Another Expensive Holiday Season: by Congressman Tom Cole

For the second year in a row, Americans will experience the most expensive holiday season on record as inflation remains at a 40-year high. While this was first felt while celebrating Thanksgiving last week, unfortunately it does not look like our economic hardships will improve during the rest of this year.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices increased at an annual rate of 7.7 percent in October. More specifically, the price of turkey is up 21 percent, stuffing mix is up 69 percent, pumpkin pie mix is up 18 percent and dinner rolls are up 22 percent. This makes it significantly harder for families to put a holiday meal on the table. In fact, according to a recent Morning Consult poll, nearly 40 percent of Americans plan to ease this financial burden by reducing their holiday meals and cutting out some side dishes.

Additionally, because Democrats have significantly slowed down U.S. energy production, the cost for Americans to travel and visit their families is higher than ever before. In fact, the price of gasoline is up 17.5 percent while airfare is up almost 43 percent.

A sign pointing toward more economic downturn is that seasonal hires this year for the holiday shopping season have already decreased 37 percent compared to last November. Corporations and small businesses’ inability to fully staff up will not only be more disastrous for our economy, but also shows our nation’s recession is crushing America’s job creators. Also, more than half of U.S. CEOs recently surveyed by CNBC are considering layoffs because of the recession, leaving nearly 40 percent of Americans worried about losing their jobs. While this should be a season of thankfulness, giving and time with family and loved ones, many Americans are worried about the future of their jobs and income.

Democrats unfortunately remain focused on the wrong things as unaffordable prices continue to hurt Americans and our businesses. However, now that Republicans have regained control of the House of Representatives, Democrats and President Joe Biden must come to the table and reach across the aisle on policies to rebuild our once strong economy and get America back on the right track.

Although this season is filled with financial struggles and worries of a slowing economy, it is possible to pump the brakes on Democrats’ car of disastrous policies that has been moving full steam ahead the last two years. As the incoming majority in the House next year, Republicans are committed to fighting inflation, reducing gas prices by restoring American energy independence and securing our supply chains. And we are ready to work with our Democratic colleagues on these issues that are most important to the American people. 

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