This is Representative Dick Bradstreet, of Vassalboro, with the Weekly Republican Radio Address.
By now, listeners are well aware of the misery being inflicted upon consumers by high gasoline and fuel prices, and price increases in everyday staples.
Everything costs more with no end in sight.
Just this past week, the consumer price index inflation rate increased 9.1% compared to the same period last year. That is the biggest increase since 1981, according to the Associated Press.
The price of food staples we all use every day, such as bread, is tied to the price of oil, gas and other sources of energy for production and delivery. That is why we have the highest price increases in 40 years.
Put another way, the average U.S. worker has lost $3,400 in annual income due to skyrocketing inflation since 2021. A household with two earners lost an average of $6,800.
These increases are seriously impacting family budgets and pushing those already living close to the margins over the edge.
Imagine what will happen to Mainers who need to heat their homes this winter if home heating oil remains over $5 a gallon.
It was only a couple of years ago that wages were rising, inflation was low, energy was relatively cheap, and disadvantaged communities were able to realize the American dream through home ownership and expanded job opportunities.
The United States was energy independent and didn’t need to beg foreign countries to increase production.
This is no longer the case because of federal and state policies designed to make oil and gas more expensive in order to promote dependence on other forms of energy generation and government handouts.
In the 129th legislative session, 62 Maine legislative democrats sponsored a bill to increase taxes on home heating fuel with countless other examples of democrat policy pursuits that want to take more money than necessary from Mainers to fund our state’s budget in order to fund their pet projects and grow government to an unsustainable size. If that bill had not been stopped by legislative Republicans, we can only imagine the fiscal impact it would have had on those with a fixed income in the face of current rising costs.
Because of failed leadership at the federal and state levels, we have less money to spend. Mainers are struggling to afford the gas they need to get to work and are left wondering if they will be able to afford to heat their homes this winter.
Republicans understand this and will continue to promote policies that allow you to keep more of what you earn, lower the cost of living, and move Maine forward. We will continue to stand and fight for the citizens of this state and push back against proposed extremist policies that are out of touch with Maine.
This has been Representative Dick Bradstreet with the Weekly Republican Radio Address.
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