President Joe Biden hasn’t been in office for five months yet, but he’s already facing a major challenge: Figuring out how to get a lid on inflation that is now at a level unseen in decades.
After a Labor Department report last week found that year-over-year in May, inflation rose 5 percent, the Biden administration is getting more bad news: A majority of Americans are blaming him for it.
“According to the Trafalgar Group/Convention of the States poll, 39% of respondents blamed Biden, while 17.7% placed the blame on former President Donald Trump,” USA Features News reported Tuesday, citing the survey.
“Independent voters blamed Biden more than Trump as well, by a 35.5-16.9% margin, the survey said. The poll comes amid rising prices for a range of goods, services, and commodities and inflationary pressures that have not been seen in decades,” the outlet continued.
Now, to be fair, there’s no question that the economy Biden inherited from the Trump administration was a shell of its former self; the COVID-19 pandemic was, if nothing else, the biggest economic disruption we’ve seen since the Great Depression.
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But then again, much of the economic damage was self-inflicted by blue-state mayors and governors in some of the country’s wealthiest regions and ZIP codes; governors in New York and California, for instance, fell in love with the newfound authorities they were gifted by the pandemic and as such, extended lockdowns, business closures, and other economy-sapping measures for months longer than they needed to. We know this because red state governors opened their states last summer and fall, and fared no worse, virus-wise, but much better economically, than their blue state brethren.
Prior to COVID, Trump had the U.S. economy humming on all eight cylinders. The country was essentially at full employment and there were more jobs than workers. Wages were up across all demographics, for men and women, and all ethnic groups, and historically so. Companies were expanding in the U.S., not abroad, thanks to a major corporate tax cut. We were energy-independent for the first time since the middle of the 20th century.
So while ‘the economy’ writ large wasn’t the best overall for a president to inherent, Trump had laid a great foundation for a monster economic revival — until Biden and Democrats screwed that up.
“Among the president’s policies Republicans have criticized include providing extra unemployment benefits for months on end via COVID relief measures, which is pumping money into the economy while at the same time creating an artificial labor shortage,” USA Features News reported.
In sum, a larger money supply coupled with fewer goods and services to buy is a textbook strategy for creating inflation because more dollars chasing a short supply equals price increases.
Or a hidden tax increase.
“President Biden has repeatedly promised that he won’t raise taxes on American families earning less than $400,000 per year. Yet widespread and growing inflation due to his policies is — at least indirectly — breaking that promise. Call it the Biden inflation tax,” Alfredo Ortiz, president and CEO of the Job Creators Network, wrote at Real Clear Politics in May.
And now, most Americans agree — this is Biden’s fault.