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Pa. Sen. Bob Casey's "greedflation" reports expose consumer price gouging

Pa. Sen. Bob Casey releases report on rising food costs
Pa. Sen. Bob Casey releases report on rising food costs 00:40

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Inflation is taking a bite out of the wallets of many Americans, and with rising costs as the holidays near, Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey is speaking out about what's causing price gouging that in some cases outpaces inflation. 

On Thursday, Casey published his second report on why holiday meals will be more expensive for the average consumer titled, "A Greedflation Report: Stuffing Their Pockets." 

It is unique compared to his first report because it narrows on the expenses that families face specifically during the holidays. Casey says "corporate greed" is to blame.

Casey argues that while inflation may have moderated, consumers are still feeling the "pinch" because many corporations continue to raise their prices regardless. 

An earlier report Casey published on Nov. 8, titled "A Special Report on Greedflation," shines a broader light on the help American families need during record inflation and argues for lawmakers to do more. 

The report notes that between 2020 and 2022 corporate profits rose by 75%, which he says is five times as fast as inflation.  

Casey says the average Pennsylvania family paid $3,194 in 2021 and $3,546 extra in 2022 toward "greedflation".

The Child Tax Credit under the American Rescue Plan is a tool he believes is one way to ease the blow. 

"We have got to use the tax code for the benefit of families as we did with the child tax credit," Casey said. "We need to bring back that version of that tax credit."

The report outlines that the Child Tax Credit provides monthly payments from the American Rescue Plan, which has been used by over 2.2 million Pennsylvania parents. It's used for rent, school supplies and child care. 

The White House reports that most families receive monthly payments of $250 or $300 per child under the Child Tax Credit. 

About 2 in 3 Americans say their household expenses have risen over the last year, but only about 1 in 4 say their income has increased in the same period, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Casey went on to say that companies need to be held accountable for raising prices while recording record profits. 

The report cited Federal Reserve findings that corporate profits accounted for all the inflation in the first year of pandemic recovery from July 2020-2021 and 41% of inflation overall in the first two years of post-pandemic recovery from July 2020-2022. 

Inflated prices ahead of the holidays

With the Thanksgiving holiday just around the corner, the report brings attention to price gouging that is significantly impacting groceries and basic necessities. The reported examples are a microcosm of the price landscape: 

  • Huggies diapers up 6% from April to June 2023 
  • Crest Toothpaste increased approximately 7% from June 2022 to June 2023
  • Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream up 12% from April to June 2023 
  • Sun Chips up 16% from January to March 2023 
  • Frosted Flakes cereal up 14% from June 2023 to June 2023 
  • Palmolive dish soap up 12% from March 2022 to March 2023 
  • Scott toilet paper up 10% from October 2022 to March 2023 

As prices increase, Casey says the American families will continue to struggle. 

"Corporations are raising prices at the expense of Pennsylvania families because they think they can get away with it," Casey said in a statement. "From diapers to groceries, greedflation is making everyday household items more expensive and squeezing families."

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