Just this past week we have seen inflation rates and levels reach new record highs, the average price of gas breaking the $5 level across the country, and the stock market has gone through its most horrid returns since back in early January.
After the market closed, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had dropped almost 2.73%, the S&P 500 had dropped out 2.91%, and the Nasdaq had dropped 3.52%.
This past Thursday morning, an announcement went out from GasBuddy that stated that the price of gasoline at the national average had surpassed the $5 per gallon mark. Just a few days earlier, the price of gas was sitting at $4.82 per gallon, which was well over double the $2.39 per gallon average when President Joe Biden took his place within the White House at the start of last year.
On Friday, however, a new report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics unveiled a staggering 8.6% spike in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) from May 2021 to May 2022. This means that the country’s level of inflation had shattered an almost four-decade-long record for its height yet again. This new figure flew past the estimate from Dow Jones of a maximum of 8.3% year-over-year inflation.
Biden attempted to hang the blame for this onto Russian President Vladimir Putin by calling it “Putin’s Price Hike.” He also attempted to force the blame for the issue on alleged corporate price-gouging and onto the more wealthy Americans refusing to pay higher taxes.
“Prices at the pump are a major part of inflation, and the war in Ukraine is a major cause of that. The United States is on track to produce a record amount of oil next year, and I am working with the industry to accelerate this output,” stated Biden in a release. “But it is also important that the oil and gas and refining industries in this country not use the challenge created by the war in Ukraine as a reason to make things worse for families with excessive profit taking or price hikes.”
Although the vast majority of social media buzz from Democratic members of the Senate was concering talks about the Janury 6 protest hearings that were carried out on Friday morning while seemingly glossing over the horrible inflation news, two particular legislators, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), attempted to call for a new bill they think will cut prices.
Klobuchar, highlighting a tweet on Thursday from President Joe Biden that he blames these high prices on “a handful of companies who control the market” for shipping, made reference to her recent Ocean Shipping Reform Act as a way to stop various firms from “jacking up prices.” In the same vein, Warren heaped praise onto Klobuchar’s American Innovation and Choice Online Act — which, as stated by Warren, would “promote competition and lower consumer prices” by blocking various tech firms from “favoring their own products.”