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Pay Cut

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Kerby Andersonnever miss viewpoints

Do you have too much month at the end of your money? That question and catchphrase has been around for decades. But it seems even more relevant to our current economic situation. High inflation, rising interest rates, and runaway government spending has had a negative impact on American families.

E. J. Antoni is an economist at the Heritage Foundation and has run the numbers and explains that Americans have taken the pay cut every month since President Biden took office. For example, he documents that the average American family has lost the equivalent of more than $7,000 in annual income. He also argued that “There is a direct link between spending, borrowing and printing trillions of dollars, and the disastrous results for Americans.”

A skeptic might respond that while it is true that prices have gone up, wages have also increased. That may be true, but I haven’t found too many people in my sphere of influence who have told me their salary or wages have increased. If you look at the numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you will note that average weekly earnings are up 9 percent since President Biden took office, but consumer prices have risen 14.9 percent over that same time.

In some ways, it reminds me of times when I have tried to climb a hill or mountain with lots of gravel, talus, and scree. Two steps forward can sometimes result in falling three steps back. That is what is happening to the typical family with two parents working. Their combined weekly paychecks are up about $200, but the money has lost so much of its purchasing power from inflation that it is as if their weekly pay shrunk by more than $100.

These are numbers to remember while Congress is debating raising the debt ceiling and worth remembering during the election next year..viewpoints new web version

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