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Historically High Food Prices Will Only Worsen If A Democrat Wins The White House

Food will become even more unaffordable if a Democrat wins the White House this November, due to destructive climate policies, a report warns.

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Americans have already spent a record-high portion of their disposable income on food since Joe Biden became president. A new study by the Buckeye Institute warns that food will become even more unaffordable if Biden or any other Democrat wins the White House this November due to their destructive climate policies. 

The Wall Street Journal reports that based on data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), food spending ate up about 11.3 percent of American households’ disposable income in 2022. The last time Americans spent so much on food was 30 years ago, in 1991, when George H.W. Bush was president, and Bryan Adams’ “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You” topped Billboard’s 100 Hot Singles of the year.

The fraction of household disposal income devoted to food reflects a nation’s wealth. People in rich nations spend a smaller fraction of their income on food than those in poor countries. For example, Canadians spent less than 10 percent of their income on food in 2014, while Nigerians spent more than 55 percent. 

When a nation becomes more affluent and the standard of living improves, people will spend a smaller fraction of their income on food because they have more money to enjoy things such as entertainment and vacations. For example, in 1975, food spending comprised about a third of South Koreans’ household income; in 2014, that number was reduced to around 13 percent. Since the United States has been one of the wealthiest nations in the world for decades, Americans have spent the lowest fraction of their income on food in the world. For instance, food expenditure was only 6.5 percent of Americans’ disposable income in 2014. But that number has almost doubled since Biden came into office. It is one of the most critical data points that shows Americans have become worse off during Biden’s first term. 

Biden blamed the rising food prices on corporate greed that led to shrinkflation. In truth, it is his fault that Americans are spending more on food. The Biden administration’s excessive spending caused the inflation rate to grow at its fastest pace in four decades, driving up prices of many things, including food, since 2021. Although the growth of the inflation rate has been trending down since last year, the prices of many things Americans need, from food to energy to housing, remains stubbornly high. A chart by E.J. Antoni of the Heritage Foundation on X illustrates the price increase of essential food items since January 2021 — poultry, dairy, bread, and eggs, among others, have increased more than 20 percent.

Higher Labor Costs

Another reason food prices remain elevated is the higher cost of labor. According to The Wall Street Journal, 22 Democrat-run states lifted the minimum wage for hourly workers in January. Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., vowed in a recent debate that she wanted to raise the federal minimum wage to $50 an hour. American companies, such as fast-food restaurants, have already indicated that they would have no choice but to pass on some of the higher labor costs to consumers by raising food prices.  

Thanks to Democrats’ destructive economic policies at the federal and state level, a 2022 survey by FreshNLean.com found 9 out of 10 Americans were struggling with high food prices, which “has consequences on the health of around 50 percent of the population,” and nearly 75 percent of the population wants to eat healthier but can’t because of finances.

In another study, 63.2 percent of adults reported that household grocery costs increased significantly as of December 2022. To cope with skyrocketing food prices, many Americans either reduced the amount of food they bought or did not buy the kinds of food they wanted. Some relied on charitable organizations, such as food banks, to make ends meet. The rising cost of food is one of the reasons why 1 in 8 retirees plans to return to work in 2024. 

Expensive Energy Policy

Earlier this month, researchers at the Buckeye Institute warned that Americans’ grocery bills will go even higher if a Democrat wins the White House this November because of the Democrats’ almost religious fervor in pursuing “net-zero” emissions policies. Biden rejoined the Paris Climate Accords when he became president and has since pursued “an activist environmental agenda that imposes expensive regulatory requirements to meet aggressive emissions-reduction targets,” including restricting oil and natural gas supplies, the report says. The Inflation Reduction Act (a misleading name) was a climate bill aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent below their 2005 level by the end of this decade. These climate policies have already increased the cost of energy in the United States, as another chart by E.J. Antoni shows.

If Democrats (Biden or otherwise) win the White House this year, they undoubtedly will continue to push the same “net-zero” climate policy with renewed enthusiasm. Energy will become more expensive in America, and higher energy costs mean higher fuel and fertilizer costs for farmers.

Based on Europe’s disastrous experience with a similar climate policy, researchers at the Buckeye Institute estimate that American farmers will see their operation costs rise by at least 34 percent. Farmers will have to pass on their cost increases to consumers by raising food prices. Under this scenario, the grocery bills of an American family of four (with an average $70,000 annual income) will increase 15 percent, or $1,300 per year, from $8,320 to $9,650. Prices of some so-called carbon emission-intensive foods such as cheese and beef could increase by more than 70 percent per pound. 

The Buckeye Institute’s study concludes that Americans cannot afford the additional cost that Democrats’ climate policies will add to their grocery bills. The study recommends the next U.S. president withdraw from the Paris Climate Accords and revoke as much of the Inflation Reduction Act’s net-zero funding and tax credits as possible, among other things.

Clearly, only a Republican president will take these actions and ensure Americans have access to an abundance of food at affordable prices. American voters must remember that a vote for Biden or any other Democrat as the next president is a vote for a higher grocery bill and a lower standard of living.


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