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Higher energy, food prices are hurting most Americans

Ouch! Crude oil prices and prices at the pump are inching close to record heights, while food prices are blazing an upward trail.

Seventy-nine percent of those surveyed in a recent Gallup Economy poll said high energy/gas prices are hurting their household.

Soaring food prices are hurting 76 percent of the folks interviewed by Gallup.

Other costs of living that have hurt the average family include taxes (69 percent indicate high taxes are causing additional hardship), 68 percent say higher healthcare costs are a problem and the federal debt ceiling is adding to the woes of those persons surveyed.

“Americans with incomes under $24,000 a year rate the direct costs of food, energy, and health care as most hurtful to their family’s finances,” Gallup pollsters noted. “Those with incomes of $90,000 or more have a slightly different rank order, rating energy prices as most hurtful, followed by taxes, health care costs, and then food prices.”

However, higher gasoline prices are hurting those surveyed across all income levels. Eight percent of those making $24,000 or less indicated the price of gas is hurting their family. The same percentage was recorded for those making $24,000 to $60,000 annually. It rose to 83 percent for those earning $60,000 to $90,000 and dipped to 81 percent of those making more than $90,000.

Higher food prices hit families in the lower income ranges hardest — 80 to 83 percent said the cost of food created a hardship for their families.

Higher taxes was of greatest concern among those making $60,000 to $90,000 or more (72 to 79 percent).

Our state and national “leaders, including elected representatives, may find that actions aimed at reducing the costs of life necessities — energy, food, and health care, along with reducing taxes — could have the greatest impact on Americans’ financial situations,” Gallup stated.

One must ask the question if now is the time for the state of Minnesota to be raising taxes on its citizens that are struggling to make ends meet?

No. Of course our state’s governor and his party, which controls the Legislature, are acting as though all of us will be happy to give more of our diminished earnings to operate a growing state government.

Keith Hansen

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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