Commentary: The Treacherous Road to Runaway Inflation

In January, 2001, America had a balanced budget, low debt, and was at peace. Here, briefly, is what lay ahead: war, financial crisis, civil unrest, massive growth of the federal government, and now severe inflation.

Never in the history of America has our government in its ineptitude created such a false economy, risking hundreds of years of hard work on unsound and unworkable economic policies. The Founders wisely relied on dispersion of power. They knew there would be dishonest and incompetent politicians but, in this case, the entire government is infected with deceptive leaders.

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Retail Sales Surprisingly Increased Last Month after Plummeting in July

Woman checking out a business

Retail sales unexpectedly increased last month despite continued challenges facing the economy as it recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

Sales ticked up 0.7% in August relative to July and totaled $618.7 billion, according to a Census Bureau report published Thursday. E-commerce, furniture, general merchandise, building materials and energy purchases drove last month’s sales increase.

Dow Jones economists had expected sales to decline 0.8%, CNBC reported. In July retail sales posted a sharp 1.8% decline as coronavirus cases surged, the Census report said Thursday.

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Report: E-Commerce Prices Have Skyrocketed Because of Inflation

Online shopping prices have rapidly increased since the start of the pandemic as consumers rely more on e-commerce, according to an industry report.

While e-commerce prices trended downward between 2015-2019 as online shopping grew in popularity, the sector has seen unprecedented increases over the last year, the report published by Adobe Digital Insights on Wednesday found. At the same time, consumers are spending more purchasing goods and food online than ever before.

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Democrats Plan to Hike Taxes to Pay for Their $3.5 Trillion Budget

House Democrats will consider nearly $3 trillion in tax hikes over the next decade in an attempt to pay for their $3.5 trillion budget that includes most of President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda and would overhaul the nation’s social safety net.

The hikes are predominantly focused on wealthy Americans and large corporations. Among the increases is a top income tax bracket of 39.6%, up from 37%, which Democrats say would raise $170 billion in revenue over the next decade.

A summary of the proposals leaked Sunday, and was first reported by The Washington Post.

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Commentary: Americans Can’t Afford Joe Biden’s America

Americans are tapped out. They are struggling to pay for higher prices at the pump, the grocery store, and just about everywhere else. Friday’s Bureau of Labor Statistics August Producer Price Indexes  report showed on an unadjusted basis, the final demand index rose 8.3 percent for the 12 months ended in August, the largest advance since 12-month data were first calculated in November 2010.

The Producer Price Index is a precursor to what retail prices will be doing in months ahead, and the August report is more bad news. The 8.3 percent annual increase in final demand signals that Americans will be paying much more for goods and services in coming months and verifies what everyone who pays their own bills already knows, Joe Biden’s America is a much more expensive place to live and it is going to get worse.

It is time for Congress to just put a stop to the madness and refuse to pass the budget reconciliation bill. Our nation cannot afford to hit the accelerator when we are already feeling the inflation pain from our prior debt excesses.

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The Global Chip Shortage Will Have a Major Impact on Consumers

Computer mother board

The global chip shortage is beginning to impact consumers, driving up prices of smartphones, vehicles and personal electronics as manufacturers struggle to keep up with rising demand.

“We’re seeing 5% to 10% price increases right now,” Glen O’Donnell, vice president and research director at Forrester, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “They will increase more as this issue drags on.”

Semiconductors, the internal components essential to the functioning of almost every electronic device, have been in short supply since early 2020 due to high consumer demand of mobile electronics cloud services, and other products that require computer chips, according to O’Donnell. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the problem by stalling semiconductor production and disrupting supply chains, with demand for consumer electronics only skyrocketing due to more people working from home.

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Federal Reserve Could Soon Lose Control of Inflation Like in 1960s, Economic Historian Says

Prominent economic historian Niall Ferguson said current inflation could be in line with where it was in the 1960s during the period that preceded a decade of high consumer prices, CNBC reported.

“What is interesting about disasters is that one can lead to another,” Ferguson said in a Friday interview with CNBC. “You can go from a public health disaster to a fiscal, monetary and potentially inflationary disaster.”

During the 1960s, inflation stayed low before shooting up in the 1970s, according to government economic data. Consumer prices ultimately peaked in 1980 before rapidly declining.

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Report: Home Prices 41 Percent Higher Than Previous Peak in 2006 Before Great Recession

A beige house in a suburban community during the day

Home prices in the U.S. are more than 41% higher than the previous peak recorded in 2006 during the housing boom that preceded the Great Recession, according to a national index.

Home prices hit a new peak in June, increasing at an annual rate of 18.6%, and 2.2% compared to May, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index published Tuesday. The index is 95% higher than it was in 2012 when the housing market bottomed out following the recession.

“June 2021 is the third consecutive month in which the growth rate of housing prices set a record,” S&P DJI Managing Director of Index Investment Strategy Craig Lazzara said in a statement. “The National Composite Index marked its thirteenth consecutive month of accelerating prices.”

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Inflation Measure Surges Again, Hits New Three-Decade High

People on an escalator in an indoor shopping mall

An index measuring inflation surged at an annual rate of 4.2% last month, reaching its highest level since 1991, according to the Department of Commerce.

The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) index, which measures prices, increased 4.2% in the 12-month period between August 2020 and July 2021, according to a Department of Commerce report published Friday. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, the index spiked 3.6%, the report showed.

The last time consumer prices increased this much in one year was more than three decades ago in January 1991, CNBC reported. The figure reported Friday is in line with what economists expected.

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Retail Sales Dipped in July Amid Spiking Coronavirus Cases

Woman shopping

Retail sales in the U.S. declined in July as the number of coronavirus cases spiked, localities renewed some restrictions and businesses delayed their return to in-person work.

Sales dropped 1.1% in July compared to June and totaled $617.7 billion, according to the Census Bureau report released Tuesday. The decrease was driven mainly by declining used and new car sales, clothing purchases, building materials sales, sports goods sales and furniture purchases.

Economists expected retail sales to fall 0.3%, a relatively modest drop compared to the actual decline, CNBC reported. All major stock market indices declined between 0.5% and 0.8% on Tuesday morning following the worse-than-expected report.

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Commentary: American Armageddon

Americans are growing angrier by the day in a way different from prior sagebrush revolts such as the 1960s Silent Majority or Tea Party furor of over a decade ago.

The rage at the current status quo this time is not just fueled by conservatives. For the first time in their lives, all Americans of all classes and races are starting to fear a self-created apocalypse that threatens their families’ safety and the American way of life.

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Biden ‘Inflation Tax’ Erases Gains in Workers’ Pay, as Democrats’ Own Economists Admit Fears

Person using Apple Pay at cafe

One promise from the U.S. economy emerging from the pandemic was that American workers would benefit from a tight labor pool driving up salary and pay. And while that happened, the benefits have all been erased by the sudden surge of inflation on President Biden’s watch.

That means workers aren’t running in place, they are actually falling behind as rising prices force middle- and working-class families to make hard choices, like whether to fill the gas tank or the refrigerator.

Inflation topped out at 5.4% in July, the government reported Wednesday, the third straight month above 5%. When President Trump left office in January, inflation was in check at just 1.4%.

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Inflation Crisis: Consumer Prices Surge 5.4 Percent, Led by Food and Energy Costs

Inflation increased at a rapid 5.4% clip compared to August 2020, the Department of Labor said Wednesday.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI), a common tool used to measure inflation, increased 0.5% between June and July, according to the Labor Department report.

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Commentary: Don’t Be Fooled by the Bipartisan, ‘Paid For’ Infrastructure Bill

Capitol building looking up, blue sky in background

Over the course of the pandemic, federal overspending has exploded even by Congress’s lofty standards. While trillion-dollar deficits were a cause for concern before 2020, spending over just the last two years is set to increase the national debt by over $6 trillion. It’s bizarre, then, that the only thing that members of opposing parties in Congress can seem to work together on is fooling the budgetary scorekeepers with phantom offsets for even more spending.

In total, the bipartisan infrastructure deal includes around $550 billion in new federal spending on infrastructure to take place over five years. Advocates of the legislation claim that it is paid for, but they are relying on gimmicks and quirks of the budget scoring process to make that claim.

Take the single biggest offset claimed — repurposing unused COVID relief funds, which the bill’s authors say would “raise” $210 billion (particularly considering that at least $160 billion have already been accounted for in the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) baseline). Only in the minds of Washington legislators does this represent funds ready to be used when the national debt stands at over $28 trillion.

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Atlanta, Dallas, Tampa, and St. Louis Among the Cities Experiencing the Highest Consumer Price Spikes

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Reserve Bank and Congress have taken unprecedented steps to stabilize the economy after entire industries and sectors ground to a halt last year amidst the public health crisis. The Fed has kept interest rates near zero, created lending programs to pump trillions of dollars into the economy, and bought securities to support financial markets. Congress passed three major COVID-19 stimulus packages in response to the crisis: the $2.2 trillion CARES Act in March 2020, the $900 billion Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act in December 2020, and the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan in March 2021.

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Commentary: Democrats Brace for Inflation Attacks During August Recess

Iowa Rep. Cindy Axne, one of the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents heading toward the 2022 midterm elections, spent an early July afternoon talking to constituents’ from the cool environs of an ice cream shop in her district when the discussion suddenly heated up.

“I just wanted to ask, are you concerned about the rising gas prices and the rise in the cost of consumer goods here in Iowa and in America?” one constituent asked.

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Key Inflation Measure Spikes Again, Hits Highest Level Since 1991

Person in white shirt, walking into Gap store

A consumer price measurement used by the Federal Reserve to track inflation spiked again in June and hit its highest level since 1991, government data showed.

The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index increased 4% over the 12 months between July 2020 and June, according to a Bureau of Economic Analysis report released Friday. Excluding volatile energy and food prices, the index spiked 3.5% in that same 12-month period.

The index increased 0.5% in June, in line with economists’ forecasts, CNBC reported.

“Inflation has increased notably and will likely remain elevated in coming months before moderating,” Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell said during a press conference this week. “As the economy continues to reopen and spending rebounds, we are seeing upward pressure on prices, particularly because supply bottlenecks in some sectors have limited how quickly production can respond in the near term.”

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Treasury Secretary Warns of ‘Rapid’ Inflation This Year

Janet Yellen

As more federal data show a major spike in inflation, another top federal official said the U.S. is in for more aggressive inflation for the rest of 2021.

Federal officials have been pressed to speak on rising inflation after \data released earlier this week showed that the all items index increased 5.4% over the last 12 months, the biggest spike since the 2008 financial crisis.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen commented on the rise in inflation, saying it would grow worse this year.

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Federal Reserve Chair: Inflation to be ‘Elevated for Months’

Jerome Powell

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell tried to calm lawmakers’ fears about rising inflation but also said it would probably remain elevated for months to come.

Testifying before Congress this week, Powell said the Federal Reserve was willing to step in to address the situation, but that inflation should level out next year.

“As always, in assessing the appropriate stance of monetary policy, we will continue to monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook and would be prepared to adjust the stance of monetary policy as appropriate if we saw signs that the path of inflation or longer-term inflation expectations were moving materially and persistently beyond levels consistent with our goal,” Powell said in his prepared testimony.

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Commentary: Inflation Has Arrived

Wildly excessive federal spending is causing major inflation and shortages, which may lead to a recession and perhaps a financial crisis. Despite the evidence of inflation, Congress is proposing to spend $3.5 trillion on top of the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill passed earlier this year and the intended $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. For comparison, federal revenue is only expected to be $3.8 trillion this year.

Evidently, the Democratic Party and President Joe Biden have adopted Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) to the peril of every American citizen. MMT, which is similar to Keynesian economics, says that the U.S. should not be constrained by revenues in federal government spending since the government is the monopoly issuer of the U.S. dollar. MMT is a destructive myth that provides cover for excessive government spending. And it’s not modern, since reckless government spending has been around for thousands of years.

Embracing MMT is similar to providing whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. We know the outcomes will not be good.

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Commentary: A Tsunami of Crises About to Swamp Biden Administration

The Biden–Harris administration is now in an extended levitation of credibility. Except for Donald Trump, who entered office in the midst of a public relations terror campaign against him and had no trace of a political honeymoon, all incoming presidents arrive with a favoring wind of bipartisan goodwill behind them.

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Inflation Takes Biggest 12-Month Leap Since 1990s, Key Report Shows

Woman shopping, going up escalator

A key index used by the Federal Reserve to measure inflation showed that consumer prices leapt quicker over the last 12 months than they have in three decades.

The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) index surged 3.9% in the 12-month period between June 2020 and May, according to the Department of Commerce report released Friday. The PCE index excluding volatile food and energy prices increased 3.4%, the biggest leap since the 1990s, CNBC reported.

Energy prices increased 27.4% while food prices increased 0.4% over the last 12 months, the report showed.

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Commentary: Massive Government Spending Has Caused High Inflation Levels and a Weakening U.S. Dollar

$100 bills in rubber bands

Inflation is up 4.92 percent the past 12 months as of May, the most since July 2008’s 5.5 percent, according to data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, amid a torrent of trillions of dollars of government spending, Federal Reserve money printing and a weakening dollar combined with the continued economic rebound led by reopening businesses from the 2020 Covid lockdowns.

The past three months alone, inflation has grown at an accelerated rate of 2 percent combined. If that trend were to hold up for the rest of the year, inflation would come closer to 8 percent.

In the month of May, price jumps in fuel oil at 2.1 percent and piped gas service at 1.7 percent offset a 0.7 percent drop in gasoline prices. In addition, new car prices grew 1.6 percent. Used cars and trucks grew at 7.3 percent again after a 10 percent jump in April. Apparel jumped 1.2 percent. And transportation services grew 1.5 percent after a 2.9 percent jump in April.

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Inflation Surges Five Percent, Largest Spike Since 2008

The Consumer Price Index has increased 5% over the last 12 months, the fastest pace of inflation since August 2008, according to a Department of Labor report.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI), a common tool used to measure inflation, increased 0.6% between April and May, according to the Labor Department report released Thursday morning. Economists projected that the CPI increased by 0.5% and 4.7% over the 12-month period ending in May, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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Yellen Admits Inflation Is About to Surge But Says It Will Be ‘Plus For Society’s Point of View’

Janet Yellen

Increased inflation could ultimately be a net positive for the U.S. economy and large government spending won’t overheat the economy, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told Bloomberg.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who previously chaired the Federal Reserve, said the central bank has been more concerned about inflation levels that are too low, according to Bloomberg. Increasing consumer prices could signal a return to normal, she said.

“We’ve been fighting inflation that’s too low and interest rates that are too low now for a decade,” Yellen told Bloomberg in an interview Sunday.

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Higher Inflation Has Arrived, But Economy Unlikely to Reach 1970s Levels, Report Says

While rapidly increasing consumer prices have triggered fears that the U.S. economy may enter into a period of stagflation, it is unlikely to hit 1970s levels, an economic report concluded.

The current condition of the U.S. economy has created some fear that prices may precipitously and uncontrollably rise while unemployment stays elevated, according to the report authored by Heritage Foundation Center for Data Analysis Director Norbert Michel. But an analysis of inflation and employment data suggests Americans don’t need to overreact.

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Former President Trump Releases Statement on Primary Poll, Biden, and Future Social Media Platform

President Donald Trump released a statement on Monday that underscored his popularity, President Biden’s bad ratings, and his future social media platform. 

The statement comes in response to President Biden’s concerning policy decisions and multiple inaccurate media reports on Trump’s actions.

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Top Economists Expect Inflation to ‘Accelerate Strongly’ in Coming Weeks

Woman shopping

Economists expect inflation to “accelerate strongly” in the coming weeks and months, but said consumer prices would eventually moderate.

The consumer price index (CPI), a common measure for inflation, is expected to rise 2.8% in 2021 and 2.3% in 2022 compared to the 1.2% increase that occurred in 2020, according to economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics (NABE).

The projection, released Monday, reflected the Federal Reserve consensus that inflation will heat up by the end of the year before cooling down as the economic recovery continues.

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Republicans Release Plan to Address Growing Inflation Under Biden Administration

High gas prices

Congressional Republicans grabbed headlines this week after releasing an aggressive budget they say would cut taxes and spending, but key measures in the plan also would address one of the country’s most serious economic problems.

The House’s Republican Study Committee released a budget that lays out several measures to deal with inflation, a growing concern among economists after the latest federal data showed a spike in consumer prices. Notably, the index for used cars and trucks rose 10%, the largest one-month increase since BLS began recording the data in 1953. Food and energy costs rose 0.9% in the month of April, prescription drugs rose 0.5%, and gasoline rose 1.4% during the same month. The energy cost index rose 25% in the previous 12 months.

Republicans on the committee say their plan would address concerns over inflation by balancing the budget within five years, thereby eliminating the need to monetize debt, a process where the federal government prints money to make payments on what it owes. The national debt has soared to more than $28 trillion and is expected to continue climbing under President Joe Biden’s new spending plans.

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Commentary: Price Stability, not Inflation, Will Get the U.S. Economy Back to Full Employment Sooner Rather than Later

2020 and 2021 are two sides of the same coin: Price instability brought about by the dollar being either relatively too strong or too weak, which can lead to or exacerbate economic slowdowns, creating higher unemployment and worse if the conditions persist for too long.

In 2020, at the height of the Covid pandemic, the problems included the global economy being shut down plus local lockdowns resulting in a massive recession and a flight to safety into U.S. treasuries as interest rates collapsed, making the dollar too strong. With the onset of deflation, consumer prices plummeted in March and April 2020, with oil even dropping briefly below zero dollars for the first time in history, and a concurrent rise of unemployment as 25 million Americans lost their jobs.

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Consumer Prices Increase 4.2 Percent to the Highest Level Since 2008

The consumer price index has jumped 4.2% over the last 12 months, the fastest pace of inflation since 2008, according to a Department of Labor report.

The consumer price index (CPI) increased 0.8% between March and April, according to the Labor Department report released Wednesday morning. Economists projected that the CPI increased by 0.2% last month and 3.6% over the 12-month period ending in April, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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Commentary: Joe Biden, Economy Killer

President Joe Biden

Along with a working vaccine, Joe Biden inherited a V-shaped economic recovery, but he is now planting the seeds of its destruction. Inflation, federal deficits, high taxes, incentives for workers to stay home, and incentives to avoid investment – they’re all coming back. Together, these elements create the perfect brew for a Lyndon Johnson-style stagflation. If Biden and the Democrats so quickly wreck the good economic path they were given, it will be one of the worst examples of government malpractice in U.S. economic history. 

In the first, dark days of the COVID-19 national economic shutdown last spring, there was a clear need for major stimulus. Both parties united to pass an effective and much-needed response. 

The U.S. gross domestic product saw a 33.4% surge in the July-September third quarter of 2020, after plunging 31.4% in the April-June second quarter. The economy continued to grow at a 4% rate in the fourth quarter, and the stock market (despite COVID) ended 2020 with the S&P 500 index up 16% for the year as a whole. 

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Gas, Other Consumer Prices Spike in First Quarter of 2021

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released data Tuesday showing a sharp increase in consumer prices, especially gasoline, as many Americans struggle to make ends meet.

March saw a 0.6% increase in consumer prices, the largest spike in nearly a decade. That increase can be attributed in large part to a rise in inflation.

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