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Biden takes aim at grocery stores for ‘ripping people off’ amid continued high prices: ‘Played for suckers’

President Joe Biden took aim at grocery stores, blaming them for “ripping people off” with high pricing amid the continued inflation blame game.

President Biden’s remarks came during a speech at the South Carolina’s First in the Nation Dinner in Columbia, South Carolina.

“Inflation is coming down.  It’s now lower in America than any other major economy in the world,” Biden said. “The cost of eggs, milk, chicken, gas, and so many other essential items have come down.”

“But for all we’ve done to bring prices down, there are still too many corporations in America ripping people off: price gouging, junk fees, greedflation, shrinkflation,” the president continued.

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US President Joe Biden delivers remarks as he attends the Brookland Baptist Banquet Center for their “Sunday Lunch” in West Columbia, South Carolina, on January 28, 2024.  (KENT NISHIMURA/AFP via Getty Images)

The president said that Americans are “tired” of being “played for suckers” by grocery stores across the country.

“Well, it’s going to stop. Americans, we’re tired of being played for suckers,” Biden said to resounding applause. “And that’s why we’re going to keep these guys — keep on them and get the prices down.”

Milk options at a grocery store

A woman shops in the dairy section of a supermarket in the borough of Manhattan, New York, on January 27, 2024. (CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

The president’s comments come as inflation still looms over many Americans’ heads as they head to the grocery store.

A recent Axios Vibes survey found that 59% of respondents felt “angry, anxious or resigned” while shopping for groceries, with anger being the most common emotion. Seventy-two percent of respondents also said that groceries are where they feel the most effects of inflation.

Though inflation has largely fallen from record highs in 2022, prices are still significantly higher than they were before 2020. 

Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans must spend approximately $125.51 on groceries that would have previously cost $100 in December 2019.

Fruit at a grocery store

People shop in a supermarket in the Manhattan borough of New York city on January 27, 2024. (CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday held interest rates steady for the fourth straight time, leaivng interest rates unchanged at a range of 5.25% to 5.5%, the highest level in 22 years.  

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“In considering any adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate, the Committee will carefully assess incoming data, the evolving outlook, and the balance of risks,” a statement from the Federal Open Market Committee said. “The Committee does not expect it will be appropriate to reduce the target range until it has gained greater confidence that inflation is moving sustainably toward 2 percent.”

Biden stands next to Bidenomics graphic

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about supply chain resilience during an event in the Indian Treaty Room at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on November 27, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Fox Business calculations found that since the start of 2021, food prices have gone up 33.7%, shelter costs went up 18.7% and energy prices increased by 32.8%. Moody’s Analytics also reported that Americans spent $211 more a month compared to the same time last year.

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Overall, Americans are now paying on average $1,020 more each month compared with the same time two years ago.

Biden has frequently touted “Bidenomics” and touted December numbers as a sign of economic improvement.

Fox News’ Lindsay Kornick and Megan Henney contributed to this report.



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