Pumpkin Spice Latte Drinkers The Latest To Suffer From Biden’s Historic Inflation

One Month After Democrats Jammed Through President Biden’s Reckless Taxing And Spending Spree, Americans Are Still Suffering From The Inflation Fueled By Democrats’ Out-Of-Control Spending


SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “Washington Democrats have spent nearly two years borrowing, printing, and spending our economy into turmoil. Families and businesses across Middle America are paying the price. I met with many of them in my home state of Kentucky over the past few weeks. Since President Biden took office, prices in the Commonwealth have spiked by 13%. At the same time, we still have 19,000 fewer workers than before the pandemic…. The official inflation numbers confirmed that yet again just after the Senate adjourned last month. A fifth straight month of inflation above 8%. Inflated gas prices. Inflated utility bills. The worst explosion in grocery costs since 1979. These are the painful effects of Democrats’ reckless spending. Americans keep communicating, over and over, that runaway costs are their top concern — and they didn’t like what President Biden and his party are doing about it. But amazingly, just a few days before that latest inflation report, Democrats had just pushed through hundreds of billions of dollars more in liberal waste on a party-line basis. Democrats packed their bill with an environmentalist wish list that won’t even affect the climate. They sold it as an ‘Inflation Reduction Act,’ even though experts found it would do nothing meaningful to reduce inflation. They did find room for massive, job-killing tax hikes that will hit manufacturing especially hard and kill jobs on the brink of a possible recession. It’s not getting any easier to put food on the table, pay rent, or keep the lights on. But here we are again, starting another Senate work period, with not one word from the Democratic Leader about plans to bring bills to the floor to cut inflation, fight the crime wave, or secure the border. The American people have communicated loud and clear what their priorities are. And Democrats keep communicating loud and clear they simply do not care.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 9/07/2022)


GALLUP: ‘Inflation Now Causing Hardship For Majority In U.S.’

“A majority of Americans, 56%, now say price increases are causing financial hardship for their household, up from 49% in January and 45% in November. The latest reading includes 12% who describe the hardship as severe and 44% as moderate. … Lower-income Americans are more likely than others to be experiencing severe hardship -- 26% of those whose annual household income is less than $48,000 say prices are causing severe hardship for their families. That compares with 12% of middle-income Americans and 4% of upper-income Americans.” (“Inflation Now Causing Hardship For Majority In U.S.,” Gallup, 9/07/2022)

  • “A new question in the survey asked those experiencing hardship to list some of the specific things they are doing to respond to the effects of inflation. The most common action, mentioned by 24% of those experiencing hardship, is to reduce spending, including buying less in general or buying only essential items. Another 17% say they are traveling less or canceling vacations, while the same percentage indicate they are driving less or trying to use less gas. Other common strategies for dealing with higher prices are buying cheaper goods or generic brands of products (12%), eating out less (10%), buying fewer groceries or growing their own food (10%), staying home (8%), and cutting down on entertainment expenses (8%).” (“Inflation Now Causing Hardship For Majority In U.S.,” Gallup, 9/07/2022)

85% Of American Adults ‘Say Rising Inflation Has Had An Impact On The Way They Shop,’ With Middle Class Households Feeling ‘The Greatest Impact’

“Eighty-five percent of U.S. adults say rising inflation has had an impact on the way they shop, prompting them to look for deals, discounts and coupons, or just shop less overall. This is bad news for retailers, who are also facing inflationary pressures and must balance competitive discounts with the realities of higher inventory and labor costs. The greatest impact has been to shoppers in households earning between $50,000 and $99,999 annually, who are more likely than those in other income brackets to say they’ve changed their behavior … The wealthy are absorbing the squeeze, while low-income shoppers were already pinching pennies.” (“Inflation Disrupts Consumers’ Retail Relationships,” Morning Consult, 9/01/2022)

“Consumers feel inflation pain across categories … Headlines about inflation’s impact on grocery budgets are rampant, which is understandable given that the annual CPI increase for grocery was 13.1% in July…. in all sectors tracked for [Morning Consult’s] H2 State of Retail and E-commerce report, shoppers reported steady increases in spending compared with the beginning of the year.” (“Inflation Disrupts Consumers’ Retail Relationships,” Morning Consult, 9/01/2022)


Grocery Prices Continue To Climb, With A Majority Of Americans ‘Extremely Or Very Concerned’ About Them

“[F]ood prices have continued to ratchet higher. Grocery prices rose 13.1% in July from a year before, the fastest annual pace since 1979, according to the Labor Department. … Concern over the price of groceries was second only to worries over the impact of the price of gas on their household finances in a May survey conducted by The Wall Street Journal and NORC at the University of Chicago, a nonpartisan research organization. The survey found 54% of people were extremely or very concerned over the price of groceries, with an additional 26% somewhat concerned, out of a list of eight concerns.” (“High Grocery Bills Pose Liability for Democrats as Midterms Approach,” The Wall Street Journal, 8/28/2022)

“Stuart Steinfeld used to go to two stores to do his grocery shopping every week. These days, he shops at five markets weekly to optimize the lowest prices for the eggs, yogurt, cranberry juice and other foods that he and his wife like to eat. ‘I just don’t like spending 30% more on groceries than I used to. It bugs me,’ said Mr. Steinfeld, who retired from the financial industry and lives in Santa Clara, Calif. Mr. Steinfeld, who said he typically votes for the party not in power—and plans to vote against his Democratic House incumbent this fall—says Democrats’ spending and energy policies contributed to higher prices at the grocery store. His views underscore the political liability Democrats controlling both chambers of Congress and the White House face over high food prices heading into November’s midterm elections.” (“High Grocery Bills Pose Liability for Democrats as Midterms Approach,” The Wall Street Journal, 8/28/2022)

And High Energy Prices Are Now Driving Up The Price Of Toilet Paper, Too

“The toilet paper shortage of 2020 was an early warning sign of the large supply-chain disruptions that the global economy was about to suffer. Now wholesale tissue paper prices are surging to an all-time high — a new crisis that indicates inflationary pressures are still building up…. As is true for many manufacturers, the core of the problem for toilet paper is the cost of energy. Transforming wood into pulp and then into toilet tissue is very energy-intensive — more so than for other kinds of papers. In Europe, the process is now prohibitively expensive as natural gas and electricity wholesale prices surge to an all-time high…. The price increases will soon find their way onto the supermarket shelves. So far this year, consumer-goods companies such as Proctor & Gamble Co. and Kimberly-Clark Corp. have hiked their prices somewhat and reduced the length of the rolls to preserve their margins. On average, industry executives say rolls are 6% to 8% shorter today compared with a year ago while they are 8% to 10% more expensive. A new round of retail price hikes is now coming, at least in Europe. And you can expect to see even shorter toilet paper rolls in the fourth quarter. Such shrinkflation is getting worse: Instead of toilet paper rolls just getting shorter, the paper sheets are starting to get narrower, too.” (“A New Toilet Paper Crisis Shows Inflation Is Still Spiraling,” Bloomberg News, 9/07/2022)


As Children Head Back To Class, Parents And Teachers Are Struggling To Pay For School Supplies And Schools Can’t Keep Up With Prices For Lunches

Not Everyone Got Everything New, [And] Not Everyone Could Get Everything’

“Just 36% of parents said they would be able to pay for everything their kids need this school year, according to Morning Consult's annual back-to-school shopping report. That's down sharply from 52% in 2021, when inflation was lower and stimulus checks plus advance child tax credit payments helped some families. … Morning Consult has ‘been polling consumers every other week and the thing that set off alarm bells for me was the spike in the number of parents who don't feel like they can afford all the school supplies this year,’ said Claire Tassin, a retail and e-commerce analyst with the market data intelligence firm.” (“Parents Struggling With Inflation: 'I Left That $25 Backpack For My Preschooler At The Checkout.',” CNN, 9/04/2022)

  • “As Sarah Longmore finished her back-to-school shopping, the mother of five looked at a $25 backpack for her preschooler. Soaring inflation had crunched the family's budget, and she decided her daughter could make do with a hand-me-down. She put the backpack back. Like Longmore, many parents — regardless of income — are finding their back-to-school dollars aren't going as far as they once did. Inflation is at levels not seen in decades, with prices spiking for groceries, gas, home goods and just about everything needed to run a household. … ‘My shopping habits have changed significantly,’ said Longmore, an HR professional who lives in the Poconos in Pennsylvania with her husband and five children…. ‘Not everyone got everything new, [and] not everyone could get everything,’ Longmore said. The 12-year-old chose new clothes instead of a new backpack and stationery, for example. The younger children are inheriting siblings' backpacks and desks that still have life in them…. ‘It's been at least 20 years since I have had to pull back to this extent," she said. ‘This is a new and humbling experience for me as an adult.’ … Longmore has been shopping more at Walmart and Target to score better discounts, especially on kids' clothes and shoes. Still, her credit card debt is ‘not looking great right now,’ she said.” (“Parents Struggling With Inflation: 'I Left That $25 Backpack For My Preschooler At The Checkout.',” CNN, 9/04/2022)

“Beyond parents, teachers are also concerned about being able to adequately prepare their classrooms for the new academic year. Many end up spending their own money on supplies, and those in low-income districts often purchase items for their students. Sixth-grade teacher Cynthia Angell, who lives in Tracy, California, finds herself less able to financially assist her class of predominantly low-income students. ‘I have in past years provided students with school supplies. This year I will not be able to do so,’ Angell said in an email to CNN Business. She hopes families with means will donate classroom supplies, ‘but I expect parents are also limited in how much they can help,’ Angell said, adding that she fears the problems will disproportionately impact students from lower-income families.” (“Parents Struggling With Inflation: 'I Left That $25 Backpack For My Preschooler At The Checkout.',” CNN, 9/04/2022)

‘We Are Seeing Anywhere From A Five To 200% Price Increase Compared To Last School Year For Many Of The Products That We Purchase’

“To see the real-world impact of inflation, you can look to the reams of data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Or you can talk to Shannon Gleave. ‘Last year, for 152 slices of bread we paid about $3.80,’ said Gleave, the director of food and nutrition services at Glendale Elementary School District. ‘This year the cost is right at $6.90 for the same amount.’ It’s a situation being faced by school districts across the state [of Arizona], where officials are scrambling to figure out how to afford meals for students at a time when inflation nationwide is running at the highest level in decades…. Prices were up across the board, including in the staples of the school cafeteria: Milk rose 15.6%, fresh fruits were up 9%, bread was 13.7% higher and the cost of eggs increased 38%.” (“Inflation Has Phoenix Schools Scrambling To Afford Student Meals,” Cronkite News, 9/06/2022)

  • “Even the rising cost of food storage is putting the pinch on school districts. Lindsay Aguilar, the Tucson Unified School District ‘s director of food services, said those have been some of the steepest increases, with containers for storing salads and vegetables going up 116-135% over the last year. ‘We are seeing anywhere from a five to 200% price increase compared to last school year for many of the products that we purchase,’ Aguilar said. The rising prices have put school districts in a difficult spot: They can raise prices for the families they serve, or find a way to lower costs. Already, Aguilar said her district has had to raise prices by 20 cents per meal, boosting the full price for lunch to $2.50 for kindergarten through fifth-grade students and $3 for sixth- through 12th-graders. It’s the first time the district has raised prices since 2019, when pandemic relief programs helped subsidize school meals.” (“Inflation Has Phoenix Schools Scrambling To Afford Student Meals,” Cronkite News, 9/06/2022)


With Energy Costs Soaring, ‘A Tsunami Of Shutoffs’ Is Expected As Millions Of Households Fall Behind On Utility Bills

“Already gut-punched by soaring prices for just about everything, more and more people are facing a choice among food, housing, and keeping the power on. ‘I expect a tsunami of shutoffs,’ says Jean Su, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, which tracks utility disconnections across the US.” (“A ‘Tsunami of Shutoffs’: 20 Million US Homes Are Behind on Energy Bills,” Bloomberg News, 8/23/2022)

“[S]ome 20 million across the country—about 1 in 6 American homes— … have fallen behind on their utility bills. It is, according to the National Energy Assistance Directors Association (Neada), the worst crisis the group has ever documented. Underpinning those numbers is a blistering surge in electricity prices, propelled by the soaring cost of natural gas.” (“A ‘Tsunami of Shutoffs’: 20 Million US Homes Are Behind on Energy Bills,” Bloomberg News, 8/23/2022)

“Adrienne Nice woke up early on the morning of July 25 to news she’d been dreading. The power company, Xcel Energy Inc., had shut off the electricity to the small Minneapolis apartment she shares with her teenage son, just as a heat wave was bearing down on the city. Nice had been struggling financially ever since the pandemic hit, racking up more than $3,000 in past-due utility bills…. With temperatures set to reach 95F in the coming days, she needed the power back on, and fast…. Nice, 45, is a housecleaner. Her work dried up almost overnight when Covid-19 swept through Minnesota in early 2020. Things are picking up again, but inflation is eating into the money she makes. Just filling up her old Saturn sedan to drive from house to house now costs about $50 a week. She found it impossible to set aside enough money for utilities, especially as her power bill effectively doubled over the past year. A friend who used to live in the apartment along with her two kids moved out in mid-2021. But though Nice’s household is using less electricity, she’s still getting charged about the same amount per month—$244, on average. ‘I just don’t understand how electricity can be so high,’ she says.” (“A ‘Tsunami of Shutoffs’: 20 Million US Homes Are Behind on Energy Bills,” Bloomberg News, 8/23/2022)


Inflation Is Slamming Farmers, Too, With Costs For Fuel And Fertilizer Skyrocketing

“Fuel prices … are still on the minds of many Americans, especially those in rural areas…. ‘Everything has gotten completely out of proportion for what a cow can pay for now,’ said Matt Avery, a longtime rancher in Campbell County, Wyoming. ‘And so, with the diesel fuel and everything, it makes our profit margin a lot less.’ Avery, like many in the agriculture industry, uses diesel for his pickups and farm equipment. He said that while prices have risen for many things, diesel costs have only added to the equation, estimating that his fuel costs have gone from about $3,500 to more than $6,000 over the last six months or so. He added that those costs have played a role in reducing the amount of acreage he replants.” (“In Rural Areas, The High Cost Of Diesel Is Driving Up The Cost Of Doing Business,” Minnesota Public Radio’s Marketplace, 8/30/2022)

“On [August 30th] in Kimberly [Idaho], Twin Falls County farmer Larry Hollifield was harvesting barley and baling up straw for sale. He said he also produces alfalfa, wheat and sugar beets…. [H]is farm expenses across the board are up 20% to 30%.... Famers have reported seeing huge inflationary increases in things like labor, parts and the cost of fuel. Some in the range of 70% to 90% above last year, but the biggest increase they have seen is in the cost of fertilizer. ‘Our nitrogen fertilizer, liquid and dry, is over 100% increase from 2021,’ Hollifield said. He said there is always increases in certain products but not across the board. It’s unheard of.” (“Idaho Farmers Still Dealing With The Burden Of Inflation,” KMVT11, 8/31/2022)


Sadly, Not Even A Comforting Pumpkin Spice Latte Will Help Americans Escape Inflation This Fall

“Not even Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte is immune to inflation. The fall favorite, which [returned last week], is getting more expensive with a grande-sized hot PSL costing customers between $5.45 to $5.95 depending on location — a roughly 4% increase compared to 2021. That's in line with broader price hikes at Starbucks and other chains, which have all increased menu prices gradually over the past year because of inflationary pressures.” (“Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte Is Coming Back At A Higher Price,” CNN Business, 8/29/2022)



Related Issues: Economy, Inflation, Middle Class