It’s the economy, stupid.
Five trillion dollars in helicopter money (not counting Biden’s proposed $3.5 trillion boondoggle) through the underinvested U.S. economy has given us the worst inflation since the dog days of the Jimmy Carter administration, and Americans are worried — as they should be. Ask anyone who tried to buy a car or rent a dwelling in the past six months. The median asking rent jumped 19% between the second quarter of 2020 and the second quarter of 2021, according to the US Census Bureau. According to Zillow, average rents jumped 6% between last December and June, while Apartmentlist.com reports the median rent up by 10% during the same period.
Real wages are falling. Consumer prices jumped 6% during the past year, while the Atlanta Federal Reserve’s wage measure rose just 3%. That’s an across-the-board 3% pay cut for American workers.
The Great Biden Inflation hands out subsidy checks to American families and then claws the money back and more. Low-wage workers suffer the most. Heaven help the family of modest means whose car died in the past year. Used-car prices (according to the standard Manheim Index of car auction prices) jumped by 25% over the past year.
No wonder the University of Michigan’s Index of Consumer Sentiment fell in July to a level of 70, down from over 100 before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and the lowest level since the Great Recession a decade ago.
The biggest news from the University of Michigan pollsters, though, is political: Democrats are still relatively optimistic about the economy (maybe because they expect more Biden handouts) while confidence among Republicans and Independents has collapsed. Republicans are now more pessimistic about the U.S. economy than they were at any time in history, more than in March 2009 at the depth of the Great Recession.
Independents, meanwhile, are about as pessimistic about the U.S. economy as they were in the spring of 2009.
Independents comprise 43% of American voters. Independents plus the 26% of voters who register as Republicans overwhelm the 27% of Democratic voters by a more than two-to-one majority (those are Gallup Poll data; the remaining 4% didn’t answer). And the numbers show that Independents think the economy is in big trouble. You have to be a Democratic to persuade yourself that we’re not.
Biden is stealing from the American people to buy votes from favored constituencies. That’s the kind of corruption we associate with banana republics, not the United States of America. Look at the desperate people crawling through the desert on our southern border if you want to know where that ends up. Republicans should ask Americans: When Biden finishes turning this country into a banana republic with Monopoly money for currency, where will you go?
Republicans need to focus relentlessly and single-mindedly on the Great Biden Inflation. If we do that, we’ll take back both Houses of Congress in November 2022.