As the midterm elections loom, Americans feel worse about the economy than they have in a decade. Inflation is at a 40-year peak. Gas prices are soaring. And the situation is unlikely to improve anytime soon, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine rages on.
Republican leaders have fallen over one another blaming all of this on President Biden. For its part, the administration seems to treat these economic woes as a branding problem. Biden and his staff are blaming higher gas prices on Russian President Vladimir Putin, dubbing the rise the #PutinPriceHike. And they’ve started pitching voters on the idea that the economy is stronger than they think.
Indeed, there are plenty of indicators to show that is true—wages are rising, GDP is growing, unemployment is down and savings are up. But when it comes to political outcomes, perception is often reality. Working families are suffering the brunt of inflation. Those in lower-income households are struggling the most not just to fill their gas tanks, but to budget for groceries and pay rent. Roughly one in five Americans now name increased cost of living or gas prices as their top concern.
Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.