IT’S THE MIDDLE of December and our stockings are being hung by the chimney with care. Unfortunately, with home heating oil prices where they are right now, more and more of us are hoping to get a stocking full of coal this year!

For many of us who weren’t able to spend last year’s holidays with friends and family, this Christmas season couldn’t come quickly enough, but unfortunately, it’s shaping up to be another challenging one for many New Hampshire families.

By far, our nation’s biggest challenge right now is our runaway inflation. If you feel like your dollar isn’t going as far this year as it did last year, you’re not alone. When polled, most Americans have said that inflation is the most serious issue we face today. In November, the rate of inflation was 6.8%, the highest it’s been in 30 years. Gas prices in New Hampshire are up more than a dollar a gallon since President Biden took office. Grocery prices, car prices, and appliance prices are all up across the board as well. This year, Christmas dinner and gift shopping will be the most expensive they have ever been.

And that’s assuming that the store shelves aren’t empty. Supply chain issues and worker shortages are coming to a head. Container ships are sitting at docks around the country with no one to unload them. Stores and restaurants are cutting back operating hours, or shutting down completely.

The majority of people in these same polls put the blame squarely on the Biden Administration and our federal delegation, and for good reason. Runaway spending and failed economic policies have forced the inflation rate up and the Democrats in Washington have failed to adequately address the real problems that Americans care about most. Democrats have instead chosen to spend their time waging culture wars and threatening legal actions against parents with the audacity to question their local school boards and take interest in their child’s education.

Since Day One of his presidency, Joe Biden and the Democrats in Washington have sought to remake America into a country that few of us recognize, and even fewer wanted.

When President Biden visited our state a few weeks ago to sell his infrastructure bill, an interview with a Woodstock resident named Guy Hoover went viral on social media. Mr. Hoover was asked about the President coming to his town and expressed that he is far more concerned with being able to afford to heat his home this winter. He is far from alone. Home heating oil and natural gas prices are skyrocketing at the worst possible time.

Luckily, while Joe “The Grinch” Biden has been sneaking into your homes to steal your Christmas, here in our state, the legislature has been working to make life more affordable for New Hampshire families. Gov. Sununu recently announced a 60% increase for most families in home heating assistance and our new conservative budget, which is about to take effect, provides more than $300 million in property tax relief and helps New Hampshire businesses expand to create more, high paying jobs.

These are the real concerns that real people have. These are the new worries that threaten to keep us from traveling to visit our families. These are the issues being discussed at kitchen tables and keeping parents up at night.

It’s time that Washington stops talking and starts listening or that lump of coal will soon be worth more than a new iPhone!

Sen. Chuck Morse (R-Salem) is president of the New Hampshire Senate.

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