Biden’s inflation – driven by curtailing the US energy sector, price hikes on fossil fuels, and massive overspending by Democrats – hits the entire US population. That said, it is especially devastating for seniors on fixed incomes, including pensions and stock investments.
How Democrats could be so tone deaf, so ignorant, indifferent, and unmoved by the rising inflation tax on middle-class Americans, especially older Americans, is unclear – but they are.
As Biden’s inflation hits new highs, subgroups of goods and services consumed by older Americans are spiking. Seniors need more medical care, medical devices, prescription drugs, fuel oil, long-term care in housing, specialized foods, and other services in higher proportions than younger Americans – and these are precisely where inflation is hammering consumers hardest.
As the consumer price index jumped 9.1 percent in June – the highest in 40 years – the impact on specific sectors was higher, with “shelter, medical care and new vehicles being some of the biggest contributors,” electricity up 13.7 percent, gas up 38.4 percent, other fixed costs inordinately high.
Similarly, “new prescription drug prices soared…on 20 percent annual inflation in 2021.” Over time, prescription drug prices rise faster than annual inflation rates – which again directly affects seniors.
In parallel, seniors are hard hit by higher prices for other necessities. For example, “long term care” expenses and assisted living are becoming highly expensive, driven by both price and wage inflation.
Experts make clear that Biden’s inflation indifference is hammering older Americans. “The inflation risk is most acute for retirees and near-retirees who live on fixed incomes, according to financial experts …” seniors having “a tougher time adjusting to higher consumer prices than workers, who continue to get paychecks,” those who “live off income from investments and guaranteed sources such as Social Security or pensions,” in deep trouble.
The real question is why the Biden White House and congressional Democrats are not more concerned. The answer may be wishful thinking, cognitive dissonance, a sense that many seniors are not Democrats, and a general disinterest in the impact of their policies on seniors.
On one hand, Biden and congressional Democrats downplay inflation, oddly blaming Russia, pretending it is minimal, or somehow justified by federal climate policies. On the other, they seem to misunderstand how profoundly older Americans are hurting.
Energy and overspending inflation are not easily contained, and so we can expect effects to continue for months, if not longer. Farmers, for example, face higher costs for petroleum-based fertilizers, crop maintenance, and transport to markets.
So, when will Biden’s inflation end? Probably, not soon. Needed will be a recession, high interest rates, unemployment – which lowers consumption, investment, and prices.
The only other way out is reopening the fossil fuel economy, restoring US energy independence, curtailing federal overspending, reducing the regulatory drag, more trust in the private sector.
Patently wrong-headed are federal subsidies – for gas or any sector – aimed at reducing inflation since one of the key drivers is a dollar value that is falling under the weight of federal debt. Perhaps the best answer is this: Needed is more responsible federal leadership, which may have to wait until next year. In the meantime, buckle up. Thank you, Mr. Biden.
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