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AFP staffer with customers at one of the True Cost of Washington Tour's many stops, where staffers heard from everyday Americans about how inflation was affection their families.

‘High prices…can literally mean a missed meal for some folks’

Oct 14, 2022 by AFP

True Cost of Washington Tour logo that reads, "Pay More, Get Less" - a reference to Washington's failed policies that are driving inflation, gas prices, and the high cost of living in 2022.

This summer, with inflation at historic highs, Americans for Prosperity staff and volunteers hosted more than 130 True Cost of Washington events at gas stations and grocery stores in more than 30 states to lower prices and connect Americans to Washington’s role in causing inflation and the solutions for our current economic woes.

To give you an inside look at the tour, we spoke with the team working behind the scenes to make it all happen. This week’s interview features AFP-Louisiana Grassroots Engagement Director Nathan Sanders, who also shared some of his favorite photos from the tour with us.

“It’s a serious issue which affects all Americans,” he said of the historic inflation hurting people across the country.

How do you feel now that the True Cost truck is retired?

NS: I feel optimistic! The True Cost truck is retired but that will not stop the True Cost events and messaging around the network!

Nathan Sanders (left) with AFP road crew traveling the country to talk to people about inflation. 'High prices...can literally mean a missed meal for some folks,' Nathan told us.

Nathan Sanders (left) with the True Cost of Washington Tour road crew at a stop in Sterling, Virginia in August.

You went to a lot of cities. Was there anything in common from stop to stop?

NS: We saw folks, businesses, and communities from all walks of life – rural, urban, north, south, etc.

Most importantly, we saw people who cared about their families and communities. We had the chance to experience, very briefly, these communities and see the importance of them to America and how high inflation is hurting them.

What did you hear most from the customers you spoke with during the tour?

NS: The most common thing was the stories we heard from everyday Americans – all families from various backgrounds are deeply feeling the effects of high inflation.

Folks are having to adjust budgets, cancel trips, and make significant lifestyle changes because of bad policies and outrageous spending in D.C.

AFP staff and volunteers at one of the more than 130 True Cost of Washington Tour events AFP hosted this summer. These folks talked with everyday Americans about how inflation was affecting them.

AFP staff and volunteers at one of the more than 130 True Cost of Washington Tour events AFP hosted this summer.

How did you see inflation and high prices affecting people? Was there anything that stood out?

NS: We saw many landscape trucks and other industries that relied heavily on oil and gas fill up with a joyful urgency when dropping the price.

We saw and heard from countless folks who would testify on behalf of their families and/or businesses that costs and prices were so outrageous that they had to cut things that mattered.

What was your most memorable experience on the tour?

NS: The most memorable experience was talking with a lady in Atlanta who responded, “how much time do you have?” when I asked her if I could talk with her about inflation.

She told me she and her family had to buy and raise chickens for eggs because of the prices at the store. She also told me her and her husband started to carpool to their jobs because of gas prices and how they had to cut the family vacation because they no longer had the extra money to use.

Her story was reflective of so many stories we heard on the tour. Her egg story stuck with me because it was early on the tour and that’s when I realized it would be a special summer – there were many “egg” stories.

The True Cost of Washington Tour truck and van at a stop in Gaffney, South Carolina, where Nathan Sanders and his AFP colleagues spoke with everyday Americans about how inflation was affecting them.

The True Cost of Washington Tour truck and van at a tour stop in Gaffney, South Carolina earlier this summer.

How many miles did you drive?

NS: I believe I drove at least 2,000-3,000 miles overall. Perhaps more.

What is one thing you’d like people who can make a difference to know about what you saw or heard from folks along the tour?

NS: Inflation and the effects of too much government spending is not a libertarian, conservative, or what have you movement that’s only seen on FOX news and twitter – it’s a serious issue which effects everyday Americans (those living paycheck to paycheck the hardest).

High prices at the grocery store and the gas station can literally mean a meal missed for some folks. Average Americans care about their families, jobs, and communities. Let’s not forget that.

Read our behind-the-scenes interview with Nathan’s True Cost Tour teammate Javin Fulson.