Editorial: Americans socked at store, pump

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.