Common Sense Institute Arizona to Welcome Katie Ratlief as New Executive Director

The Common Sense Institute (CSI) Arizona announced Tuesday that the Deputy Chief of Staff for Gov. Doug Ducey, Katie Ratlief, will join the organization as its new executive director come January 2023.

“I am proud to become the Executive Director for CSI Arizona. I believe CSI has the unique capabilities to position Arizona at the forefront of the 21st century economy by capitalizing on unprecedented growth and an ever-evolving business environment through sound, accurate econometric research. At CSI, I believe we have a responsibility to use our diverse professional expertise and unwavering commitment to serve Arizonans to propel policy debates forward in pursuit of more meaningful and impactful policies,” said Ratlief.

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Military Subsidizes Service Members’ Grocery Bills amid Higher Prices

The U.S. Department of Defense is taking new measures to help U.S. service members deal with rising costs as inflation continues to put the pressure on Americans.

Air Force Brigadier General Pat Ryder laid out a series of changes from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to help families deal with the recent rise in costs, particularly in food, housing and childcare.

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Stores Implementing New Ideas to Keep Up with Inflation

Financial executives across the retail industry have been forced to adjust strategies to account for customer expectations as inflation puts pressure on outlets, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

Major retailers, including Macy’s and Target, who used discounts to clear excess inventory after overestimating demand for their products following a wave of pandemic-era retail spending, are being forced to develop strategies, such as reducing the size of bundles or subtly cutting down on discounts, to entice customers while protecting profit margins, the WSJ reported. Dollar stores have gained popularity as consumers struggle with inflation and — in tandem with the more aggressive discounting campaign by retailers — customers’ heightened demand for value has left some retailers concerned that customers might start to expect discounts that damage profits.

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Commentary: States Are Showing Washington How to Relieve Inflation

Inflation continues to be the top concern for American voters going into the midterm elections. But rather than advancing responsible policies that will tame inflation, the federal government continues to pursue tax and spending plans that will raise the federal deficit, undermine growth, and do nothing to lower prices.

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Blake Masters Receives Endorsement from Leading Small Business Advocacy Organization

Trump-endorsed Arizona Senate nominee Blake Masters received another big-ticket endorsement Thursday, this time from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the national leading small business advocacy group.

“Blake Masters has experience working in the business community and will be a strong supporter of Arizona’s small businesses in the U.S. Senate,” said Chad Heinrich, NFIB Arizona State Director. “His top priority in Congress will be to get the economy back on track and to create a pro-small business environment. He has also expressed an interest in improving workforce training, which will help small businesses immensely as they continue to manage a worker shortage. We are proud to endorse Blake Masters today and look forward to working with him.”

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Fed Hikes Interest Rates for Third Time in Four Months

The Federal Reserve has raised target interest rates by 75 basis points for the third time this year following a Wednesday meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee.

The new target range for the federal funds rate is anywhere between 3% to 3.35% up from the current 2.37%, making it the most aggressive hike since the early 1980s. The Federal Reserve is expected to continue this trend into March of 2023 as an attempt to curb ongoing increases in inflation, CNBC reported.

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Gas Prices Rise for First Time Since June

Following nearly 100 days of declines, gas prices rose slightly Wednesday, and are forecasted to change little in the near future.

The national average price rose by about a cent to $3.68, snapping a 98-day streak of declines since prices peaked at $5.02 in mid-June, according to data from the American Automobile Association (AAA). A slight increase was expected to occur soon after prices fell only four cents last week, the smallest decrease in months, which the AAA attributed to the impacts of “war, COVID, economic recession, and hurricane season,” in a statement Monday.

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Commentary: (Not) Sorry Democrats, Abortion Won’t Save You

The desperate attempts by the White House, congressional Democrats, and the corporate media to refocus voter attention on abortion rather than inflation are failing. Most reputable polls show that the electorate is far more concerned about mismanagement of the economy by President Biden and his collaborators in Congress than about threats to reproductive rights posed by “MAGA Republicans.” Contrary to Democratic hopes, November won’t be about abortion vs. inflation. The midterms will be a referendum on Biden’s performance, particularly as it affects inflation.

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Arizona Latinos Most Concerned about Inflation, Jobs, Crime and Bipartisanship, New Poll Shows

Arizona Latinos are most concerned about inflation, jobs and rising crime, according to a new poll published by UNIDOS US, a research and policy analysis organization that has focused on Hispanic American issues since 1968.

The poll, taken between July 20 and August 1 ranked 14 issues in terms of priorities for Arizona based Latinos, finding that of those categories 49% considered inflation the most pressing concern. Thirty four percent focused on jobs and 27% on crime.

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Number of Americans Citing ‘Hardship’ from Inflation Rises

The majority of Americans say inflation is causing them financial hardship, according to a new poll.

While the Biden administration heralded a pause in the rise of inflation for the month of July, a new Gallup poll indicates that Americans are feeling the pain more now than at the beginning of this year.

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St. Mary’s Food Bank Shares Alarming Rise in Families Seeking Food in Arizona

Jerry Brown, director of public relations for St. Mary’s Food Bank, told The Arizona Sun Times that the number of families seeking food in Arizona has risen in recent months.

“To give you an example at St. Mary’s Food Bank,” Brown said Friday. “We’re still getting the final numbers in for August, but we’re going to come close to 150,000 families served just in the month of August. Something we didn’t do during the pandemic. The height of the pandemic. That’s not something we did during normal holiday years when we hand out a lot of turkeys. We do 18,000 turkeys for families around the holidays. Even those months didn’t result in 150,000 touches with families.”

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Feds: Food Prices Continued to Surge in July, but Overall Inflation Held Steady

Consumer prices remained high in July but showed only a slight increase from June, a pause from months of surging prices.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis Friday released the Personal Consumption Expenditure Index data, a key marker of inflation closely watched by the U.S. Federal Reserve when it makes its interest rate decisions.

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Commentary: The Top Five Cities with the Highest Inflation in America

My wife and I recently were out for our morning walk and she commented on how weird inflation is. Some prices are sky high, she observed, while others have barely budged.

A carton of eggs is up 33 percent over the last year, while tomatoes haven’t changed at all. Airline flights are through the roof, but the cabin we rented on our last vacation was several hundred dollars less than in previous years. Our electric bill is soaring, but her personal care products and my son’s new sneakers were about the same (or less) than what she had previously paid.

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Blake Masters Speaks on the Importance of Officials Connecting with the Community as RNC Opens Hispanic Community Center in Tucson

The Republican National Committee opened a new Hispanic Community Center in Tucson, Arizona, and Republican Senate nominee Blake Masters, who appeared at the center’s opening, spoke with The Arizona Sun Times via the phone about the importance of connecting with the community.

“I think people are looking, now more than ever, for their elected officials and their servant leaders to be accessible and to have a place where you can learn more and talk to like-minded people in the community and talk about issues. I think the Republican Party’s doing great, you know, with initiatives like this, with this center and others to hopefully be permanent fixtures. I don’t want this to be something we pop up around election time and then go away,” Masters said.

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Hobbs Says November Election Choice Between ‘Sanity and Chaos,’ Lake Calls Comparison ‘Laughable’

Arizona’s secretary of state and current Democrat nominee for governor says November’s election is a choice between “sanity and chaos,” suggesting that Democrats are the “sane” party.

“First and foremost, this race for governor is, I don’t think, about Democrats or Republicans. It’s really a choice between sanity or chaos,” Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) said on Sunday. “I’m someone who’s battle-tested as a statewide leader, with a track record of working across the aisle to get the job done for Arizonans.”

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Arizona and Florida U.S. Representatives Introduce Bill to Fight Inflation, Boost Retirements

Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.-06) is concerned that Arizona is undergoing the highest level of inflation within the continental states (urban Alaska is the only part of the country with a higher level). To combat the problem, he co-sponsored H.R. 8579, the Retirement Protection Act, with Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.-19).

In a statement, Schweikert said, “This bill would play a critical role in fighting inflation while helping Americans protect their savings.” He told The Arizona Sun Times, “It improves people’s retirement future so they stay even and don’t become a victim of inflation.” 

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Food Prices Rise at Fastest Rate Since 1970s

Despite slowing inflation in July, food prices have continued to rise at historic levels, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday.

“The food index increased 10.9 percent over the last year, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending May 1979,” BLS said.

Some grocery store items have seen prices rise even faster, though.

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Survey Shows Inflation Affecting College Students’ Ability to Take Classes

A new survey shows that 1 in 4 college students have to drop classes due to high tuition rates and rising inflation. 

The survey of over 1,000 college students was done by Intelligent.com and showed that nearly 1 in 4 students would be forced to drop some or all of their classes if their tuition costs increased by 5%. 

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Arizona Republican Lawmakers React to the U.S. Senate Passing the ‘Inflation Reduction Act’

On Sunday, the US Senate passed the Democrat-backed $740 billion “Inflation Reduction Act” by a 51 to 50 vote, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the deciding vote. Many Arizona Republican lawmakers are among those claiming the bill will further impact inflation in a negative way while offering no real-time solution to struggling Americans.

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Trump: ‘America Is on the Edge of an Abyss’

Donald Trump on Saturday delivered stinging rebukes of the Biden administration at the Dallas Conservative Political Action Conference, one of a continuing series of indications that the still-popular former president has set his sights on a return to the White House for 2024.

Trump during his speech declared that the U.S. “is being destroyed more from the inside than the out,” and that the country “is on the edge of an abyss, and our movement is the only force on earth that can save it.”

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The America Rising PAC Shares What Arizonans Should Know About Mark Kelly Going into the November General Election

The America Rising PAC (ARPAC), a group dedicated to exposing the truth about Democrats, recently shared critical information regarding current Senator Mark Kelly (D) for Arizonans to know before the General Election in November.

“Contrary to his rhetoric on the campaign trail, Mark Kelly has been nothing but a rubber stamp for Joe Biden and Chuck Schumer’s devastating agenda,” shared ARPAC Press Secretary Whitney Robertson with the Sun Times via email. “If Arizonans are looking for a Senator who will actually put the people over politics, it’s time to send Kelly packing.”

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Report: Most Americans Living Paycheck-to-Paycheck After Inflation Spike

Rising prices mean that Americans are spending more on the same goods and services, and as a result more than 60% of U.S. consumers are living paycheck-to-paycheck or dipping into savings to cover their routine costs, a recent LendingClub report found.

The number of Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck was up 5.5% in June from a year prior as fully 61% of Americans now devote nearly all of their salaries to expenses with little or nothing left over at the end of the month, according to LendingClub’s report. Americans’ purchasing power has declined in recent months as inflation has outpaced wage increases, making it more difficult to afford normal budgets, the report concluded.

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‘It’s An Absurd Argument’: Economists Take Apart One of Biden’s Favorite Talking Points

The Biden administration’s oft-touted talking point that employment has boomed under the administration is misleading and instead simply a natural recovery from pandemic losses, economists told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Facing consecutive quarters of negative gross domestic product (GDP) growth, sky-high inflation and plummeting consumer sentiment, the Biden administration has routinely cited a low unemployment rate and strong on-paper jobs creation as positive results of President Joe Biden’s economic stewardship. But the notion that these figures represent booming job creation is misleading since the economy has merely rebounded by adding back jobs that were lost during the pandemic and has still yet to reach pre-pandemic levels, economists told the DCNF.

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Democrats Propose Spending $80 Billion to Expand the IRS

Democrats in Congress have proposed a new spending bill that would allocate $80 billion for the sole purpose of expanding the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), ostensibly to fight inflation by raising government revenues.

As reported by The Daily Caller, the bill is called the “Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.” The bill would see the size of the IRS increase as part of a broader effort to increase “taxpayer compliance.” Under the new bill, the IRS would spend an additional $80 billion over the course of the next 10 years, up significantly from its current budget of $13.7 billion, with a primary focus on hiring thousands of new agents, and expanding operations, facilities, and services.

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The Fed’s Preferred Inflation Metric Just Surged in Another Warning Sign for the Economy

The Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge, the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) price index, continued to surge in June, according to data released Friday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

The PCE index was up 6.8% for the year ending in June, an increase from the 6.3% that it was at in both April and May, the BEA announced. PCE is the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation because it is “just better at capturing the inflation people actually face in their lives,” and the central bank endeavors to keep it at 2%, Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell said Wednesday.

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Federal Reserve Announces Rate Hike to Combat High Inflation

The U.S. Federal Reserve announced another 0.75% rate hike Wednesday in response to inflation, which has soared to its highest level in more than four decades.

The announcement comes after just last month the Federal Reserve announced a rate hike of the same size, which at the time was the largest rate increase since 1994. 

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Nearly Half of Small Businesses Are in Hiring Freeze, Citing Inflation and Costs

Nearly half of small business owners are not willing to hire because of labor costs and “skyrocketing inflation,” a newly released small business report shows.

The small business network Alignable released its July Hiring report which found that “45% of small businesses (SMBs) are halting their hiring, largely because they say they can’t afford to add staff.

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D.C. Lobbyists Rake In Massive Profits as Americans Continue to Suffer

Federal lobbyists have made huge profits in the second quarter of 2022, according to financial disclosures reviewed by Politico, while many Americans continue to feel the effects of inflation and the ongoing energy crisis.

Of the top twenty lobbying firms by revenue, just two saw revenue decreases when compared with the first three months of the year, Politico reported. The lobbying boom was largely attributable to reconciliation negotiations between Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, as well hotly contested deliberations on whether to dole out subsidies to domestic semiconductor companies.

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Poll: Three Out of Four Middle Class Families Are Falling Behind as Prices Rise

Three out of 4 middle class households report falling behind the rising cost of living as inflation continues to soar., according to a new poll.

Primerica released the report, which found that 75% of middle-income families “say their income is falling behind the cost of living,” an eight-point rise since March. The poll found only 16% of those surveyed think they will be better off financially in a year.

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Arizona Restaurant Association Says Business Owners Face Struggles During Record Inflation

Steve Chucri, president and CEO of the Arizona Restaurant Association (ARA), told The Arizona Sun Times on Tuesday that local businesses in the state are struggling under inflation.

“For us [the ARA], it’s really two-fold. It’s not only inflation and what that means to supply chain issues, but it’s also gas prices. There’s a direct correlation between restaurant frequency and the increase in gas prices,” Chucri said.

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Manufacturing Leaders: American Businesses Face Major Issues Due to Inflationary Pressure

Several manufacturing and business leaders are concerned about how inflationary pressures are hurting businesses through heightened input and transportation costs.

Participants at a round table event on Capitol Hill Thursday said that inflation has increased the cost of raw materials, making it harder for manufacturers to obtain what they need to do business.

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Commentary: After 18 Months of Biden, We Have Yet to Hit Bottom

Next week will mark one and a half years since Joe Biden became president on Jan. 20, 2021. On July 20, every American should look within and ask: “Am I better off than I was 18 months ago?”

To Biden’s credit, the unemployment rate has fallen from 6.4% when he took office to 3.6% in June. Today’s figure is a notch higher than the 3.5% joblessness that Americans enjoyed in February 2020, thanks to President Donald Trump’s Republican tax cuts, deregulation, energy dominance, and other pro-growth initiatives.

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Producer Price Index Rises 11.3 Percent, Another Worrying Inflation Marker

Producer prices soared by 11.3% in June over a year ago as consumers continue to struggle with skyrocketing prices for just about everything.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its Producer Price Index data Thursday, which showed a 1.1% increase last month, contributing to a 11.3% increase in the past 12 months, “the largest increase since a record 11.6% jump in March 2022.”

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Arizona Gubernatorial Candidate Karrin Taylor Robson Unveils Economic Relief Plan amid Surging Inflation

Arizona Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Karrin Taylor Robson recently unveiled her economic relief plan, which she would enact if elected as Arizona’s next governor.

“As we’re seeing today, Joe Biden’s inflation is a disaster for Arizona families. I’ve put together an economic plan which focuses on working families – and how we can best set them up for success,” tweeted Robson.

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David Schweikert Introduces Amendment to Withdraw $6 Billion in Military Inflation-Subsidy Spending from the National Defense Authorization Act

Arizona Representative David Schweikert (R-AZ-06) introduced an amendment Monday to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to remove $6 billion in additional inflation-adjustment spending.

“There is no question that reckless spending by Democrats and the Biden administration have contributed greatly to inflation that is burdening families in every corner of our country,” Schweikert said in a press release. “The last thing we should do is use taxpayer dollars to subsidize increased federal spending to cover rising inflation costs in our annual defense bill. I hope that Democrats accept my amendment and strike this wasteful and unnecessary spending.”

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America Rising PAC Slams Mark Kelly for Supporting a Gas Tax Holiday which Would Undermine Infrastructure Funding for Arizona

The America Rising PAC (ARPAC) recently spoke with the Arizona Sun Times via email, criticizing Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) for supporting a federal gas holiday that would ultimately, the say, undermine infrastructure funding for Arizona.

“This is another example of why Mark Kelly shouldn’t be sent back to Washington. Not only does his ineffective gas tax suspension undermine the one legislative accomplishment he’s writing home about – Arizona wouldn’t even need a gas tax holiday if it wasn’t for the Democrats’ anti-American energy agenda that drove gas prices to record-breaking levels in the first place,” said ARPAC Press Secretary Whitney Robertson.

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Commentary: The Biden Bust Could be Coming to a Neighborhood Near You Soon

For many readers, the above title will conjure up memories of the 2008 housing crash caused by the proliferation of subprime mortgages and the subsequent tsunami of defaults. But a better corollary for the coming Biden bust is the Carter crash that occurred three decades earlier. During the final two years of Carter’s term, sales of existing and new homes collapsed because the Fed was forced to raise interest rates sharply to get double-digit inflation under control. This, in turn, produced double-digit mortgage rates that priced millions of potential buyers out of the market.

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Commentary: Keys to GOP’s Hispanic Outreach in Pennsylvania and Nationwide

After this month’s historic special election win in South Texas, Republican strategists nationwide are asking themselves: how can we replicate now-Congresswoman Mayra Flores’s success in flipping an 84% Hispanic district to the GOP? Meantime, Democrats are burying their heads in the South Texas sand as Hispanic voters flee their party.

It’s not rocket science to appeal to Hispanic voters and persuade them to vote Republican. My firm’s work with the Hispanic Republican Coalition of Pennsylvania shows how to do it.

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Poll: 83 Percent of Americans Cutting Back on Personal Spending Due to Inflation

The vast majority of Americans are cutting back on their spending because of rising inflation, according to new survey data.

Provident Bank based in New Jersey released the report, which found that roughly 83% of those surveyed have cut back on personal spending due to inflation, with about 23% saying they have made “drastic changes” to their spending.

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Republican U.S. Senate Hopeful Jim Lamon: ‘We Must Beat Mark Kelly in This Race’

U.S. Senate candidate Jim Lamon appeared Thursday with four of his fellow Republicans at a debate to address a broad range of issues important to Copper State Republicans. Hosted by FreedomWorks, the gathering marked the last opportunity for the candidates to confront one another on stage as they vy for the Republican nomination to go on to face Democratic incumbent, Senator Mark Kelly.

“Arizona holds the key to the United States of America in the Senate race. We must beat Mark Kelly in this race. You need to pick someone who’s a fighter. You hear a lot of talk up here tonight. You hear a lot of talk in the campaign. Pick someone who does things, who’s gotten stuff done in this country, who’s been a veteran, who’s built billion-dollar companies. Someone you can trust,” said Lamon in his opening statement.

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FreedomWorks Set to Host Arizona U.S. Senate Candidate Forum, Launch New ‘Freedom Teams’ Program

FreedomWorks’ grassroots director Merissa Hamilton told The Arizona Sun Times the free-market-focused organization will launch a new program leading up to the general election that will “give the grassroots access to the tools that big organizations normally have and they would only get access to if they were a staff member of that big organization.”

“This is going to empower the grassroots in ways we’ve never had access to before, and anyone that wants to be able to be empowered within their local neighborhood, this is the time to join FreedomWorks and take action.” 

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Commentary: Vast Majority of Americans Disapprove Biden’s Handling of Economy

67 percent of Americans disapprove of President Joe Biden’s handling of the U.S. economy and 71 percent disapprove of his handling of inflation as gasoline prices continue hitting records at $5 a gallon, a recent Fox News poll taken mid-June found, even as Biden recently suggested a recession is not “inevitable”.

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