The CEO of Target stores recently explained to CNBC that American consumers cut back significantly, “even on grocery items.” He relayed to the business channel that “even in food and beverage categories, over the last few quarters, the units, the number of items they’re buying, has been declining.”
Admittedly, few on the political right will shed any tears for the executive suite of Target, a company infamous for its obsession with woke politics. Nonetheless, Target provides a key gauge of overall consumer health. After all, this chain of nearly 2,000 big box stores, with more than 400,000 employees, boasts a market cap value of $50 billion.
The reality, as relayed right now by Target – and nearly every other major retailer – is that the U.S. consumer is so afflicted by Biden’s inflation that buying food has become a hardship in 2023 America.
In fact, the latest survey results from the battleground swing states of America finds that food insecurity is a foremost worry of American citizens. My organization, the League of American Workers, just commissioned a sweeping poll of the battleground states of Arizona, Wisconsin, Georgia, and North Carolina.
Our survey canvassed 800 registered voters from these states that almost surely will decide the 2024 presidential election, and perhaps control of Congress as well. The poll revealed an overall dismal mood in America, with a staggering 77% of voters stating that America is on the “wrong track” vs. only 17% conveying optimism.
The main driver of the pessimism is clearly economic anxiety, and only 39% of these battleground state voters gave Biden positive marks on that issue. Even more damning for Biden and the Democrats, among battleground state independents, only 9% say they “strongly approve” of Biden on the economy vs. a whopping 48% who “strongly disapprove.”
Within the topic of inflation, food prices worries placed far above other concerns for a supermajority of swing state voters. In fact, 60% of these citizens named food costs as either their number one or number two top concern. For context, the next biggest concern was income erosion at 39%.
So, why are Americans stressed about food prices?
As of September, overall grocery prices have vaulted higher by a stunning 20% in under three years. Looking at some common grocery items unveils even larger price surges in some key staples. For instance, boneless chicken breasts now sell for $4.23/pound on average. But chicken breasts sold for $3.26/pound when Biden took office, so the total inflation increased nearly $1 per pound, or 30% higher. Or take coffee, where the price of ground beans averaged $4.59/pound when Biden took office, but has climbed to $6.09/pound now, for a Biden java increase of 33%.
These retail grocery price levels reflect the massive increases at the wholesale agricultural level, ever since Biden and Republican collaborators on Capitol Hill began an orgy of exorbitant borrowing and spending that sent demand for commodity inflation hedges skyward. Here is a chart of farm commodities as a basket, traded under the ticker DBA, which includes everything from corn to cattle.
Note the pronounced uptrend all year, closing at fresh 2023 highs just last week. Since Biden took office, DBA has soared higher by 36%.
These food price increases flow directly from the fiscal profligacy of Joe Biden and permanent Washington. This cabal of self-dealing, ruling class powerbrokers has increased total federal debt by $6 trillion under Biden, and now runs up gargantuan budget deficits through wartime-like spending levels, even though America is not (yet!) engaged in battle and even though the irrational virus panic has subsided.
This orgy of reckless budget-busting leads directly to the kitchen-table reality of crippling inflation. Consequently, far too many Americans cannot afford the most basic necessities of life, including food.
As a result, across America food pantries grapple to deal with surging demand. In Dougherty County in South Georgia, for example, a local charity food bank called Feeding the Valley struggles with “the biggest food shortage…in 40 years of food banking,” according to CEO Frank Sheppard. He also reports that a full three years after the 2020 panic, demand for food assistance is “still increasing, still 35% above the pre-pandemic level.”
Given these harsh realities, no wonder a supermajority of battleground state voters reports intense anxiety over food prices. In addition, it is not surprising that those same struggling citizens blame Biden for these woes.
Now, it is time for patriotic populist activists and candidates to harness this angst into a positive political force to rein-in unbridled spending and restore the pre-Biden era of prosperity and confidence to hard-working Americans.