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A new poll found that 59% of registered voters place the blame for the increased inflation at the Biden administration’s feet.
The Politico/Morning Consult survey released on Wednesday found that among all voters, 39% held the administration “very” responsible for the higher costs, and 20% said President Joe Biden was “somewhat” responsible. Only 28% of those polled said that the administration’s policies were not too responsible or not responsible at all for the inflation.
Among Republicans, a resounding 82% pointed to Biden’s economic policies as an inflationary culprit, including 65% who said the policies were very responsible. Forty-one percent of Democrats said the administration’s actions were very or somewhat responsible for the surging prices.
Earlier this month, the Department of Labor announced that consumer prices increased 5.4% for the year ending June, the highest rate of inflation since 2008. The numbers blew past forecast expectations of 4.9%.
Economists have pegged several factors as contributing to the rise in costs. One element is a surge in demand precipitated by people receiving vaccinations and the economy continuing to reopen, with consumers with pent-up demand eager to venture out and spend their money. The Biden administration’s fiscal policies have also infused the economy with federal spending, another reason why some economists say inflation is up.
Another huge factor contributing to inflationary pressure is the supply-chain bottlenecks that have plagued the country, as well as the rest of the world, since the start of the pandemic. As demand increases, there have been backlogs of goods, which is creating scarcity and driving up prices. For example, a lack of computer chips for cars has resulted in fewer new cars and has sent used car prices skyrocketing, and the furniture industry is struggling with long waits and back-orders for merchandise.
Among the nearly 2,000 registered voters surveyed, 53% also blamed America's return to pre-pandemic behaviors as to why inflation is at a 13-year high, with 69% of Democrats and 39% of Republicans saying the same.
The Federal Reserve has been loath to hike interest rates despite inflation creeping beyond its 2% target point. The central bank has repeatedly asserted the rise is only transitory and that it expects it to settle back down in the coming months. Fed officials are targeting not only 2% inflation, but also full employment, which thus far has proved elusive.
Thirty-eight percent of voters polled said that they expected the economy to get “much” or “somewhat” worse over the next year. There were huge partisan divides about the country's economic outlook, with 61% Republicans predicting that the economy would degrade, compared to a mere 17% of Democrats.
While inflation is grabbing headlines, consumer confidence is continuing to mend. On Tuesday, it hit its highest level since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
“Spending intentions picked up in July, with a larger percentage of consumers saying they planned to purchase homes, automobiles, and major appliances in the coming months,” said Lynn Franco, the senior director of economic indicators at the Conference Board. “Thus, consumer spending should continue to support robust economic growth in the second half of 2021.”
The survey was conducted between Friday and Monday and had a margin of error of 2 percentage points.
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Original Author: Zachary Halaschak
Original Location: Most voters hold Biden administration responsible for higher inflation