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Americans say the economy is broken and they don’t think the president’s massive spending bill will fix it. But the deeper problem for the president—and his party—is that his mishandling of the economy is calling into question his competence and honesty.
According to the latest Fox News poll, more people think the massive “Build Back Better” spending bill that recently passed in the House will hurt rather than help their families. And even though the president has promised repeatedly that no one making less than $400,000 in income will see their taxes rise, most people believe they’ll pay higher taxes if the bill becomes law.
The latest poll numbers don’t merely reflect pessimism about the president’s policy, they reveal doubts that the president is really behind the middle class he professes to champion.
President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the debt ceiling during an event in the State Dining Room of the White House, Monday, Oct. 4, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
It’s a doubt about the president’s real intentions that is consistent with the findings of last week’s Quinnipiac poll reported in the New York Post: “51 percent of respondents said they did not find Biden to be honest (42 percent said they did), 57 percent said they did not think he has good leadership skills (37 percent said they did) and 56 percent said they did not believe the administration was competent at running the federal government (40 percent said they did).”
Even voters who don’t doubt the president’s honesty think he has wrong economic cure. They’re concerned that what they see as a disease, he sees as a sign of health.
For example, nearly three-quarters of respondents to the Fox News poll say higher gas prices are creating “hardship” for them. By an overwhelming margin, they want to see energy prices come down. But a remarkable 33% think the president actually likes higher gas prices because it will result in more alternative energy use.
Put another way, 1 in 3 voters believe their financial pain is the president’s plan. They simply don’t buy Biden’s oft-repeated claim that he’s trying to give working families “a little breathing room.” And it spells trouble for the Democratic party if they don’t reverse course quickly.
According to that same Quinnipiac poll, more U.S. voters want to see Republicans take control of the House and Senate in next year’s midterm election.
While that contest is still nearly a year away, neither the president nor Congressional Democrats are doing their integrity any favors with the latest gimmick-ridden spending bill. The president’s claim that it costs zero has been roundly refuted, and multiple independent analyses have concluded that the Build Back Better plan spending will amount to at least double what Democrats have admitted.
What’s become clear is the president and his party are wagering that voters are too ignorant or apathetic to do the math and understand the true cost of the progressive economic agenda. But the polls are showing that’s looking more and more like a losing bet.
Americans want honest answers to real economic problems, but they’re losing faith that the president and his allies in Congress have any interest in finding them.
For the sake of working families concerned that more spending would enflame inflation and higher taxes would stagnate the economy, the president should drop the Build Back Better plan. It would be much-needed acknowledgement of real economic hardship and legitimate voter concerns that would help rebuild the electorate’s trust.
But that appears to be a bridge too far. The latest push to jam through higher taxes and trillions in new spending is just another indication that Democrats have no plans to change direction. If they keep it up, they’re headed straight for a big cliff in 2022.