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Tipsheet

Total Disaster: Latest Inflation Number Will Blow You Away

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

The U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) measuring inflation for American consumers rose 0.6 percent, more than then 0.4 percent increase that was predicted by economists who believed the CPI would moderate in the first month of 2022. Year over year, inflation spiked 7.5 percent — the biggest jump since the year E.T. was released in theaters, 1982. 

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January's CPI data from the U.S. Department of Labor is just another decades-high mark for inflation that continues to burn hotter than it has in a generation while President Biden and his administration falter to respond with action to address the pain inflation is causing Americans.

According to the Labor Department's release accompanying the data, "Increases in the indexes for food, electricity, and shelter were the largest contributors" to January's forecast-busting numbers. Broken down by specific sectors, the CPI showed significant year-over-year increases for energy (27%), used cars and trucks (40.5%), and gasoline (40%). 

The January inflation numbers are further repudiation of two claims made by the Biden administration. First, it debunks the White House narrative from last summer that inflation being felt by Americans was "temporary" or "transitory." As any American filling their car up with gas, paying utility bills, or checking out at the grocery store can tell you, price increases have been anything but temporary. 

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Second, President Biden and the rest of his administration have continually repeated the claim that "Nobody making under 400,000 bucks would have their taxes raised, period, bingo," yet inflation has proven to be a tax on all Americans. Both realities are made even more stark when statistical increases in employment and earned wages evaporate when it comes to Americans' buying power thanks to inflation that's now burning hotter than it has in 40 years.

If President Biden wants to be able to brag about the economy, he needs to acknowledge and take action to mitigate the pain being felt by Americans. Touting wage growth that amounts to a pay cut for Americans when inflation is accounted for doesn't convince anyone that he has a handle on rising costs. If the White House thought a 16-cent savings on Independence Day BBQs was a notable economic shift, then the biggest jump in consumer prices since 1982 deserves some attention too. 

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