Inflation Down, Consumer Confidence Up

HCDP News for December 19th, 2023

In this Email

HCDP News for December 19 2023

  • Party News

    • Inflation Is Down and Consumer Confidence Is Ticking Up

    • Michigan Democrats Protecting Reproductive Freedom

    • Republican Reps Out of Touch - Our Meme of the Week

  • Statewide News

    • At the Capitol

    • Around the State

  • Upcoming Events

    • Community Events

Inflation Is Down and Consumer Confidence Is Ticking Up

You likely heard the news last week - the latest research shows that the run up in inflation since COVID was caused in large part by corporations raising prices far in excess of the rise in their own costs.

A UK think tank analyzed corporate profits for 1350 firms located in and outside of the US. They found that corporate profits in 2022 were, on average, 30% higher than in 2019. Much of these excess profits are found in corporations in the foods and fuels industries.

What has happened is that companies took advantage of shortages and high demand coming out of the pandemic to raise prices, and have seen no incentive to lower them since. Now, companies may be reaching the limits of their new-found pricing power, even though not one of them wants to be the first to lower prices.

That study, though, is all about looking backwards. Looking foward we know that something good is happening right now here in the US. We have seen a quicker and steeper drop in the inflation rate than any other country in the G7. The month-over-month inflation rate in November was 0%. We are also seeing stronger economic growth than other countries as well.

In fact, on almost all measures the US economy is in great shape. And as inflation has fallen it seems that consumer confidence, as reported by CNBC, is finally ticking upwards.

All of these facts are, of course, contrary to the myth-making on the right that the economy is in the dumps, President Biden is somehow to blame for higher prices, and the economy was somehow better under Trump. In reality, as that CNBC article notes, “Biden’s emphasis on manufacturing, infrastructure and government subsidies has produced a post-pandemic economic boom.”

This is great news for Democrats heading into the 2024 election season. We have a strong story to tell about economic success in the US under Democratic leadership.

Michigan Democrats Protecting Reproductive Freedom

In recent “At the Capital” items we’ve highlighted Governor Whitmer’s signing of the historic package of bills known as the Reproductive Health Act (RHA). Today we’re taking a deeper dive into what the passage of the RHA means for Michiganders. What follows comes directly from the Governor’s email on the RHA, sent last week.

…For decades, Michigan has had politically motivated, medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion in state law. These laws criminalized doctors for providing medical care, jacked up out-of-pocket costs for patients, and imposed needless regulations on health centers, forcing many to close, especially in Western and Northern Michigan. The RHA repeals these laws, taking a huge step forward to expand access to health care and protect people’s personal, constitutional freedoms…

Let's get into what the RHA means for Michiganders.

Reproductive Health Act

  • First, the RHA repeals Michigan’s TRAP Laws, which are designed specifically to close abortion providers. These medically unnecessary and burdensome restrictions have nothing to do with a clinic’s ability to deliver care. They include rules about hallway width, ceiling heights, HVAC systems, and janitor’s closets. These restrictions jack up costs, especially for independent clinics, and have decreased the number of providers available to Michiganders, especially in Western and Northern Michigan.

  • Second, it repeals another outdated and extreme law from 1931 that would have criminalized nurses and doctors for prescribing medication abortions including mifepristone. Medication abortions are the most common way abortions are performed and have been safely used for decades. While other states restrict access to these pills, the passage of the RHA ensures Michigan providers and patients will have every option available.

  • Third, the RHA ensures students at Michigan public universities have access to accurate information about all their reproductive health options. Young adults deserve the same medical choices that every other patient gets. For too long, students at Michigan universities could be denied access to information about their options—including abortion—depending on where they went to college.

  •  And finally, the RHA repeals a law that banned private insurance companies from covering abortion. The law forced patients to buy a separate insurance rider for abortion, so-called “rape insurance.” Effectively, the law forced people to pay more out of pocket in case they were assaulted. Abortion should be covered just like any other form of health care and Michiganders should not have to pay more to get it as part of their comprehensive plans.

We’ve been fighting to protect abortion in Michigan for years. But when Roe v. Wade was overturned, our fight took on a whole new level of urgency. Thanks to you and my many partners in the legislature, we got it done.

We showed the world that Michigan is a place that fights for your fundamental freedom to make your own decisions about your own body. As governor, I will keep doing everything I can to improve access to health care and protect your constitutional right to abortion.


Gretchen Whitmer


Republican Reps Out of Touch - Our Meme of the Week

Speaking of the Reproductive Health Act, the Michigan Democrats have done a great job highlighting how out of touch Republican State Representatives are.

Our Meme of the Week comes from the Instagram account of the Michigan Democratic Party. This is one of a series of posts, each focused on a specific Republican legislator who voted against the RHA, going against the will of the voters in their own districts.

“Rebublican Alicia St. Germaine showed her extremism when she voted against the Reproductive Health Act despite her district’s overwhelming support for reproductive freedom. Republicans simply don’t respect the will of their constituents“

You can also find a great write-up about the 12 Republican Reps who rejected their own district’s views at The Gander.

At the Capitol

The legislature continues their holiday break (the 2024 session begins January 10th). In the meantime:

  • Governor Whitmer announced last Thursday that, beginning in February of next year more than 700,000 Michigan families will receive tax rebate checks averaging approximately $550. MORE: Michigan Advance 

  • Apparently political journalists are a little bored during the legislative holiday, leading to one editorial (tongue in cheek) on why the state capital should be moved to Detroit. MORE: Detroit Free Press

Around the State

  • The bipartisan group who challenged Donald Trump’s ability to appear on Michigan presidential ballots says they will file their case with the Michigan Supreme Court after the Court of Appeals ruled against them last Thursday. MORE: Michigan Radio

  • This past Thursday the Growing Michigan Together Council voted 19 to 1 to submit their comprehensive population growth report to the Governor and state legislature. The Council was formed by Governor Whitmer in June and tasked with developing a statewide strategy to grow Michigan’s population. You can read the full report here. MORE: Growing Michigan Together

HCDP Monthly Meetings: First Wednesday of each month. Potluck at 6 PM, Meeting at 7 PM. In the conference room at the Houghton Super 8, and by Zoom (starting at 7 PM).


Community Events

TUES 12/19

  • The Laurium Village Council meets tonight at 6 PM in the Council Chambers of the Town Hall. More info can be found on the Village Council's web page

  • The Calumet Village Council meets tonight at 6 PM in the Village Council Chambers. More information on the Council, it's committees, and minutes of past meetings can be found on the Village’s News Web Page.

WED 12/20

The Hancock City Council meets at 6 PM in the Hancock City Hall Council Chambers.

MON 12/25

Monday is Christmas Day. Merry Christmas Everyone!