Although the Democrats apparently don't think so, I maintain that some of the Americans most in touch with the every day effects of a bad economy just might be women. Particularly wives and mothers, even those stay-at-homes, like me, who the Left seems to hold in such disdain.
Despite the fact that the failing economy impacts all aspects of our lives, I am going to focus on two areas: Food and Fuel. The two areas the government has chosen to exclude when figuring out whether there is a rising cost of living in America. Huh??? How did they come up with that one? Oh wait, could it be that it makes Obama look even worse than he already does if the reality about Food and Fuel is told in full?
I do the majority of the grocery shopping at our house. I go each Monday to buy produce and those few items needed to finish until my weekly major shopping trip on Friday. So, I see twice a week what is happening with prices.
My husband does buy most of the gasoline ... when I can manage to maneuver it so that he is driving when my vehicles need refilling, anyway. He tells me regularly about rising price per gallon. And, since I pay the bills, I see the ever increasing amount of income that goes for our gas bill.
I am going to share a few price increases in food that have happened, on average across the nation, over the past two years. I got some actual statistics from Fox News, but I have been aware of these rises on my own, just by comparison shopping each week and seeing the prices go up, up, up.
Some rising price specifics include: Eggs 6.4%, Potatoes 7.4%, Bacon 8.2%, Ice Cream 9%, Milk 9.2%, Beef 11.5%, Coffee 19.3%, and Peanut Butter, 27.2%.
Most of us by now have heard that the price of gasoline has more than doubled since Obama took office. But, let's not forget that we also pay other kinds of fuel and energy bills. The average American household annual cost for electricity in 2009 was less than $1200. That has risen to over $1700. It now costs us over $500 more to heat, cool, and light our homes in the time Obama has been in office. That is nearly half again as much as it was costing us.
The cost of both propane and heating oil for homes has risen. The cost of heating oil per gallon has risen from $2.77 in December 2009 to $4.11 in March 2012. The price of propane in January 2009 was $2.32 per gallon compared to $2.87 in February 2012. Plus, our fuel and energy costs show no sign of decreasing so long as current policies and restrictions are in place. Personally I have seen the cost of bread go from when I was buying plain bread for less than $1 and fancier loaves for less than $2, to pretty much buying only plainer types breads and hoping to find them for under $2. As far as peanut butter goes, I have given up the healthier variety (lower salt and sugar) that I used to buy in favor of the generic store brand that costs about half as much per ounce ... and the cost has still gone up! I have managed to fight the rising cost of produce a little. Instead of buying at the grocery store, I get my fresh fruits and vegetables from a local produce shop. It is something I'd suggest everyone look into as a possible aid to stretching your food budget. But, I do occasionally have to pick up staples like bananas when my little shop is out. And, the price for them has crept up over the years.
I also know that our electric bill keeps steadily rising and our gas bill for vehicles has skyrocketed. I see not one little iota of hope of any of this improving so long as Obama remains in office. His administration seems to revel in making life harder for Americans, especially in areas such as Food and Fuel. Are they trying to create a crisis? Just so they can make sure it doesn't go to waste? The Left does seem to like overwhelming the system and what better way to do that than destroy our homes and families starting at the pocketbook level.
Obama and his minions try to blame these economic woes on others. President Bush, the oil companies, the weather, technology, etc. A lot of folks complain about the oil companies' profits, but they make less money off every gallon of gas than does our own government! And, farmers aren't making more on the food they sell, 'cause they are paying rising fuel and food prices too. If they raise crops, they pay fuel for cultivating and shipping. If they raise livestock, they pay for feed, as well as fuel for shipping.
But, let's not put all the blame on rising costs on the price of fuel. Let's look at regulations, particularly the Environmental Protection Agency! The EPA is responsible for a whole lotta woes in both the farming and fuel industries. Their fuel blend requirements easily add $1 per gallon to our gasoline cost, without adding anything to improving air quality. In many ways the EPA has outlived its usefulness ... if it was ever actually useful to begin with. I, for one, have my doubts.
While on the subject of rising fuel prices and strangling regulation, let's not forget coal, natural gas, and our own efforts to drill for oil here at home. As if the EPA wasn't stomping enough energy expansion into the ground, the Obama administration has not only declared war on American fossil fuel resources, but they are throwing away taxpayer dollars on failed so-called green technology ... some of which just ain't all that green when you really get down to fundamentals.
What it comes down to is that this administration in particular and our government in general are not meeting the needs of Americans, and especially women, economically. Most American women need lower Food and Fuel costs to make ends meet. It is my belief that economics for the majority of American women is a kitchen table kinda deal. Not just putting food on that table, but sitting there as we figure our budget, pay our bills, and pray for relief from high prices.
This economy has personally impacted my husband and me. We do less running up and down the road to see our daughter and grandchildren, who live only about one hour away. I schedule as much of my errand running to happen on just two days a week, so I can make a loop of stops and not have to backtrack or go out of my way, thus minimizing fuel use as much as possible. We reconsidered a summer vacation out of state because of the rising cost of fuel and have opted to stay home. Instead of visiting family and touring some Western states, we will make weekend camping excursions nearby and work on home projects.
As you look at our choices on the ballot in November 2012, ask yourself, "Can I afford four more years of life under Obama?" I know I am asking that question of myself. I wonder how my daughter will feed my grandchildren if food keeps becoming more expensive. I wonder how my husband will commute to work each day with the ever rising gasoline price. I wonder how I will be able to warm and cool my home, care for my animals, and just enjoy life in general.
I worry about these things because I know that Food and Fuel costs cannot be separated out from the rising cost of living . . . contrary to government's little white lie. Those two items account for approximately 20-25% of the average American household's annual budget. Pretty significant. So, I ask again, "Can any of us afford four more years of Obama?" I know the answer for me is unequivocally, "NO!"
© Suzann C. Darnall, APRIL 2012, San Marcos, Texas
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