Inflation is here for all to see

It’s no secret that the prices of practically everything we buy today have increased dramatically in the past several months. From groceries to building materials to a gallon of gasoline, prices are up significantly since the first of the year. Inflation has been called a most secret kind of tax because it sneaks up on us gradually and affects everything we purchase.
This is what we are experiencing today and it is hitting everyone right where it hurts the most—in our wallets. U.S. consumer prices increased 5 percent in May which is the biggest jump since August 2008 before the financial crisis hit, the Labor Department reported last week. Keen shoppers will tell you price increases have got to be higher than just the 5 percent reported by the government.
Anyone driving a vehicle today, which includes practically all of us, has noticed a gradual increase in the price of a gallon of gas or diesel. The price of crude oil has jumped 46 percent for the year with the national average for gas going over $3 per gallon.
Meanwhile, the price of cars and trucks, new and used, is rising, if you can find one. Dealer showrooms are empty of new cars and their lots look like all the vehicles are practicing social distancing. The law of supply and demand is never more evident than in the car business right now. If your car is running, better hang on to it for a while.
So, what has changed in the past few months to cause this big jump in inflation? Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell put the blame on the American Rescue Plan which is the president’s $2 trillion COVID recovery package for “both people not wanting to work and raging inflation.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy chimed in that gas prices a year ago were at historic lows and are currently at $3.10 a gallon, which, he said, is the highest it’s been since 2014, which is the last time Joe Biden was in the White House. Others put the blame in part on seasonal trends and a big demand as we all get back to traveling. Other experts point to new regulations on oil and gas.
Biden’s first act as president was to sign an executive order halting construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline in our country, which cost thousands of high-paying construction jobs. More recently he signed an executive order banning any further oil and gas drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge. Early this year our country was energy independent and now we are buying oil from other countries that are not necessarily our friends. You have to wonder whose side the president is on.
Rapidly rising inflation is bound to come home to roost for the Democrats in 2022. It is like a significant tax on all of us that we didn’t have months ago. Inflation especially has a detrimental effect on the spending habits of low- income minorities and those on fixed incomes who are the most impacted by this rising hidden tax.
We see inflation all around us, especially in the housing market where exorbitant prices are being paid for homes and land in the Black Hills. There seems to be a feeding frenzy going on as buyers are making offers on homes and land sight unseen. The rapidly rising prices for real estate are becoming a real concern for all of us who see our home and land values increasing, along with higher assessments and property taxes.
Inflation can be defined simply as a general increase in prices and a decline in the purchasing value of money. Inflation last year was pegged at 1.25 percent so we can see where we are headed in 2021. Hang on to your hats, especially if Congress passes any more trillion dollar “recovery” bills.

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