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“Inflation is coming down,” Presidentish Joe Biden insisted in his State of the Union address earlier this month, but new figures show Biden is full of the usual malarkey. “We have more to do, but here at home, inflation is coming down.” Meanwhile, I went to fill up my car yesterday but escrow fell through.
At least I’m not in the market for a new car, something most Americans used to look forward to, but which is increasingly out of reach for millions. Fortune reported last week that “new cars are now toys for the rich,” as “the average price for a new vehicle in the US has jumped to almost $50,000.”
That’s up 30 percent since just 2019. Worse, rising interest rates — a harsh necessity to tame inflation — have caused monthly payments to rise even faster. That shiny new car you might have had your eye on will now cost an eye-watering $777 in base payments alone.
“Every aspect of buying and owning a car has gotten more expensive and outpaced the rate of inflation so it’s important to be more knowledgeable,” CarEdge expert Zach Shefska told Buffalo’s WHRZ News last week.
The average monthly loan payment for a used car is up to $544. As a young lad of 19, way back when, I once spent $700 on a good enough used car, if barely. Not $700 monthly. Total.
There is a silver lining to Biden’s dark cloud of inflation — if you’re a car manufacturer, that is. Car sales might be down — 8% since 2021 — but profits are going nowhere but up. “Ford’s gross profit rose 4.4% in 2022 from a year earlier,” according to that Fortune report, “while GM’s adjusted earnings grew by about $200 million to reach $14.5 billion.” Tesla made an annual profit of $12.6 billion in 2022, with revenues up 51 percent over 2021, “despite missing its sales forecast.”
Must be nice.
Did you want to fill’er up, too? Gas prices are “primed to rise in a few weeks,” according to GasBuddy. They’re already on the way up in the West where I live. Here in Colorado, the average price for a gallon of regular is back up over $4 after briefly dipping to around $3 last year. Californians are closing in on $5 once more, already at nearly $4.75.
Somehow though, a gallon of gas in California is still less than a dozen eggs almost anywhere. “The average price of a dozen large Grade A eggs ran at $4.82 in January,” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics last week. Not only are those eggs more expensive than the most expensive gallon of regular in the country, it’s more than the price for a pound of ground beef — that’s the first time eggs have eclipsed ground beef since BLS started tracking those prices more than 40 years ago.
In states like Colorado, where Democrats have passed strict laws regulating how chickens are kept, prices are even higher. My local Kroger-owned grocery store’s house-brand large white eggs are $4.99. Jumbo size will cost you more.
Home price inflation continues, albeit more slowly than before. Prices rose “only” 7.7 percent annually last November, down from October’s hectic 9.2 percent annualized increase. Nevertheless, monthly payments are going up unabated — just like monthly car payments — due to rising interest rates. “Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average on the benchmark 30-year rate rose to 6.32% from 6.12% last week,” according to ABC News. “The average rate a year ago was 3.92%.”
That’s Joe Biden’s inflation tax making us all poorer, just trying to buy the same food, cars, and houses we could buy before his spending orgy began.
The Left is winning its war on the American middle class through attrition.