“Self-serving elites in government and the mainstream media are continuing to downplay the economic crisis, eroding confidence in institutions.”
Despite President Biden’s assurance that two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth do not indicate a recession, a majority of Americans are deeply concerned about skyrocketing inflation and shrinking budgets.
Last week’s bleak economic report from the Commerce Department found the economy shrank for the second consecutive quarter, with GDP shrinking by 0.9%. In the past, this would be considered a recession, but it appears the definition is being tampered with for political purposes. At the same time, costs of basic goods, fuel, food, and housing are rising rapidly, eating into workers’ earnings and savings.
The latest YouGov poll finds jobs and inflation are the most important issues to Americans, with a full 93% of Americans saying jobs and inflation are important, and 57% saying they are “very” important. Across 15 different policy issues, inflation is the most important issue.
“Jobs and inflation are the most important issues to Americans.”
Although Republicans are more likely to say jobs and inflation are “very” important (81%), 65% of Independents and 60% of Democrats agree.
There are few differences by race or education, with majorities of college and non-college Whites as well as Blacks and Hispanics saying the economy and inflation are top concerns.
Concerns over inflation and the rising costs of goods and services have been brewing for months. As Market Research Foundation pointed out in July, close to two-thirds of voters said their number one issue was something directly related to the rising cost of living in a Monmouth University poll.
“Close to two-thirds of voters said their number one issue was something directly related to the rising cost of living.”
A full third of voters (33%) said inflation was their number one issue, followed by gas prices (15%), the economy overall (9%), and paying for bills and groceries (6%).
The Monmouth poll also found over four in ten Americans (42%) said they were struggling to remain where they were financially and less than 10% of Americans say their financial situation is improving.
What is more, most Americans are not at all optimistic that the federal government will be able to help them. Fifty-seven percent of Americans say the federal government’s actions have hurt their family over the past six months when it comes to their main concern, and just 8% say DC has helped them.
Aside from economic concerns, national security is also a top concern. Ninety-one percent of Americans say national security is important, and 61% say it is “very” important. Moderates (60%) and conservatives (79%) are more likely to prioritize national security, but 45% of liberals are also concerned about national security.
Foreign policy is also very or somewhat important to 82% of Americans, with 40% saying it is “very” important. College educated whites are more likely than non-college whites and minorities to say foreign policy is very important. Almost half (49%) of white men with a college degree say foreign policy is “very” important compared to 42% of white men without a degree. Forty-four percent of white college-educated women versus 39% of non-college women say foreign policy is very important. Roughly a third of Blacks (35%) and Hispanics (34%) say foreign policy is very important.
Issues like criminal justice reform, guns, and abortion are relatively low in importance to most Americans, with immediate economic issues and the threat of national security posing larger threats.
Self-serving elites in government and the mainstream media are continuing to downplay the economic crisis, eroding confidence in institutions. As Market Research Foundation pointed out last week, confidence in mainstream institutions is plummeting and a majority of Americans say they have little to no confidence in mainstream news.