“Inflation will hit you again. This time for your July 4 feast,” reports Alabama Media Group:
U.S. consumers will pay more for their favorite Independence Day cookout foods, including cheeseburgers, pork chops, chicken breasts, homemade potato salad, strawberries and ice cream, based on a new American Farm Bureau Federation survey. The average cost of a summer cookout for 10 people is $69.68, which breaks down to less than $7 per person. The overall cost for the cookout is up 17 percent or about $10 from last year.
The Farm Bureau Federation’s chief economist says that “in many cases the higher prices farmers are being paid aren’t covering the increase in their farm expenses. The cost of fuel is up and fertilizer prices have tripled.”
The largest price increase is for ground beef, up 36% from last year to $11.12 for 2 pounds of ground beef. Other foods used in July 4th cookouts, such as chicken breasts, pork chops, potato salad, lemonade, pork & beans, hamburger buns and cookies, also got more expensive:
2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, $8.99 (+33%)
32 ounces of pork & beans, $2.53 (+33%)
3 pounds of center cut pork chops, $15.26 (+31%)
2.5 quarts of fresh-squeezed lemonade, $4.43 (+22%)
2.5 pounds of homemade potato salad, $3.27 (+19%)
8 hamburger buns, $1.93 (+16%)
Half-gallon of vanilla ice cream, $5.16 (+10%)
Biden’s policies caused inflation, according to economists like Bill Clinton’s Treasury Secretary, Larry Summers, and Obama treasury official Steven Rattner. As Rattner noted in the New York Times, Biden has spent “an unprecedented amount” of taxpayer money, which resulted in “too much money chasing too few goods.”
While prices are going up, people’s savings are shrinking. Their savings accounts are earning interest rates of 1% or less, which fails to keep pace with an inflation rate of over 8%. Effectively, people’s savings accounts are losing 7% of their value each year.
Their retirement accounts, often invested in stock and mutual funds, are shrinking, too. Stocks fell so much in the first half of 2022, that the stock market had its worst first half in 52 years. The S&P 500 Index had a first-half plunge of 21%, its worst performance since 1970. The stock market’s value is lower now than when Joe Biden took office.
The decline in the stock market reflects a weak economy. The Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank estimates that the economy shrank by 1% in the second quarter of 2022, after falling by 1.6% in the first quarter of 2022. That suggests that America is already in a recession. The shrinking economy reflects a huge rise in America’s trade deficit. In the first quarter of 2022, American exports decreased by 9.6%, while imports grew by 17.7%; U.S. productivity dropped at a 7.5% annual rate, the most since 1947.
Inflation is higher in the U.S. than in many European countries: Inflation is just 5.2% in France, and 2.9% in Switzerland, even though European countries are more affected by price hikes due to the war in Ukraine, and disruptions in the supply of oil and gas to Europe from Russia.
Under Trump, the U.S. economy outperformed Europe, especially during the pandemic year of 2020, when Britain, France and Italy experienced much sharper economic declines than the U.S. The U.S. economy shrank 3.5% in 2020. The economy shrank much more in Europe: 7.9% in France, 9.9% in the United Kingdom, and 8.9% in Italy.
But that has changed under Biden. While America’s economy was shrinking in the first quarter of 2022, France’s economy was growing. A finance professor describes the current era in the U.S. as the “Biden stagflation,” combining high inflation with economic stagnation.
To deal with the high inflation of the Biden era, Senator Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) suggested a tax increase. But raising taxes on Americans would likely reduce economic growth and could deepen the coming recession.
The economy is being held back by Biden Administration policies that discourage work, reward idleness, and make it harder for companies to attract employees. Gas prices have more than doubled since Joe Biden took office. Biden made gas prices rise faster by curbing oil production, making oil more scarce. On taking office, Biden issued a slew of executive actions suspending oil and gas leases.
Farmers are being “crushed” by the record cost of diesel – to the point where a food crisis may loom, according to the Morning Call in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
A Lehigh County farmer stated, “I’ve got a tractor hooked up to my corn planter out here, no diesel fuel, and I can’t afford to get any.”
Record diesel fuel prices are pushing farmers to the brink and may affect food availability, says farmer Kyle Kotzmoyer, who represents the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau. “We have reached that point to where it is very close to being a sinking ship,” said Kotzmoyer in testimony to the Pennsylvania legislature on June 14. “We are teetering on the edge right now.”