Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, ranking member on the Joint Economic Committee, introduced an analysis authored by senior economist Jackie Benson to the committee on Monday entitled “How Inflation is Weakening the Recovery and Harming Low-Income Americans the Most,” warning of the disproportionate effects of rising inflation.
“Global polling from researchers at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund found that individuals who self-identify as very poor have a 10.5 percent higher probability of naming inflation as a top national concern than those who identify as rich,” Benson wrote. “The researchers also found that rising inflation is associated with increasing poverty rates.”
The analysis also cited research from the Federal Reserve Banks of New York and Cleveland, which pointed to gas prices and lifetime consumption respectively as the main drivers of the divide between the rich and poor.
“Inflation reduces poor Americans’ quality of life, and rising gas prices specifically increase the cost of living for poor Americans living in rural areas much more than for richer Americans,” the analysis says.
Democrats have a different position, stating bottlenecks in the country’s supply chains and a reduction in spending due to COVID-19 are causing the rising prices, according to The Hill.
Benson’s analysis comes after the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics released the October Consumer Price Index (CPI), which showed annual inflation rose 0.9 percent last month and 6.2 percent in the 12-month period ending in October, the highest rate for the U.S. since the period ending in November 1990.
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