“U.S. President Joe Biden’s approval rating has dropped to a new low, according to a national poll,” reports the Birmingham News:
The poll by Reuters/Ipsos showed Biden’s approval rating at 40%, the lowest it has been since the president’s term began. The national poll, conducted March 21-21, showed 54% of Americans disapproved of the president’s job performance, citing issues with high inflation and concerns over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Biden’s approval ratings mark a 3-point drop from the week before.
Among those who said they were Democrats, 77% said they approved of the job Biden was doing, compared to 10% of Republicans and 27% of independents.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll includes results from 1,005 adults, including 432 Democrats and 366 Republicans. It has an error rate of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Voters’ concern about inflation is well-founded. Inflation is twice as high in the U.S. as it is in Europe. The U.S. inflation rate is about 8 percent, while wholesale price inflation has reached double digits in the U.S. The Producer Price Index (PPI), which measures the prices suppliers charge businesses and other customers, grew 10% on a year-over-year basis as of February, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. By contrast, in Europe, the inflation rate is only about 4%.
The inflationary effect of Biden’s policies have been described by both liberal and conservative economists. The Biden administration recently proposed regulatory changes that will inflate the cost of government procurement at taxpayer expense.
Larry Summers, who was Treasury Secretary under Bill Clinton, says that recent increases in government spending have exacerbated inflation. Steven Rattner, who was in Obama’s Treasury Department, warned his fellow Democrats that big government spending would spawn inflation.
As Rattner noted in the New York Times, the Biden administration adopted the “wrong” policies on “this critical issue” even after liberal economists warned against them:
They can’t say they weren’t warned — notably by Larry Summers, a former Treasury secretary and my former boss in the Obama administration, and less notably by many others, including me. We worried that shoveling an unprecedented amount of spending into an economy already on the road to recovery would mean too much money chasing too few goods….The original sin was the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, passed in March. 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.
Yet Biden has doubled down on these inflationary policies. This month, Biden signed an across-the-board increase in federal spending that will increase inflation even further. And he wants to spend even more than Congressional leaders. Last May, Biden proposed a record $6 trillion budget that “would push federal spending to its highest sustained levels since World War II” as a share of our economy, reported the New York Times. It would have made the national debt skyrocket even faster, and resulted in even larger, persistently huge budget deficits. The Biden administration itself forecast budget “deficits at more than $1 trillion for at least the next decade” if his budget plan were adopted, noted CNN.
Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan would lead to more inflation. Manhattan Institute senior economist Brian Riedl said the bill would “fuel inflation.” U.S. Chamber of Commerce Senior Economist Curtis Dubay said the bill will “undoubtedly worsen“ inflation. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget’s Marc Goldwein said, “I expect inflationary pressures” from “Build Back Better.” Former Congressional Budget Office Director Doug Elmendorf said Biden’s agenda “will tend to push up” inflation. Former CBO Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin said “Build Back Better” will create “some additional pressure on inflation.” Bank of America economist Ethan Harris said Biden’s plan will “create even more price pressure.”
Biden has disregarded warnings from pollsters that his popularity is at risk from rising inflation. Early this year, Gallup reported that “high inflation” was one of the “factors keeping Biden’s approval rating down.”