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Common Dreams - March 12, 2022

On the heels of fresh data showing that the U.S. inflation rate jumped to a new 40-year high last month, a new survey found that more than 80% of American voters believe costs are rising in part because "big corporations are jacking up prices" while raking in record profits.

Released Friday by the advocacy group Fight Corporate Monopolies, the poll showed that 82% of registered U.S. voters blame big companies for at least some of the recent inflation spike and want elected officials to "take on powerful CEOs and rein in corporate greed to lower prices."

"Rising prices is the top economic issue for most voters, and they want elected officials to challenge corporate greed to lower prices," Helen Brosnan, executive director of Fight Corporate Monopolies said in a statement. "Political leaders should directly address rising prices, release plans to combat corporate greed's role in driving prices higher, and put forth arguments that center CEOs and big corporations."

The new survey comes as progressives in Congress continue spotlighting corporate price-gouging as a key culprit behind rising prices nationwide even as the White House abandons that narrative, despite data indicating it resonates with voters.

With gas prices surging amid Russia's onslaught against Ukraine, Democrats in the House and Senate introduced legislation on Thursday that would impose a "windfall tax" on oil companies in an effort to "curb profiteering."

"Last year, oil and gas companies made $174 billion in profits," Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a co-sponsor of the legislation, wrote in a Twitter post. "This year they're on track to make more. We cannot allow Big Oil to use Ukraine and 'inflation' as an excuse to rip off Americans."