Last Modified: Thursday, March 07, 2013 10:19 PM
While the Washington politicians continue to wrangle over taxes and spending, consumers across the nation are seeing their quality of life steadily decline because of rising prices for just about everything they need for daily life.
The statistics show that more and more Americans are struggling to maintain their middle class life styles as they absorb costs in such necessities in gasoline and food.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is forecasting food prices in 2013 will rise 3 to 4 percent due to the terrible Midwest drought last year, which has driven up the prices for corn, soybeans and other grains.
Those increases are on top of last year’s increases in beef, veal, poultry and fruit. Also driving up food prices is the cost of transportation to get the commodities to market.
While the price of a barrel of oil fluctuates daily, one hidden cause over the long-term is the decline in the value of the dollar. Because oil is denominated in dollars, the 40 percent decline in the dollar over the last six years puts upward pressure on the price of oil.
And why is the dollar declining? Among the reasons are the monetary policy of the Federal Reserve Bank, the rapidly increasing U.S. $16 trillion debt, increasing taxes, a sluggish economy, and more investors buying foreign mutual funds.
This all has an impact on the everyday things Americans need for their families.
In addition, average families are also being hit by higher costs of health care insurance due to the implementation of Obamacare, which is currently rolling out new taxes and new mandates on insurance companies, which drive up premium costs.
The Congressional Budget Office predicts economic growth will continue to be slow this year. And, CBO predicts, by 2023, if the current laws that govern federal taxes and spending do not change, debt will equal 77 percent of the Gross Domestic Product and will still be on an upward path.
Politicians of both parties need to put more thought and concern over what their policies are doing to average Americans. Whether it is taxes or and increase in the cost-of-living, it is getting harder for many people to maintain even a middle class lifestyle.
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This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Ken Stickney, Jim Beam, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.