Data from the Department of Labor shows that inflation reached seven percent in December, the highest reading since 1982

The Labor Department said the consumer-price index—which measures what consumers pay for goods and services—rose 7% in December from the same month a year ago, up from 6.8% in November. That was the fastest pace since 1982 and marked the third straight month in which inflation exceeded 6%.

The so-called core price index, which excludes the often-volatile categories of food and energy, climbed 5.5% in December from a year earlier. That was a bigger increase than November’s 4.9% rise, and the highest rate since 1991.

On a monthly basis, the CPI increased a seasonally adjusted 0.5% in December from the preceding month, decelerating from October and November.

And, in a throwback to the inflation-riddled 1970s, people are starting to change their buying habits:

Until recently, Pete and Sally McAllister grilled steak every Wednesday evening, but they recently switched to chicken chili because of the high cost of beef.

“The price we were paying [for filet mignon] went from about $12 a pound to over $25. As a result, we’ve cut those meals out of our diet,” said Mr. McAllister, a 72-year-old retiree in Hilton Head, S.C. “The chicken and beans have been a good protein substitute for the beef.”

He said he also has stopped adjusting the thermostat upward because of rising home-heating costs and is going out of his way to find cheaper gasoline. Mr. McAllister said he is golfing less after a number of friends canceled their golf-club memberships to save money. “So there’s kind of a psychic price to inflation too,” he said.

The question becomes: when will the Biden administration pull out its “Whip Inflation Now!” buttons?