new cars, airline tickets, medical care and prescription drugs all increased," the Wall Street Journal reported.

What this means is that life for many middle and lower income workers, who were already struggling just to make ends meet, is only going to get worse.

"Real wages have actually fallen 0.1 percent in the past 12 months, suggesting that Americans have little ability to increase spending and thereby boost the economy -- unless they save less or take or more debt," says Wall Street Journal "Market Watch" analyst Jeffry Bartash.

And these are workers with full time jobs who are trying to survive in the Obama economy.

But what about the long-term unemployed, many of whom live at subsistence levels, and involuntary part-time workers who desperately need a full-time job but can't find one?

Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen spoke about these Americans at her last news conference, reminding us that America's dubious 6.3 percent unemployment rate is effectively a great deal higher than that.

Don't expect to see a panoply of news stories on the nightly network news shows about any of this.

The highly paid producers, anchors, writers, reporters and technicians who put together the nightly news never experience any impact from inflation. Especially those who are on expense accounts.

But, then, you would have to search long and hard to discover the last time Obama has addressed this subject at any length.

He's been too busy feeding inflation through ever higher federal spending bills, imposing thousands of new, costly business regulations, and higher taxes sprinkled through Obamacare, along with a mountain of corporate welfare subsidies for special interests that in turn drive up prices and keep them there.

"The quagmire of regulations grows worse, making it much easier to start businesses and hire workers in Asia than America," Morici says.

Obama's latest proposal to boost incomes for mid-to-low income workers is to raise the minimum wage across the nation.

But countless economic studies show that this will only encourage more businesses to cut their payrolls.

Banks are shifting to online transactions. Supermarket counters are becoming increasingly automated where shoppers check themselves out with the swipe of a credit card. That's only the beginning.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office crunched the numbers and said Obama's retro-idea would destroy at least 500,000 jobs and possibly one million.

Thank goodness his plan is going nowhere in Congress where even many Democrats think it is a terrible idea that will kill more jobs than he already has thus far.


Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.

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