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Opinion Pieces

Butterballin' on a Budget

As Thanksgiving approaches, people are looking forward to spending time with their families to share laughs, enjoy good food, and maybe watch some football. What usually accompanies these warm gatherings are plentiful dips, spreads, dressing with gravy (my own personal favorite), and, of course, turkey. That is if you’re lucky enough to afford one this year.

Last year, America’s favorite fall holiday looked a bit different due to COVID-19, forcing many to cancel their family gatherings. However, most families will share the holiday together this year as we continue to strive for a sense of normalcy.

Apart from the virus, multiple crises have emerged as a result of deliberate actions of the Biden administration. Rampant inflation, supply chain vulnerability, and soaring energy prices are hitting people's wallets and travel plans exceptionally hard during this holiday season. The Consumer Price Index, which tracks inflation, has risen 6.2% since October of last year. This marks a 31-year high, leading economists to predict the public will spend 14% more than last year on Thanksgiving Day.

From thousands of families getting stranded at airports to grocery store shortages and astronomical gas prices, a great deal of anguish and financial hardship across the nation now threaten the joyous family holiday. And with all this chatter about the rise in prices and what will be done to mitigate the crisis, it’s important to understand what people celebrating Thanksgiving will be spending the most on and why. I’ll give you a hint: All signs point to the failed policies administered under President Joe Biden’s leadership.

For instance, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently reported that the price of frozen turkeys is up 20% this year, and if you want a fresh one, add 6.7% on top of that. According to the American Automobile Association, the average gas price in the nation is up from $2.12 to $3.41 today, representing a 60.9% increase. This drastic rise at the pump can be felt in almost every step of the supply chain involved in transporting raw goods from the farms and fields to your table. The more expensive it is to transport staple food items, the more expensive it is on the shelf. That’s just simple economics.

To add insult to injury, this could have been avoided. The U.S. was on a path toward energy independence during the Trump presidency, but the Biden administration reversed many of the policies that helped us achieve that success.

Flying this Thanksgiving? Good luck. If you are one of the 53 million flying for the holidays, prepare for extensive delays. We know airports will inevitably be overcrowded post-lockdown, with 6.4 million more people traveling than last year, but due to our glaring labor shortage, getting many of these fliers to their families in time for Turkey Day seems as likely as the Lions winning on Thursday.

With only 60% of TSA workers vaccinated, staffing limitations at airports around the country are unavoidable as workers protest the vaccination mandate for federal employees. The other looming vaccine requirement for large private companies, despite now being suspended, has affected airlines. Even minimal layoffs will be felt extra hard during the busiest travel time of the year, when an all-hands-on-deck approach will be needed to connect people with their loved ones.

The American people are optimistic, and our hopeful spirit has driven us to greatness. Yet, it’s clear no action has been taken by those elected to lead the country. This Thanksgiving will be a wake-up call for many that leadership matters, and bad policy, such as spending trillions to expand welfare programs through Biden’s Build Back Better proposal, can derail prosperity a heck of a lot quicker than most think. While this period will certainly pass after Republicans take control of Congress in 2022, a lot of pain will be felt along the way.

Read this op-ed in the Washington Examiner