Polls Keep Showing Americans Are ‘Furious’ As They Continue To Pay For The High Inflation Of Bidenomics

January’s Inflation Report Showed Inflation Still Hasn’t Returned To Normal Levels, Leaving Americans Paying More For Everything And Voicing Their Frustrations To Pollsters

SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “Since President Biden took office, consumer prices have risen 17.9%. On his watch, our economy has seen inflation grow at its fastest rate in four decades.  As prices soared, wages failed to keep up. Paychecks have risen just 14.5%. In other words, the Biden economy has effectively imposed a pay cut across the board. The effects of Washington Democrats’ reckless spending have forced working families to do more with less. … [T]his President’s economy is leaving workers feeling suffocated. The effects of historic inflation are inescapable. Even after paying the rent or the mortgage, and footing steep utility bills, families still have to put food on the table in the face of a food price surge that’s making the wrong sort of history. Since January 2021, nationwide grocery costs have increased 21%. The cost of dining out has increased nearly the same. And by USDA’s own figures, grocery budgets are now taking up a larger share of disposable incomes than at any point since 1991.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 2/26/2024)

  • LEADER McCONNELL: “This is the Biden economy. This is Bidenomics in action. And bizarrely, this is what the Biden Administration has decided to spin as a roaring success. Both the White House and the President’s re-election campaign continue to insist he’s proud of his economic record. [I]magine telling anyone who will listen that today’s economy has you and your family in a bind… Only for the President of the United States to declare a job well done! Don’t get me wrong – the Biden Administration is quite keen to assign blame for economic hardships. They’re just looking everywhere but the mirror.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 2/26/2024)

Americans Continue To Give Failing Grades To President Biden’s Economic Policies Because They Remain ‘Furious About High Inflation’

MONMOUTH POLL: “Public opinion of Biden’s overall job performance currently stands at 38% approve and 58% disapprove…. He gets decidedly poor ratings on handling inflation (34% approve, 63% disapprove) …” (Monmouth Poll, 2/20/2024)

“When asked whether their own family has been helped by [the current U.S. economy], just one-third say they have personally benefited either a great deal (9%) or some (24%). At the opposite end of the spectrum, 40% of Americans say they have not benefited at all.” (Monmouth Poll, 2/20/2024)

  • “45% say middle-class families have not benefited at all from Biden’s policies, 40% say the same about poor families …” (Monmouth Poll, 2/20/2024)

QUINNIPIAC POLL: “Voters were asked about Biden's handling of... the economy: 42 percent approve, while 55 percent disapprove …” (Quinnipiac Poll, 2/21/2024)

NBC POLL: 61% of voters disapprove of President Biden’s handling of the economy while only 36% approve. (NBC News Poll, 2/04/2024)

‘Americans Are Furious About High Inflation,’ Especially When They Look At Their Grocery Bills

“Americans are furious about high inflation, according to the Axios Vibes survey by The Harris Poll.” (“A $126 Grocery Tab That Explains The Vibes Paradox,” Axios, 1/13/2024)

“Suppose, in December of 2019, you had a weekly grocery budget of $100. At the end of 2020 your weekly grocery bill would have risen to $103.97, based on Axios' analysis of government data. Not ideal, but fairly manageable. But over the course of 2021, those prices really took off, to $110.78 that December. Then they kept soaring in the months that followed, bringing your grocery bill to $123.88 at the end of 2022. In 2023, the price of ‘food at home’ (as the Bureau of Labor Statistics calls it) kept rising, so that weekly bill was $125.51 last month.” (“A $126 Grocery Tab That Explains The Vibes Paradox,” Axios, 1/13/2024)

‘This Is The [Economic] Future Liberals Wanted … And Yet, Americans Don’t Seem Very Enthused. Because They Really Hate Inflation’

Biden And His Team Eagerly Embraced Progressive Ideas That ‘Pushed For More Government Spending And Urged The Federal Reserve To Be Less Paranoid About Inflation’

This is the future liberals wanted. For years, economic thinkers on the left pushed for more government spending and urged the Federal Reserve to be less paranoid about inflation … and yet, Americans don’t seem very enthused. Because they really hate inflation.” (“Liberals Dreamed of This Economy For Decades. What If Voters Don’t Like It?” Politico, 2/16/2024)

“Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is pushing back against Republican criticism of the Democrats’ big coronavirus pandemic response package and making an election year pitch that the current state of the U.S. ‘vindicates’ the steps taken in 2021…” (“Yellen Says Current US Economic Growth ‘Vindicates’ Biden’s COVID-19 Pandemic Stimulus Spending,” The Associated Press, 1/17/2024)

FLASHBACK: ‘The Biggest Risk Is Not Going Too Big,’ ‘I’m More Concerned About [Doing Too Little] Than About The Possibility Which Exists Of Higher Inflation’

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: “We need Congress to pass my American Rescue Plan that deals with the immediate crisis - the urgency. Now, critics say my plan is too big, that it costs $1.9 trillion. So that’s too much. Well, let me ask them: What would they have me cut? What would they have me leave out?” (President Biden, Remarks, 2/19/2021)

TREASURY SECRETARY JANET YELLEN: “The president is absolutely right. The price of doing nothing is much higher than the price of doing something, and doing something big… We need to act now, and the benefits of acting now and acting big will far outweigh the costs in the long run.” (“Biden, Yellen Call For Swift Action On Coronavirus Relief Package,” The Hill, 1/29/2021)

JARED BERNSTEIN, Then-Member of the Council of Economic Advisers: “I mean, one thing is just wrong, which is that that our team is dismissive of inflationary risks. We’ve constantly argued that the risks of doing too little are far greater than the risk of going big, providing families and businesses with the relief they need to finally put this virus behind us. … I’m more concerned about…the damage that will do not just to their lives, but to the United States economy, to the productive capacity of the economy.  I’m more concerned about that than about the possibility which exists of higher inflation. So, this is risk management. This is balancing risks. And in our view, the risks of doing too little are far greater than the risks of doing too much. … The risk is a deflationary risk, which motivates us to go home — or to go big or to go home. And the costs of inaction, of not addressing these risks, are too steep and too costly to these vulnerable — to these vulnerable groups, relative to the likelihood of overheating. That’s the way I think about it.” (White House Press Briefing, 2/05/2021)

REMINDER: Economists And Analysts Have Repeatedly Explained That President Biden’s Economic Policies Made Inflation WORSE

“Economists largely agree that the pandemic stimulus and other spending bills Mr. Biden signed over the past two years have added to inflation …” (“An Inflation-Driven Midterm Will Not Change Biden’s Economic Focus,” The New York Times, 11/10/2022)

“Many economists have suggested that President Joe Biden’s stimulus package in March 2021 intensified the inflation surge.” (The Associated Press, 7/12/2023)

  • “[E]conomists are increasingly pointing to the scale and size of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan — which Democrats passed less than two months after Biden came to office — as too big to fill the economy’s hole. This stimulus re-extended more generous unemployment benefits of $400 a week, gave many Americans another round of stimulus checks and expanded the Child Tax Credit, though it has since expired. It also strengthened nutritional assistance and school lunch programs. Many Democrats — except a rare few, such as Lawrence H. Summers, who served under Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama — initially waved off concerns that the spending power of the package could overwhelm the economy and flame inflation. But over time, it became clear that the massive influx in cash that went straight to American households, plus billions more dollars pumped into the broader economy, overheated the recovery…. And as time goes on, an increasing number of economists concede that the American Rescue Plan was too big to fill the hole left by the coronavirus recession.” (“What To Know About Inflation: Rising Prices Hit In U.S., Around The World,” The Washington Post, 2/09/2022)
  • “Many economists supported protecting workers and businesses early in the pandemic, but some took issue with the size of the $1.9 trillion package last March under the Biden administration. They argued that sending households another round of stimulus, including $1,400 checks, further fueled demand when the economy was already healing. Consumer spending seemed to react: Retail sales, for instance, jumped after the checks went out. Adam Posen, president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said the U.S. government spent too much in too short a time in the first half of 2021.” (“Rapid Inflation Fuels Debate Over What’s to Blame: Pandemic or Policy,” The New York Times, 1/22/2022)

STEVEN RATTNER, Former Obama Administration Counselor to the Treasury Secretary:The original sin was the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, passed in March [2021]. The bill — almost completely unfunded — sought to counter the effects of the Covid pandemic by focusing on demand-side stimulus rather than on investment. That has contributed materially to today’s inflation levels.” (Steven Rattner, Op-Ed, “I Warned the Democrats About Inflation,” The New York Times, 11/16/2021)

FORMER TREASURY SECRETARY LARRY SUMMERS: “I’m not sure that we would have the inflation if there had never been a pandemic and, even if there had been a pandemic, without the overwhelming stimulus that was applied well into recovery — during 2021.” (“Summers Says Pandemic Only Partly To Blame For Record Inflation,” The Harvard Gazette, 2/04/2022)

‘Inflation Rose More Than Expected In January’ ‘And Showed Worrying Staying Power’

“Unfortunately for Biden, Tuesday’s [January] inflation report came in hotter than expected, ensuring that one of his toughest political problems isn’t going away.” (“Biden’s Bout With Inflation Just Suffered Another Setback,” Politico, 2/13/2024)

“Inflation rose more than expected in January as stubbornly high shelter prices weighed on consumers, the Labor Department reported [February 13th].” (“Prices Rose More Than Expected In January As Inflation Won’t Go Away,” CNBC, 2/13/2024)

“Tuesday’s report from the Labor Department showed that the consumer price index rose 0.3% from December to January, up from a 0.2% increase the previous month. Compared with a year ago, prices are up 3.1%.” (The Associated Press, 2/13/2024)

  • “[T]he latest reading is still well above the Federal Reserve’s 2% target level at a time when public frustration with inflation has become a pivotal issue in President Joe Biden’s bid for re-election.” (The Associated Press, 2/13/2024)

AXIOS: “[A] bigger jump than expected…” (“Consumer Price Index Is Hotter Than Expected In January,” Axios, 2/13/2024)

‘Core CPI Accelerated 0.4% In January And Was Up 3.9% From A Year Ago’

“Excluding volatile food and energy prices, so-called core CPI accelerated 0.4% in January and was up 3.9% from a year ago. The forecast had been for 0.3% and 3.7% respectively.” (“Prices Rose More Than Expected In January As Inflation Won’t Go Away,” CNBC, 2/13/2024)

“Moreover, core inflation, which officials believe is a better guide of long-run trends, has been even more stubborn as housing costs have held higher than anticipated.” (“Prices Rose More Than Expected In January As Inflation Won’t Go Away,” CNBC, 2/13/2024)

‘This Is Definitely A Spooky Number’

“‘They were right to be patient, because this is the kind of number that is going to cast doubt on whether there really is a lot of deceleration in store for inflation,’ said Omair Sharif, founder of Inflation Insights. ‘This is definitely a spooky number.’” (“A Key Inflation Gauge Came In Hotter Than Expected Last Month,” The New York Times, 2/13/2024)

By contrast, the prices of services — hotel rooms, restaurant meals, auto insurance, apartment rents and the like — are still rising faster than they did before the pandemic and keeping overall inflation persistently high. The cost of car insurance has soared more than 20%, on average, compared with a year ago.” (“US Inflation Slows But Remains Elevated In Sign That Price Pressures Are Easing Only Gradually,” The Associated Press, 2/13/2024)

The Cumulative Effect Of Inflation Since President Biden Took Office Has Americans Paying Significantly Higher Prices For Food, Energy, Transportation, Housing, And More

Since President Biden took office, inflation has increased 17.9%. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 2/13/2024)

‘Overall Inflation, As Measured By The Consumer Price Index, Has Risen At 3% Or Above For 34 Months In A Row — The Longest Streak Since The Late 1980s And Early 1990s’

“Overall inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, has risen at 3% or above for 34 months in a row — the longest streak since the late 1980s and early 1990s.” (“Inflation Cooled Last Month, But Some Price Hikes Continue To Cause Pain,” CNN, 2/13/2024)

The sting of those past price increases might be part of why so many Americans remain down on the economy. An analysis conducted by Goldman Sachs economists suggests that frustration with high price levels might have contributed to low confidence readings that persisted in the early 1980s even after inflation had slipped sharply.” (“Hotter-Than-Expected Inflation Clouds Rate-Cut Outlook,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/13/2024)

‘Americans Are Paying On Average $605 More Each Month Compared With The Same Time Two Years Ago And $1,019 More Compared With Three Years Ago’

“The typical U.S. household needed to pay $213 more a month in January to purchase the same goods and services it did one year ago because of still-high inflation, according to new calculations from Moody's Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi. Americans are paying on average $605 more each month compared with the same time two years ago and $1,019 more compared with three years ago, before the inflation crisis began.” (“High Inflation Is Still Squeezing Americans' Budgets,” Fox Business, 2/14/2024)

“Inflation has created severe financial pressures for most U.S. households, which are forced to pay more for everyday necessities like food and rent. The burden is disproportionately borne by low-income Americans, whose already-stretched paychecks are heavily impacted by price fluctuations.” (“High Inflation Is Still Squeezing Americans' Budgets,” Fox Business, 2/14/2024)

‘It’s Been 30 Years Since Food Ate Up This Much of Your Income,’ ‘And That’s A Real Pain Point’

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: ‘It’s Been 30 Years Since Food Ate Up This Much of Your Income’ (The Wall Street Journal, 2/21/2024)

  • “In 1991, U.S. consumers spent 11.4% of their disposable personal income on food, according to data from the U.S. Agriculture Department. At the time, households were still dealing with steep food-price increases following an inflationary period during the 1970s. More than three decades later, food spending has reattained that level, USDA data shows. In 2022, consumers spent 11.3% of their disposable income on food, according to the most recent USDA data available.” (“It’s Been 30 Years Since Food Ate Up This Much of Your Income,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/21/2024)
  • Relief isn’t likely to arrive soon. Restaurant and food company executives said they are still grappling with rising labor costs and some ingredients, such as cocoa, that are only getting more expensive…. ‘If you look historically after periods of inflation, there’s really no period you could point to where [food] prices go back down,’ said Steve Cahillane, chief executive of snack giant Kellanova, in an interview. ‘They tend to be sticky.’” (“It’s Been 30 Years Since Food Ate Up This Much of Your Income,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/21/2024)

“Grocery prices rose 0.4% from December to January, the biggest such rise in a year, though compared with 12 months earlier, food prices are up just 1.2%.” (“US Inflation Slows But Remains Elevated In Sign That Price Pressures Are Easing Only Gradually,” The Associated Press, 2/13/2024)

“‘Food prices kept going up, and that’s a real pain point,’ Robert Frick, corporate economist with Navy Federal Credit Union, told CNN. ‘There’s the rate of inflation, which is coming down, then there’s the weight of inflation, which continues to mount. So even if you have 3%, that’s 3% on top of a mountain of inflation people are already carrying.’” (“Inflation Cooled Last Month, But Some Price Hikes Continue To Cause Pain,” CNN, 2/13/2024)

‘Everything Is A Negotiation, An Analysis About Our Budget’

“In suburban Chicago, Lisa Wister said her food bills are rising faster than her family’s income, leading them to make their own granola from scratch and pack their own snacks for the movies. ‘Everything is a negotiation, an analysis about our budget,’ said Wister, an occupational therapist. ‘It’s exhausting.’” (“It’s Been 30 Years Since Food Ate Up This Much of Your Income,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/21/2024)

“When Anna Zabinski and her husband eat out these days, she said, they ask themselves whether a side of macaroni and cheese is worth the extra $1.99, and often go for refills instead of ordering more expensive large-size drinks. Zabinski, a professor from Normal, Ill., said they’ll sometimes split a $20 steak and side dish at Texas Roadhouse or a large sandwich from Jimmy John’s. Nonetheless, she said, ‘our daily and monthly expenditures still seem higher than even two years ago.’” (“It’s Been 30 Years Since Food Ate Up This Much of Your Income,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/21/2024)

‘[T]he Costs Of Services … Are Still Rising Faster Than They Did Before The Pandemic And Keeping Overall Inflation Persistently High’

“[T]he costs of services — including auto insurance, apartment rents, and concert tickets — are still rising faster than they did before the pandemic and keeping overall inflation persistently high. The cost of car insurance has soared more than 20%, on average, compared with a year ago.” (The Associated Press, 2/13/2024)

  • “Such price spikes are causing heartburn for many consumers. Bill Milligan of Atlanta said he was stunned last month to find that the cost of insuring one of his cars had soared nearly 30% compared to six months earlier…. Milligan, a 46-year-old software architect, called his insurance company, which confirmed that the price increase didn’t reflect any recent tickets or accidents and said he was still receiving a discount for insuring several cars at once. ‘And they’re like, “Yeah, sorry, it’s just the price of everything is going up,”’ Milligan said.” (The Associated Press, 2/13/2024)

“Another driver of high prices has been housing costs, particularly the price of home ownership. It rose 0.6% from December to January, the biggest one-month jump since April. That measure is 6.2% higher than it was a year earlier.” (The Associated Press, 2/13/2024)

“[E]conomists say that inflation in health care services is likely to stay high. The cost of hospital services jumped 1.6% just from December to January. Doctors’ services rose 0.6%.” (The Associated Press, 2/13/2024)


Related Issues: Inflation, Economy