Inflation is racking the US economy, and voters blame President Biden. Twice as many people think his actions are hurting the economy as helping, and nearly half think his policies will push inflation even higher, a poll shows.
That’s according to a Fox News poll published on Thursday. The poll found that more than two thirds of registered voters have suffered financial hardship in the past six months as a result of inflation, with two thirds saying that Biden’s leadership is “very” or “somewhat” responsible for skyrocketing prices.
On getting inflation under control, 47% say that Biden’s actions are hurting, compared to just 22% who say the president is helping. Meanwhile 46% think Biden’s proposed social spending plan – the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better bill – would push inflation even higher, compared to 21% who think it’ll get prices under control.
Consumer price inflation rose by 6.8% in November, a level not seen in 39 years. The cost of a Thanksgiving dinner this year was the highest in history, and in some states, motorists are paying more for gas than ever before. Until recently, the Biden administration described runaway prices as “transitory,”blaming coronavirus-related supply chain disruptions for the spike. However, the Federal Reserve has dropped the word from its vocabulary of late.
“The risk of higher inflation becoming entrenched has increased,” Fed chairman Jerome Powell told reporters on Wednesday, after announcing that the bank will scale back its bond purchases – a move that essentially contracts the economy in a bid to curb spending. The move also paves the way for a hike in interest rates next year, after the Fed kept them near zero throughout the pandemic, in an attempt to keep the economy ticking over.
By contrast, the most well-known period of runaway inflation in US history, the 1970s, was only ended after the Fed hiked interest rates to over 20% and stopped all bond purchases. While other factors influenced the Carter administration’s handling of the 1970s economy, too, the Trump and Biden administrations have both attempted to keep the US economy artificially juiced, with Trump overseeing the creation of a quarter of all the dollars ever created last year and Biden spending more in the first eight months of his presidency than Trump did in 2018 and 2019 combined, according to Fox News.
Against this background, 45% of voters surveyed by Fox reckon the economic situation in the US will get worse in the coming year, while only 26% think things will get better. This time last year, 35% thought the situation would worsen, and 40% predicted an improvement.