Despite positive economic indicators, public dissatisfaction with President Joe Biden’s handling of the economy is causing confusion among experts and analysts. The Associated Press and various experts are struggling to understand this discontent in what they describe as a robust U.S. economy.
Democratic pollster Celinda Lake, who has worked with Biden, expressed her bewilderment: “Things are getting better, and people think things are going to get worse — and that’s the most dangerous piece of this,” she said. Lake noted that voters are seeking not just a reduction in inflation rates but an actual decrease in prices, a phenomenon not widely seen since the Great Depression.
Claudia Sahm, a former Federal Reserve economist, also shared her surprise over the negative public reaction despite signs of economic strength.
However, rising prices of everyday items paint a different picture for many Americans, contributing to the prevailing economic dissatisfaction. For instance, the cost of essentials like groceries and gasoline remains high, with a bag of Fritos costing around $5 and a gallon of gasoline priced at $3.14. Additionally, a 12-pack of Dr. Pepper is selling for $7.18 at discount stores, and the average monthly mortgage payment has soared to $3,322, with national interest rates for home mortgages at 7.42 percent.
Even used vehicles, such as a pickup truck with 71,000 miles, are priced around $28,000. Simple indulgences like a Coke and a Snickers bar at a pharmacy can total over $4. Furthermore, a quick meal at McDonald’s for two can cost upwards of $21, highlighting the increased cost of living under the current economic climate.
These rising prices are attributed to several factors. Critics argue that Democratic policies have led to increased energy costs by reducing its availability, impacting overall prices. Additionally, Biden’s spending initiatives are seen as contributing to inflation. The influx of illegal immigrants is also believed to exacerbate the situation by increasing demand for resources and housing while expanding the labor market, potentially affecting wages.
In this context, the dissonance between expert analysis and public sentiment becomes clearer. While experts point to positive economic trends, many Americans feel the pinch of high prices in their daily lives, leading to a negative perception of the economy under President Biden’s administration.