By Rep. Dusty Johnson
December 3, 2021
I’m sure most of you have noticed the rising costs of just about everything—gas, groceries, restaurants, coffee, home appliances, electricity, etc. Prices have risen steadily since January and we are all feeling the effects of inflation on our wallets and bank accounts. Gallup reported that 45% of Americans have experienced financial hardship triggered by these increased prices.
In South Dakota, gas prices are currently at $3.39 per gallon – one year ago a gallon was $2.10. This is a cost increase many Americans can’t avoid even if they wanted to. You can skip the latte at Starbucks, but you can’t skimp on gas if you want to drive to work. Americans are also experiencing high prices when buying appliances. In February 2020, to purchase a dishwasher plus tax, delivery, and installation, a consumer would pay $1,086.28. Compare that price tag to today, for the same dishwasher, a consumer would pay $1,805.13. That’s a 66% increase.
While many experts had been hoping this inflation would be transitory or short-lived, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell admitted on Tuesday it was time to retire that idea. This is bad news – inflation is on track to be 7.4% – the highest rate since February 1982. Unfortunately, three in 10 lower-income households are already saying inflation is impacting their ability to maintain their current standard of living. I grew up in a low-income household, I know firsthand that every dollar counts.
Congress and the White House need to stop spending. Inflation has been exacerbated because of the reckless government spending throughout the year. That’s why I consistently opposed the more than $5 trillion of irresponsible packages advanced by the Biden Administration in a single year. It’s unacceptable the Biden Administration is spending our country deeper into debt, expanding the role of government, and making it harder for families to pay their bills.
I remain committed in Congress to supporting policies that will lower spending and ease the burden of inflation on everyday Americans.