American families are feeling the financial squeeze of soaring inflation and a persistent pandemic as fractious Democrats return to Washington this week no closer to a deal on a tax and spending bill party leaders hoped would by now provide relief.
Despite gangbusters growth at a 6.9% annual rate during the final quarter of 2021, other economic measures tell a very different story. Average wages are falling behind inflation and consumer sentiment plummeted in January to the lowest in more than a decade.
More Americans are having trouble paying their bills than at any time since last March, shortly before the Biden administration began distributing stimulus checks and other relief measures. Hunger is rising again.
It’s an ominous start to a midterm election year for Democrats struggling to hold on to razor-thin majorities in Congress. President Joe Biden began his term with ambitions to address long-festering economic inequalities and lift prospects for the poor and middle class but an intra-party rift has halted progress on his centerpiece tax and social spending plan.
“We’re learning once again the pandemic is hitting families hard financially. It’s the people who have the least that continue to suffer the most.”
—@Claudia_Sahm, @JainFamilyInst https://t.co/ZbI6cLKsMO via @bpolitics @MikeDorning @elwasson
— Steve Matthews (@SteveMatthews12) January 31, 2022