Inflation has soared during President Biden's time in office, leaving many Americans paying more for essential items.
Inflation rose to 8.54% in March from 7.57% in February, having skyrocketed throughout Biden’s first year in office. Economists have pointed to Biden's signature multi-trillion dollar spending package as one of the drivers of inflation.
Inflation is the rate at which prices for goods and services increase over time. In other words, it is the rate of how much more a person has to spend to get the same amount of a good or service.
"Inflation is substantially outpacing wage growth, which means Americans have taken a pay cut under the Biden presidency," Republican Study Committee chairman Jim Banks, R-Ind., told Fox News Digital.
"Liberal, Obama White House economists warned the Democrats’ reckless spending would hurt working families, but Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi simply don’t care and want to spend even more," Banks continued.
Government policies heavily impact inflation, as the federal government is the steward of the market, meaning an increase in government spending or the introduction of more dollars into the market by the government would drastically affect the value of the dollar.
Americans are already seeing the crimson signs of their dollar not going as far as it used to: gas prices are skyrocketing, rent costs are rising, and food is becoming more expensive.
Food costs across the board are expected to continue rising, with a warning of global food shortages coming from Biden last month. The president cited his sanctions of Russia for their war in Ukraine as a factor in the expected shortages.
Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Ok., a House Ways and Means Committee member and co-chair of the Small Business Caucus, told Fox News Digital that businesses "rely on stability in the market and consistency from their government."
"From the farms that grow our food to the factories that process it to the truck drivers to who deliver it to grocery stores and restaurants – everyone is experiencing volatility in the aftermath of pandemic restrictions and conflicting messages from their government," Hern said.
The Oklahoma Republican said that speaking "from experience as a restaurant owner, even a delay of a few hours on a shipment could mean shortages on the menu" and that the "delays we’re looking at now will be much more substantial, and they’ll impact grocery stores and restaurants of all sizes."
"It’s probably too late to prevent a food shortage crisis entirely, but it’s not too late to take action to limit the damage by incentivizing employment, restoring stability, and strengthening our supply chain," Hern added.
Fuel and gas
Georgia Rep. Austin Scott agreed with his fellow Republican, saying that no "American should have to choose between filling their gas tanks or their stomachs, but that's the reality for many under this administration."
"Biden’s irresponsible policies and the Left’s overspending are to blame," Scott continued, adding that "Biden’s gas crisis makes food more expensive."
"Fuel prices contribute to rising food costs because farmers and truckers need diesel to operate and transport supplies," Scott said. "Our reliance on foreign oil directly impacts our grocery bills."
The average gas price in the U.S. currently sits over $4 a gallon, and the hefty fuel prices are making workers reconsider going into the office to work as businesses resume normal operations after the pandemic.
The war in Ukraine has put a strain on the global oil supply, but the Democrats have also largely targeted fossil fuels in their aim to transition America to a green energy economy.
Republicans have also hammered Biden over his decision to nix the Keystone XL pipeline in America while previously lifting sanctions on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
The Biden administration’s messaging to Americans encouraging them to buy electric vehicles to deal with the rising fuel prices has also drawn criticism from Republicans.
Not just the gas, the whole car
Additionally, car prices are up in the U.S. due to chip shortages and supply chain issues that have made buying a new car, including electric vehicles, difficult for many Americans.
In fact, people who bought new cars in January 2022 were paying 12.2 percent more than they would if they bought the car a year earlier. Market analyst Stephanie Brinley told CarAndDriver.com she does not "see MSRPs going down" but that the price volatility could calm down once supply meets demand, predicting that to happen in "late 2023, early 2024." Used car prices haven’t escaped inflation, either, with them being up 28%, according to Kelley Blue Book.
Rising fuel prices have put heavy strain on the supply chain, making it more difficult for car manufacturers to keep up with demand as Americans get back to work.
Home energy costs
Food, fuel, and transportation are just three necessities for everyday American life, but inflation doesn’t just stop at the pump or grocery store: people are feeling it at home, too.
Utility prices have jumped from inflation, too, with electricity costs up nine percent in February and piped gas up 24 percent. Typically, utility costs go up in the winter, but the rising prices have been steadily increasing for the past year.
Not just heating, the whole home
Rent prices are up, as well, with the average cost of a two-bedroom apartment in February 2022 costing $1,295 per month — up nearly $200 from the $1,100 average price in February 2021.
Reuters reported last week that the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit a 12-year high of 5.2 percent. This comes coupled with a cooling housing market as more potential buyers aren’t purchasing homes.
Additionally, as high inflation rates make it harder for individuals to buy homes, investment firms are buying up properties, including entire neighborhoods.
Republicans also slammed the administration for pointing their finger at Putin for the rising prices when inflation has been going up since Biden took office last year.
"I’m tired of the administration blaming the war in Ukraine on inflation when prices skyrocketed day one Biden took office," Scott said. "We had intelligence in December that Russia was going to invade Ukraine, and Biden should have imposed sanctions last year to defund the Russian war machine and reduce our reliance on foreign oil."
The rising prices could spell trouble for Democrats as they head into a tough re-election year that is predicted to see heavy Republican gains.