Biden Shatters 40 Year Inflation Record

( President Joe Biden has broken a new record — but this certainly isn’t one that any president would want to hang his hat on.

Inflation for the past year has soared an amazing 8.5%, the fastest pace it has risen in more than 40 years. The cost of just about everything Americans need on a daily basis — such as gasoline, food, cars and housing — increasing so much that it’s erasing any increases in pay they may have received at work.

On Tuesday, the Department of Labor reported the consumer price index increased 8.5% year-over-year in March. That’s the biggest such increase since way back in December of 1981.

There are a number of factors in this extreme rise in inflation. Consumer demand is high following the easing of the pandemic, yet there is still a severe bottleneck in the global supply chain. Global markets for energy and food have also been significantly disrupted by the war in Ukraine after Russia invaded its neighbor a little more than a month ago.

From February through March, inflation increased 1.2%, according to the Labor Department, after increasing 0.8% from January through February.

The increase in March was the first measure of inflation that included the huge spike in gasoline prices after Russia invaded Ukraine back on February 24. Those actions by Russia resulted in many western countries coming down with hard sanctions on the Russian economy, and that’s led to a huge spike in prices for various goods around the world.

AAA reported that the average price of one gallon of gasoline now sits at $4.10, which marks a 43% increase year-over-year. While the price of a gallon of gas has decreased in recent weeks, it’s still significantly higher than it was even at the turn of the new year.

Biden certainly isn’t to blame for Russia invading Ukraine and, as a result, gas prices going up. But, his administration certainly had other opportunities to increase domestic oil supply to counteract this move, and it’s something he hasn’t done as of yet.

The problem with the higher gas prices isn’t just that it results in Americans paying more at the pump to fill their own cars. Increases in gasoline also results in increased costs to ship goods across the country, which, of course, trickles down and results in other goods increasing in price as well.

The Federal Reserve is trying to put in place some measures that will curb inflation quickly. They plan to aggressively increase interest rates over the next few months to slow down spending and borrowing as a way to level off the inflation.

That will likely help some, though many economists are criticizing the Fed for not acting sooner in this regard. There is also concern, of course, that a rise in interest rates will pull back on consumer spending at a time when the economy is still trying to rebound from the devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Only time will tell how much worse inflation will get, and when it might finally start to improve.