Op-EdAppeared in on October 14, 2023By

Real Inflation Is Higher Than Reported. One Shopper Has Proof.

Americans’ cost-of-living crisis continues. On Thursday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the Consumer Price Index rose 3.7% over the last year, about twice the Federal Reserve’s target rate. Although inflation has moderated from the beginning of the year, prices of goods and services have increased by around 20% since President Biden’s term started. Food prices are up by about the same amount.

This inflation has taken a painful bite out of Americans’ living standards. For many people, the chomp feels even bigger than these topline inflation numbers indicate. And they’re not only referring to the price of gasoline, which has risen by 64% — from $2.42 to $4 a gallon — since Biden took office.

One consumer has the receipts. Eshia De Serriere, an ordinary shopper from Bolivar, Missouri,recently posted her Walmart grocery bills to social media, comparing prices for the same items purchased in late 2020 versus today. Observe:

  • A pound of turkey breast went from $3.14 to $6.72, a 114% increase;
  • A 4-pound bag of sugar went from $1.58 to $3.12, a 97% increase;
  • A 64-ounce bottle of apple juice went from $1.18 to $1.98, a 68% increase;
  • A standard bottle of honey went from $6.88 to $10.97, a 59% increase;
  • A pound of ground beef went from $3.46 to $5.47, a 58% increase;
  • A jar of applesauce went from $1.98 to $3.12, a 58% increase;
  • A four-pack of Totino’s frozen mini pepperoni pizzas went from $4.88 to $7.64, a 57% increase;
  • A box of Thai Kitchen stir-fry noodles went from $2.73 to $4.18, a 53% increase;
  • A can of chunk chicken went from $3.98 to $5.98, a 50% increase;
  •  A jar of Hellmann’s mayonnaise went from $3.77 to $5.48, a 45% increase;
  • A pack of bacon went from $11.98 to $16.48, a 38% increase;
  • A loaf of Sara Lee bread went from $2.68 to $3.46, a 29% increase; and
  • A pound of butter went from $2.98 to $3.68, a 23% increase.

Unless otherwise noted, items are Walmart’s generic brand, “Great Value.”

Sorry for the long list of examples, but it’s important to show that I’m not cherry-picking a few items. These data suggest prices of most staples that many families depend on have increased by around twice as much as the official food inflation rate — confirming consumers’ suspicions.

And Walmart is hardly an outlier. In fact, due to its economies of scale and preferential purchasing agreements, it has done a better job than many stores at holding down prices. I recently paid more than twice Walmart’s price for a pound of turkey at my grocery store. Consumers in major metropolitan areas can also expect to pay a lot more.

This divergence between reported and real inflation helps explain Biden’s atrocious economic approval rating, which many liberal commentators argue is far worse than the official data warrant. Looking at these real price increases, it’s no wonder Americans are so sour on the economy.

Biden’s policies are responsible. Reckless spending in recent years, including the projected $1.7 trillion 2023 deficit, has led to too many dollars chasing too few goods, bidding up prices, and diluting the currency already in existence.

Congress must lend the Federal Reserve a hand in the inflation fight and cut government spending, in accordance with Job Creators Network’s American Small Business Prosperity Plan, to help shoppers make ends meet. Until then, pay attention to what ordinary Americans — not government statistics — are saying about inflation.

Alfredo Ortiz is president and CEO of Job Creators Network, author of “The Real Race Revolutionaries,” and co-host of the Main Street Matters podcast.