Democrats May Have Bungled Their Last Chance To Sway Voters Before November
New government numbers released today show inflation soared 9.1% higher in June over last year, hitting a new 40-year record after May’s 8.6% spike.
Even if inflation starts to decline — now that gas prices have inched slightly downward — there’s not enough time left before November for meaningful improvement in families’ lives. That bodes very poorly for Democrats heading into the midterm elections, with multiple national polls showing inflation and economic concerns topping the charts of issues concerning voters.
RealClearPolitics generic congressional ballot polling averages show Republicans with nearly a 3% advantage. Continued economic woes under the helm of a Democrat White House and Congress seem poised to eclipse abortion as a deciding electoral issue — contrary to liberal media wisdom. As former Bill Clinton adviser James Carville famously told the world: “it’s the economy, stupid.”
The 9.1% inflation increase is also higher than the 8.8% economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal expected. There’s just no way to positively spin how terrible this economic news is, but that didn’t stop the Biden White House from trying.
“On Monday, press secretary KARINE JEAN-PIERRE tried to get ahead of the news by telling reporters that the June data would be “backwards-looking” and ‘already out of date,’” Politico reported Tuesday. “(It’s true that gas prices have been falling this month, but her qualifiers could also apply to literally any economic report.)”
It’s no wonder that even New York Times/Siena College polling shows President Biden’s unpopularity: “voters nationwide have soured on his leadership, giving him a meager 33 percent job-approval rating.”
Despite the rising inflation, congressional Democrats, including previously fiscally responsible Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, are still considering a new version of a “Build Back Better” massive spending bill.
“Manchin has been adamant he wants higher taxes on corporations to bring down the deficit and help fight inflation,” Axios’ Hans Nichols reported Tuesday. “For months, his shorthand has been a 2:1 ratio of fresh revenues to new spending, with some $500 billion going to deficit reduction.”
But any supposed deficit reduction (Manchin’s ratio is highly doubtful, considering his party’s impulses) would come at a cost — one born on the backs of America’s businesses that have been battered by the COVID-19 pandemic and are still recovering. Right now, America has a supply problem. That’s what’s driving our inflation.
Manchin’s shortsightedness would further exacerbate this supply problem. Taxing businesses hurts the suppliers of the products needed to meet the surges in demand that are causing prices to spike.
When will Manchin and his colleagues realize their spending binges are adding more inflation fuel to the fire? It’s time they stop the spending madness and stop treating the U.S. dollar like monopoly money.
Carrie Sheffield is a senior policy analyst at Independent Women’s Voice.
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