Increased inflation impacting rural areas

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Over the last 16 months Americans have watched President Joe Biden stumble from crisis to crisis. This is the same Joe Biden who has billed himself as a leader who would govern with a steady hand. But ever since he took the helm, he has crashed our nation into iceberg after iceberg, leaving Americans treading water without a lifeboat in sight.
His open border policies are helping Mexican cartels flood our communities with deadly drugs.
Parents are driving hours to try and find baby formula because he failed to take action to prevent a shortage. But of all the crises facing our nation, not one is hurting more Americans in more ways than sky-high inflation.
The American people know that President Biden and Washington Democrats have only themselves to blame for driving inflation to the highest level in more than 40 years.
In February 2021, the Congressional Budget Office projected that economic growth would return to pre-pandemic levels by the middle of that year, and unemployment would continue to decline – all without further federal government stimulus.
A month after that report was issued, President Biden and Washington Democrats forced their $1.9 trillion bill through Congress without a single Republican vote, causing economic growth to fall dramatically.
It was their reckless spending bill – the so-called “American Rescue Plan” – that ignited the inflation crisis.
Washington Democrats were warned by Republicans and economists from all sides of the political spectrum that their nearly $2 trillion package would derail our economic recovery. Larry Summers, economic adviser to Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, cautioned that the massive spending package could “set off inflationary pressures of a kind we have not seen in a generation.”
Unfortunately, he was spot on: Washington Democrats and President Biden’s reckless agenda is driving up the cost of everyday goods at an alarming rate.
On June 10, we learned inflation in the past 12 months has now increased 8.6 percent – and inflation since Joe Biden took the oath of office has increased a staggering 12.2 percent.
Americans are spending $5,000 at the gas pump this year because of President Biden’s inflation – that’s a 78 percent increase over the previous year. Families in rural areas often drive longer distances to buy groceries, get to work, or drop the kids off at school. That means rural communities are hit even harder by high gas costs – which seem to break new records every day.
In a state where gas prices are historically among the lowest in the nation, I never would have imagined paying $150 just to gas up my F-150.
In fact, inflation in rural areas is 130 percent of what it costs in urban areas, and it’s affecting every part of the budget. On top of record-high gas costs, Americans are also facing price increases at the grocery store. Here are just a few examples of how much more Americans are paying to feed their families: 22 percent more for eggs, 16 percent more for chicken, 14 percent more for bread, and 18 percent more for bacon.
When you combine food, housing, transportation, and energy costs, it’s estimated that President Biden’s inflation will cost the average Missouri household an extra $7,951 over the next year. That’s about how much Americans spend to feed their families each year. Just in May alone, President Biden’s inflation cost Missouri families $663 a month – about the same as a monthly payment on a new pickup truck.
It is unacceptable that Washington Democrats haven’t learned their lesson after derailing our economy with their wasteful Biden Bailout Bill.
They are more determined than ever to force through Congress their $5 trillion Build Back Broke bill, which would raise taxes by $1.5 trillion and add $3 trillion in new debt.
At the end of the day, they care more about pushing an agenda that benefits the wealthy and rewards their political allies than doing what’s right for hardworking Americans.
The American people cannot afford to keep paying for President Biden and Washington Democrats’ wasteful spending. As your voice in Washington, I will do everything I can to protect Missouri families from Liberal Democrats’ harmful agenda.
Congressman Jason Smith (R-Salem) represents Missouri’s Eighth Congressional District. He can be reached by email at RepSmithPress@mail.house.gov.

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