WASHINGTON—New data released Thursday showed the annual inflation rate shot up 0.8% in February, with overall prices up 7.9% compared to last February. Americans now face real wage losses of 2.8%. The core rate (excluding energy and food) rose 0.5%, up 6.4% over the past year. Both overall inflation and core inflation are now at the highest annual levels since 1982.
Joel Griffith, Heritage research fellow in financial regulations, released the following statement Thursday in response to these devastating new numbers:
“Thanks to the Biden administration’s policies, inflation is a growing tax hurting all Americans. A married couple with $6,000 of monthly expenses—such as groceries, gas, housing, clothing, and other household needs—is now overwhelmed, with $480 in increased monthly costs dwarfing average wage gains. For a typical family, the inflation tax means a loss in real income of more than $1,900 per year.
“Now is the time for the Federal Reserve to stop its rampant printing of money and for the federal government to halt reckless spending. Both exacerbate inflation. Unfortunately, lawmakers are trying to push through a 2,741-page omnibus bill that spends $1.5 trillion and includes 367 pages of special-interest earmarks.
“In addition, this administration continues to suppress economic output and productivity with its delusional policies, such as blocking access to abundant energy resources. These actions will certainly benefit the politically connected and elite special interests but will make economic struggles worse for working Americans.
“Instead of ramming though a massive omnibus spending bill that doesn’t take any inflation pressure off American families, lawmakers should put forth a more sober plan that cuts federal spending and gets rid of regulations that are holding back our economy.”
For more on the dangers of the latest omnibus spending bill, read 8 Ways Massive Omnibus Spending Bill Is a Mistake.