Business Government

Sen. ‘Bobby’ Casey & Shrinkflation Get Shout-Out During State Of The Union

The senator has often talked abut companies increasing prices.

By Kim Lyons | Pennsylvania Capital-Star

Sen. Bob Casey speaking on April 10, 2023. Credit: PA Internet News Service

Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (apparently known to his Scranton friends as “Bobby”) was referenced by name in President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address last Thursday, for his work highlighting the practices of corporations that charge the same prices for smaller amounts of product.

“Too many corporations raise their prices to pad their profits charging you more and more for less and less,” Biden said during his address. It’s a topic he discussed during a television spot that aired on Super Bowl Sunday in February, where he called the practice a “ripoff.”

“Snack companies think you won’t notice when they charge you just as much for the same size bag, but with fewer chips in it,” Biden said Thursday. “Pass Bobby Casey’s bill and stop shrinkflation.”

Last month, Casey introduced the Shrinkflation Prevention Act, which would penalize corporations that deceive consumers by selling smaller sizes of their products without lowering the prices, and the Price Gouging Prevention Act, which would crack down on corporate price gouging.

The bill would empower the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to establish shrinkflation as an unfair or deceptive practice, and would authorize the agency and state attorneys general to sue corporations that engage in the practice.

“I’m glad the President shares my concerns about greedflation, shrinkflation, and other ways that big corporations are squeezing hardworking Americans,” Casey said in a statement following the address. “Solving these problems shouldn’t be partisan, and I call on Congress to work together and take action in the weeks and months to come.”

Casey, like Biden, is running for reelection in 2024. GOP candidate David McCormick is heavily favored to win that party’s primary to face Casey in the general election.

McCormick said in a statement Thursday that Biden’s speech had “lots of excuses and no solutions,” and again referred to Casey as a “rubber stamp” for Biden’s policies. “In times of crisis, leadership matters more than ever, and it’s clear we need new leaders and fresh ideas in Washington,” McCormick said.

Last fall, Casey released the first in a series of reports on “greedflation,” which he said demonstrated how corporations had raised prices using inflation as a cover, while they earned record profits.

According to the first report — based on the companies’ own financial disclosures and quarterly reports, as well as research from the Federal Reserve — corporate profits accounted for all the inflation in the first year of the pandemic recovery — roughly July 2020 to July 2021— and 41% of inflation overall in the first two years of the post-pandemic recovery period of July 2020 to July 2022.

The “Stuffing their Pockets” report released in time for Thanksgiving, found that turkey prices fell last year but were higher than they were in 2020. Staples like chicken, pork, and potatoes were more expensive, the report found.

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Pennsylvania Capital-Star

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