Consumers are forking over a lot more money to put food on the table. Despite warnings from Republicans and economists on the left and right about inflation, Democrats poured $2 trillion into the economy, and consumer prices started soaring. The Labor Department is reporting that prices for groceries in February were up 8.6% from one year earlier, the largest such increase since April 1981. With prices rising, it’s no wonder an analysis from Moody’s Analytics last month concluded that inflation is costing the typical household an extra $276 each month.
Surging inflation is straining household budgets, as things like rent, filling up at the gas station, and turning on the heat at home have gotten more expensive. Consumers are also facing sticker shock at the breakfast table. In February, the price of whole milk was up 12.4% from one year earlier. Coffee prices jumped by 10.5%, the cost of eggs went up 11.4%, and the price of bacon soared by 18.8%. A family making spaghetti with meat sauce for dinner must contend with the 13.6% increase in the price of ground beef, compared to one year ago. If they want to grill pork chops, the price has gone up 13.4%. If that same family wants to make a “budget-friendly” meal with dried beans, they still face a 9.6% price increase for the ingredients. Parents were already dealing with higher prices for essentials like diapers, and now they’re paying more for baby food, with prices up 8.4% in February versus one year ago.
The rising prices for food stem at least in part from rising costs for producers across the agriculture industry. As of February, prices for fertilizer were double or triple the cost compared to a year ago. As of March 7, the average price of diesel fuel was $1.70 per gallon higher than a year earlier. The price of feed has also increased. Russia’s unprovoked war in Ukraine will further stress agriculture supply chains. To help food producers deal with the costs, Republicans have called on regulators to ensure financial institutions maintain maximum flexibility in providing credit to farmers and ranchers.
Whether they’re packing their kids’ lunches or making dinner at home, Americans would welcome relief from soaring food prices. Democrats should abandon their agenda of reckless spending, which will only make the current inflation mess worse.
Source: Republican Senate Policy Committee.