Each week, IW’s policy experts work together to craft talking points that help us deliver our messages as effectively as possible. IW spokeswomen use these very same focal points to prepare for television and radio appearances and we want you to have the same prep materials so that you can debate these issues with community officials, school officials, and even your family, friends, and neighbors.
FOCAL POINT #1: WASHINGTON’S INFLATIONARY POLICIES
Background: Rising inflation, which came in at 7% in December (a healthy inflation rate is about 2%), is inflicting pain on Americans across the country, particularly those with low incomes. Unfortunately, these high prices aren’t going away any time soon.
- Inflation, including soaring food prices, is skyrocketing, with prices rising at the fastest annual pace in 40 years.
- In December, inflation on all items rose 7% over the past 12 months:
- Inflation rose for every major category of spending items with significant increases in gas (+49.6%), utilities (+24.1%), used cars (+37.2%), food (+6.3%), apparel (+5.8%), and shelter (+4.1).
- Inflation is a kitchen table issue. There is nothing that’s more top of mind right now for Americans than the higher prices they’re facing at the grocery store, at the gas pump, and just to heat their own homes.
- U.S. wages are rising, but sadly they’re not rising fast enough to keep up with inflation.
- The result of the current pace of inflation is that Americans’ earnings are getting wiped out and low and minimum-wage workers are poorer than they have been in decades.
- Inflation is essentially a tax on everyone that disproportionately hurts poor people.
- Lower-income families spend a greater share of their budget than wealthier families on everyday goods and services like food, housing, and health care.
- Prolonged and excessive inflation can lead to scarcity of basic goods. Eventually, the value of money diminishes to nothing or nearly nothing.
- Policymakers must focus their efforts on slowing inflation, slow down trying to stimulate the economy, and steer clear of plans to spend trillions of taxpayer dollars recklessly.
- For the most recent inflation numbers, check out our monthly tracking of year-over-year price changes on common household essentials: https://www.iwf.org/inflation-tracker/
Learn more here:
FOCAL POINT #2: NOVAK DJOKOVIC’S VISA CANCELLATION
Background: Tennis star Novak Djokovic had his Australian visa canceled last week after arriving in Melbourne without a valid exemption for the country’s vaccination requirement for travelers. Here in the U.S., the Biden administration has ordered that American workers at businesses with 100 or more employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be tested monthly. The requirement, which affects more than 80 million private-sector workers, is a threat to our personal rights and liberties.
- Public health officials should encourage the public to get vaccinated against COVID-19. At the same time, vaccine mandates and passports threaten the rights of Americans.
- Individuals have a right to not get vaccinated. We should encourage people to make their own personal decisions, and help them find the best information, but coercion and mandates should be a last resort.
- Public health officials have had incredible control over our lives over the last two years. At first, we accepted these tremendous infringements on liberty based on the idea that it was an extraordinary moment in our history, but now is the time to regrant these fundamental freedoms–not erode them–and give us back control over our own lives.