Families are struggling under rising inflation, Biden-led regulation, experts say

The cost of food since the beginning of Biden’s term in 2021 has risen 19.6%, according to FRED. In that same time, real wages declined by 2.1%.

President Joe Biden delivers remarks at a Rose Garden event celebrating National Small Business Week, Monday, May 1, 2023. (White House/Flickr)

(Daily Caller News Foundation) — The costs associated with raising and supporting a family have dramatically increased under President Joe Biden’s tenure, which experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation is hurting average Americans.

The cost of child-care, which is a key expense for families with younger kids, has risen far faster than the rate of general inflation, increasing 32% since 2019 and affecting middle- and upper-income households the most. Biden’s policies have increased costs in metrics that average American families are most sensitive to, like shelter and food, experts told the DCNF.

“If you had to pick the places where inflation remains the most significant, it’s going to be in food and shelter, certainly in shelter,” Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum and former director of the Congressional Budget Office, told the DCNF. “And having kids means you need more space. And so that’s going to be a really expensive proposition right now.”

The cost of shelter has risen 17.3% since Biden took office in January 2021, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Mortgage rates have also soared under the president’s tenure, peaking at 7.9% at the end of October — the highest point in 23 years.

Mortgage rates are facing upward pressure from the Federal Reserve’s hikes to the federal funds rate, which has been placed in a range of 5.25% and 5.50%, the highest point since 2001, in an effort to fight inflation. Inflation peaked under Biden at 9.1% in June 2022 and has since decelerated, with the Consumer Price Index measuring 3.7% for both August and September, but far above the Fed’s 2% target.

“Without the American Rescue Plan to spend all our stimulus in 2021, we don’t get the inflation that we’ve experienced,” Holtz-Eakin told the DCNF. “That was one of only three times in U.S. history that inflation went up by more than six percentage points in a year. When we started the year, it was at 1.4%, and then the peak was 9.1%. Biden’s policies were responsible for that, at least in part, and so they’re responsible for having to raise rates to combat that.”

Biden signed the American Rescue Plan in 2021, which approved $1.9 trillion in new stimulus, and the Inflation Reduction Act in 2022, which added $750 billion in spending.

“To the extent that inflation has clobbered families, and particularly single moms and the working poor, it’s the Federal Reserve more than the Biden administration that is to blame,” Peter Earle, economist at the American Institute for Economic Research, told the DCNF. “As for the Biden administration, a wide range of regulatory initiatives have been driving prices up as well. To name just one: new auto efficiency standards. They’ve increased the production cost of new cars, which has been passed on to consumers even as the effects of inflation have abated.”

The cost of food since the beginning of Biden’s term in 2021 has risen 19.6%, according to FRED. In that same time, real wages declined by 2.1%.

Child poverty increased from 5.2% in 2021 to 12.4% in 2022, bringing it to the same level as the overall poverty rate, according to the government’s Supplemental Poverty Measure. Biden blamed the increase on the lapse of the expanded Child Tax Credit that expired during this time period.

“[The Biden administration] had a complete mishandling of the baby formula shortage a while back,” Holtz-Eakin told the DCNF. “That was the FDA’s jurisdiction. They did some things temporarily to allow imports from Europe and Canada and took the tariffs off those imports. That made a lot of sense, and then they promptly undid that.”

The U.S. experienced a baby formula shortage starting in 2021 after a whistleblower told the Food and Drug Administration about alleged unsafe and unsanitary work conditions at a major baby formula production plant, which was not heeded until four months later, when the plant was shut down. The Biden administration’s attempt to import the goods from abroad did not effectively alleviate the issue.

“In 2023 alone, 183 new regulatory packages have been finalized at a cost of $111 billion and over 5 million hours of paperwork,” Earle told the DCNF. “They range from new rules regarding the condemnation of poultry carcasses to accessibility guidelines for pedestrian facilities and far behind. What they all have in common, though, is that each makes daily life more costly for US citizens and allows the US government to creep silently into one of the increasingly few areas of American life not yet occupied by state oversight and management.”

The president’s green agenda is also poised to increase prices for average Americans looking to own a home. The Biden administration has proposed a number of new regulations that target household appliances, like placing emissions standards on gas stoves and water heaters, which could add up to a potential total of $9,166 in new costs for average families in home adjustments.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request to comment from the DCNF.


Will Kessler