EDITOR'S NOTE: Here’s a simple question: Are you in a better financial situation now than you were a year ago? If you answered “no,” then you’re in agreement with 78% of Americans, according to a survey conducted by Tipp Insights. Biden claims to have pulled off the 'best economic growth in the last four decades.” Yet, Americans’ financial-economic lives are mired in struggle and uncertainty. Where’s the disconnect? Let’s look at a few key economic indicators. US payrolls did rise, but inflation rendered that rise into negative growth. Unemployment is down, yet the Great Resignation shows no signs of slowing (non-participating unemployed are not counted in the stats). GDP is skyrocketing; all those stimulus funds are finally entering the system, driving prices up in most sectors where supply can’t meet demand. Debt-to-GDP has fallen from its 2020 peak, yet it’s still far above pre-pandemic levels. We can go on and on, but most of these stats, taken as proof of a robust economy, don’t reveal the flip side to its numbers where the painful economic realities of everyday Americans are hidden from view. Things haven’t improved since Biden took office. But here’s another question: is there anyone else besides Biden (and the Radical Left) to blame? If you can’t come up with an answer besides this one regime (and similar regimes), then you may have difficulties surviving the economic landscape that lay ahead. There’s more to the “machine” than just a few of its critical parts.
Are you better off today under President Joe Biden than you were a year earlier? And are you financially prepared for a downturn in the economy or a job loss? The March I&I/TIPP Poll suggests most Americans would answer “no” to both of those questions.
The poll asked: “Generally speaking, is your family better off today than it was one year ago, worse off than it was one year ago, or about the same as it was a year ago?”
Source: Issues Insights
Taken as a whole, that means 78% of Americans have seen no progress or improvement at all in their financial and economic lives since Biden took over in early 2020.
Despite this, Biden’s recent speeches have included references to the “best economic growth in the last four decades.”
“We did it alone. Without one single solitary Republican vote,” he said in Philadelphia on March 11, speaking to House Democrats. “It was the Democrats — it was you — that brought us back.”
If that’s the message, Americans don’t seem to be buying it. And a big reason for that is likely the sudden scary surge in inflation, which hits low- and middle-class Americans hardest of all.
While wage gains have averaged 5% or higher for four straight months, unfortunately, inflation during the same period has surged by an annual rate of over 7%, and looks likely to go even higher.
Americans, it seems, are feeling the pinch of Bidenomics. They can’t keep up, despite all the “stimulus” — or perhaps, because of it.
In the same poll, I&I/TIPP also asked Americans, “How much does your household have in emergency savings — that is, money that is readily available in either a checking, savings or money-market account?”
Respondents were given eight possible responses: “No emergency savings,” “One month’s expenses,” “Two months’ expenses,” “Three months’ expenses,” “Four months’ expenses,” “Five months’ expenses,” “Six months’ expenses or more,” and “Not sure.”
Sadly, the biggest category by far was “No emergency savings,” at 34%. Both “One month’s” and “Two months’ ” garnered 11% each.
So 56% of all Americans, over half of the population, have either no savings or barely enough to last two months, should economic trouble occur. For most, that means they are one job loss or personal injury away from economic disaster.
Only 16% of respondents said they had financial resources for three to five months. And just 16% responded they had enough stashed to last for six months or more. Another 11% said they “weren’t sure,” perhaps the most worrisome response of all.
Source: Issues Insights
This, after the federal government has spent $6 trillion on COVID recovery and passed another $1.5 trillion in spending for the coming year, while the Federal Reserve printed an estimated $16.5 trillion in new cash and checking deposits since the start of the pandemic.
Despite all this activity and booster rhetoric from Democrats, Americans have given Biden’s economic performance failing grades in recent polls.
If anything, with the stock market’s plunge, continued soaring inflation and growing shortages in supermarkets, confidence in Bidenomics has grown worse in recent weeks, prompting even Democrats to criticize the president’s policies.
The latest I&I/TIPP Poll was conducted online from March 2-4 with responses from 1,318 adults nationwide. The poll’s margin of error is +/- 2.8 percentage points.
Each month, I&I/TIPP provides timely, relevant and informative data from our monthly polls on this topic and others of major interest to Americans. TIPP has earned a reputation for excellence by being the most accurate pollster for the past five presidential elections.
Terry Jones is editor of Issues & Insights. His four decades of journalism experience include serving as national issues editor, economics editor, and editorial page editor for Investor’s Business Daily.