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Three-quarters report suffering ‘hardship’ from Bidenflation: I&I/TIPP Poll


No question about it: Americans are hurting from the surging inflation that began early in President Joe Biden’s first term and that has persisted ever since. Indeed, as the latest I&I/TIPP Poll shows, a large majority of Americans now say the sharp rise in inflation has caused them financial hardship.

With inflation running at an average annual rate of 8% last year and 4.7% the year before, Americans are feeling the pinch.

In this month’s online I&I/TIPP Poll, taken Feb. 1-3 from 1,358 adults across the nation, we asked the following question: “How much of a hardship has inflation caused you and your family over the past two years?”

Respondents were given four possible responses: “A severe hardship”, “A moderate hardship,” “No hardship,” or “Not sure.” The poll’s margin of error is +/-2.8 percentage points.

The answer came back loud and clear: 77% said inflation is causing their family hardship, versus just 19% who said it isn’t and only 4% who said they aren’t sure. Of those who said they are suffering from inflation, 24% called it “severe,” while 53% termed it “moderate.”

Three-Quarters Report Suffering ‘Hardship’ From Bidenflation: I&I/TIPP Poll

Most notable was the unanimity across all groups. Among the 21 demographic groups tracked regularly by TIPP, only those over 65 years of age came in below 70%, at 68%. Every other group was at 70% or higher.

This was one poll where Republicans, Democrats and independents all see eye-to-eye, with 75% of Democrats, 81% of Republicans, and 75% of independents saying they suffer the wrath of out-of-control inflation.

Whites (77%), blacks (70%), hispanics (78%), male (77%) and female (75%), those who earned under $30K a year (78%) and those who earned $50K-$75K a year (80%), urban dwellers (79%) and suburban dwellers (73%) and rural dwellers (80%) all feel the pinch.

Three-Quarters Report Suffering ‘Hardship’ From Bidenflation: I&I/TIPP Poll

When it comes to inflation, apparently, there are no parties, genders, classes, or races. Only pain.

Home sales have tanked as mortgage rates more than doubled, with annualized sales of new homes are off nearly 40% from 2020.

Meanwhile, home heating, gasoline and other energy costs have jumped sharply, averaging a 23% monthly gain in 2022, along with grocery prices, up 11% on the year. One egregious example: Due to shortages of baby formula, which have driven prices sharply upward as supplies stay tight, stores now routinely keep baby formula under lock and key.

Even fast-food chains and other restaurants have jacked up prices 8.3% in the last year just to keep up with hikes in the minimum wage, rising rents and increased transportation costs.

As EJ Antoni, research fellow in regional economics with the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis, noted last month:

The overall price level declined 0.1% last month but increased 6.5% in 2022, a year which saw four-decade-high inflation. Even as the increase in the CPI slows, many consumer staples remain highly elevated compared to the start of the Biden administration: eggs are up 189.9%, ground beef 21.1%, gasoline 44.3%, electricity 21.3%, transportation services 19.5%, and housing 11.8%.

Perhaps the most notable statistic for how inflation hurts average people is real wages, or wages adjusted for inflation. Over the last year, they fell 1.6%. So the average American is losing the fight against inflation as it erodes our standard of living by the day.

Antoni’s analysis shows that “the average family has effectively lost $7,400 in annual income” since the onset of the inflation surge two years ago, a disaster for most American families.

Which explains why more than three-quarters of all Americans in the I&I/TIPP Poll now claim “hardship” from inflation.

How did this happen after decades of slow or negligible inflation? It was no accident.

Here’s Forbes’ pithy summation:

As the pandemic eased in 2021, Covid vaccines became widely available and the economy began reopening in fits and starts. At the same time, supply chain bottlenecks started piling up everywhere.

Take these factors, add in thousands of dollars in direct stimulus payments to tens of millions of Americans throughout 2020 and 2021, and you had a recipe for big, broad-based price gains throughout the U.S. economy.

In addition to Biden and the Democrat-led Congress’ trillions of dollars in “stimulus,” the Fed’s glaring policy mistakes also deserve mention as  a cause of our current inflation mess.

The data tell the story. For the first two months of 2021, inflation was rising by less than the Fed’s 2% annual inflation target.

But in March, inflation jumped to a 2.6% rate, the first time in 11 months above the Fed’s 2% target. It didn’t stop. By the end of 2021, inflation ran hot at a 7% rate.

Yet, in June 2021, even as inflation hit 5.4%, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell continued to stick to the Fed’s talking points about inflation being “transitory.”

Five months later, as inflation hit 6.8%, Powell changed his tune. “We will use our tools to make sure that higher inflation does not become entrenched,” he told Congress in November 2021.

But it wasn’t until March 2022 that the Fed approved its first rate hike in three years, and then only by a quarter-point. Markets then expected 2% fed funds rate by the end 2022. Instead, as inflation roared, the Fed panicked and jacked the funds rate to 4.50% at year end.

Earlier this month, Powell announced a quarter-point rate hike, taking the funds rate up to 4.75%, while also asserting that the economy’s “disinflationary” process had begun.

Inflation’s hardship was thus government-made, despite assertions that “corporate greed” or the Russian-Ukraine war were to blame. It remains to be seen whether Biden, Congress and the tardy Fed will slay the inflation dragon.

I&I/TIPP publishes timely, unique and informative data each month on topics of public interest. TIPP has been the most accurate pollster for the past five presidential elections.

Terry Jones is an editor of Issues & Insights. During his four decades of journalism experience, he served as national issues editor, economics editor, and editorial page editor for Investor’s Business Daily.

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Want to understand better? We recently wrote an explainer that sixth graders can understand.  Everyone can benefit from it. Milton Friedman’s Priceless Lessons On Inflation

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Three-Quarters Report Suffering ‘Hardship’ From Bidenflation: I&I/TIPP Poll


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Three-Quarters Report Suffering ‘Hardship’ From Bidenflation: I&I/TIPP Poll


TIPP Takes

Geopolitics And Geoeconomics

#1. Ukraine War: Russia Must Be Defeated But Not ‘Crushed,’ Macron Says – BBC

Speaking to the media, French President Emmanuel Macron urged Western nations to increase military support for Kyiv and said he was prepared for a protracted war.

Three-Quarters Report Suffering ‘Hardship’ From Bidenflation: I&I/TIPP Poll

“I want Russia to be defeated in Ukraine, and I want Ukraine to be able to defend its position,” he said. But he hit out against those who he said wanted to extend the war to Russia itself in a bid to “crush” the nation.

“I do not think, as some people do, that we must aim for a total defeat of Russia, attacking Russia on its own soil,” Mr. Macron said.

#2. U.S.: Russia Has Committed Crimes Against Humanity In Ukraine – A.P.

The U.S. has determined that Russia has committed crimes against humanity in Ukraine, Vice President Kamala Harris said, insisting that “justice must be served” to the perpetrators.

Three-Quarters Report Suffering ‘Hardship’ From Bidenflation: I&I/TIPP Poll

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, Harris said the international community has both a moral and strategic interest in pursuing those crimes, pointing to a danger of other authoritarian governments taking advantage if international rules are undermined.

#3. Video: EU Intends To Accelerate Munitions Production For Ukraine – tippinsights

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, said at the Munich Security Conference that the bloc should do what it did during the pandemic to prepare for making a vaccine on a large scale.

Three-Quarters Report Suffering ‘Hardship’ From Bidenflation: I&I/TIPP Poll

#4. Ukrainian Parliament Speaker Hopes For NATO Invite In Summer – RFE/RL

Ukraine hopes to receive an offer of NATO membership as early as this summer, according to parliamentary speaker Ruslan Stefanchuk.

Three-Quarters Report Suffering ‘Hardship’ From Bidenflation: I&I/TIPP Poll

“We expect Ukraine to get an invitation at the Vilnius summit and start its way into the alliance,” Stefanchuk told Ukrainian television.

Stefanchuk noted that on the fringes of the Munich Security Conference currently under way in the German city, “questions related to an invitation to Ukraine to join NATO are already being discussed.”

The NATO summit is scheduled for July 11-12 in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius.

#5. Russia “Expected” To Launch Spacecraft On Ukraine War Anniversary: Report – AFP

Russia’s space agency plans to send a rescue ship on February 24 to bring home three astronauts whose return vehicle was damaged by a tiny meteoroid.

Three-Quarters Report Suffering ‘Hardship’ From Bidenflation: I&I/TIPP Poll

In September, the Soyuz MS-22 flew Russian cosmonauts Dmitry Petelin, Sergei Prokopyev, and NASA astronaut Frank Rubio to the ISS.

They were scheduled to return home in the same spacecraft, but it began leaking coolant in mid-December after being hit by what U.S. and Russian space officials believe was a tiny space rock.

#6. Hungary: Viktor Orban Pledges To Keep Relations With Russia – D.W.

Against the European Union’s resolution of maintaining a united front against Russia, Hungarian PM Viktor Orban said cutting off relations with Russia would not be in the country’s national interest.

Three-Quarters Report Suffering ‘Hardship’ From Bidenflation: I&I/TIPP Poll

Hungary is heavily reliant on Russia for its energy needs.

Orban, a right-wing nationalist leader, said that “the Hungarian government does not consider the suggestion that Russia is a threat to the security of Hungary or Europe to be realistic.”

#7. Netherlands Orders Russian Embassy To Downsize, Moscow Says It Will Respond – Reuters

“Russia keeps trying to secretly get intelligence agents into the Netherlands under cover of diplomacy. We cannot and shall not allow that,” Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra said in a statement.

Three-Quarters Report Suffering ‘Hardship’ From Bidenflation: I&I/TIPP Poll

The Dutch government said it had decided to limit the number of diplomats at the Russian embassy in The Hague to match the number of those at the Dutch embassy in Moscow.

The Russian foreign ministry said it would respond to the move in Moscow.

#8. Blinken Meets China’s Wang Yi, Warns Against Helping Russia – Al Jazeera

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Beijing’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, hold ‘direct, candid’ talks in Munich amid tensions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the downing of a Chinese balloon.

Three-Quarters Report Suffering ‘Hardship’ From Bidenflation: I&I/TIPP Poll

Blinken said the U.S. was very concerned that China is considering providing lethal support to Russia and that he told Wang that “would have serious consequences in our relationship.”

For his part, Wang told Blinken that their countries’ relations had been damaged by how Washington reacted to the balloon, according to Chinese state news agency Xinhua.

#9. Chinese Officials Visit Taiwan For The First Time Since COVID-19 Pandemic – UPI

A Chinese delegation is visiting Taiwan marking the first official group from China to visit the country since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Three-Quarters Report Suffering ‘Hardship’ From Bidenflation: I&I/TIPP Poll

The Taiwanese government invited them to attend the Taiwan Lantern Festival, which marks the end of the Lunar New Year season.

Taiwanese independence groups were there to protest the delegation’s visit, chanting slogans such as “China get out” and carrying signs reading, “Taiwan, China, one country on each side,” according to the Liberty Times newspaper.

#10. The Protesters Who’ve Gone Missing As China Deepens Crackdown – BBC

As China declares victory over the pandemic, the landmark protests in November which spelled the end for zero-Covid rules have begun fading from memory.

Three-Quarters Report Suffering ‘Hardship’ From Bidenflation: I&I/TIPP Poll

Thousands rallied against restrictive Covid policies in the so-called White Paper protests, holding up blank white sheets in the dark. It was a rare show of criticism of the ruling Chinese Communist Party and its leader Xi Jinping.

Police made few arrests at the time. Now, months on, scores of those protesters are in police custody, say, Chinese activists, with one group estimating there have been more than 100 arrests.

#11. Iran International TV Forced To Leave London After Regime Threats – AFP

The independent network Iran International TV said it had been forced on UK police advice to shut down its London studios after a “significant escalation in state-backed threats from Iran.”

Three-Quarters Report Suffering ‘Hardship’ From Bidenflation: I&I/TIPP Poll

The decision was taken following the arrest last weekend of an Austrian-Iranian man in the vicinity of the studios in Chiswick, west London, a source at the station said.

Magomed-Husejn Dovtaev was charged “with collecting information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism,” police said.

#12. Israeli Strike Hits Heart Of Syria’s Security Elite – AFP

An Israeli missile strike aimed at Iranian and Hezbollah targets early Sunday killed 15 people and destroyed a building in a Damascus neighborhood home to much of Syria’s security apparatus.

Three-Quarters Report Suffering ‘Hardship’ From Bidenflation: I&I/TIPP Poll
The overnight strike destroyed a building in a Damascus neighbourhood home to much of Syria’s security apparatus, a war monitoring group said.© Louai BESHARA / AFP

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the strike hit close to an Iranian cultural center and killed 15 people, including civilians.

“Israeli missiles targeted sites including Iranian militias and the Lebanese Hezbollah,” it added.

Sunday’s strike hit Kafr Sousa, home to senior officials, security agencies, and intelligence headquarters.

Israel’s military rarely comments on its strikes against Syria but regularly asserts that it will not let Iran extend its influence to Israel’s borders.

#13. Saudi FM Discusses Russia Ties, Iran Nuclear Deal In Munich – Al Arabiya

Saudi Arabia FM said maintaining a good relationship with Russia is beneficial to all and keeps the doors of dialogue open during a panel at the Munich Security Conference.

Three-Quarters Report Suffering ‘Hardship’ From Bidenflation: I&I/TIPP Poll

Saudi Arabia “continues the dialogue with Kyiv and Moscow” to find a solution, “but issues between them are complex,” the diplomat said, noting that there is a willingness on both sides to negotiate.

Regarding the Iran nuclear deal, he was quoted as saying: “We want the Gulf states to have a say regarding the nuclear agreement.”

#14. Video: North Korea Claims It Launched Hwasong-15 ICBM At Lofted Angle – tippinsights

North Korea said on Sunday that it had fired a Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) at an angle in a “sudden launch” drill to test its strong nuclear deterrent.

Three-Quarters Report Suffering ‘Hardship’ From Bidenflation: I&I/TIPP Poll

The North’s latest missile launch, its second missile provocation this year, came after it warned Friday that it would take “unprecedentedly persistent and strong” actions if Seoul and Washington went ahead with their planned combined military exercises.

In a separate statement, Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, said that any hostile actions against Pyongyang would be met with a “very powerful and overwhelming” response from the North.

#15. Israeli Diplomat Removed From African Union Summit – Al Jazeera

A video posted on social media showed security personnel walking Ambassador Sharon Bar-Li out of the auditorium during the opening ceremony of the summit in Addis Ababa on Saturday.

Three-Quarters Report Suffering ‘Hardship’ From Bidenflation: I&I/TIPP Poll

The spokesperson for the African Union’s chairman said the diplomat was removed because she was not the duly accredited Israeli ambassador to Ethiopia – the expected official.

An AU official later said that the diplomat “asked to leave” had not been invited to the meeting, with a non-transferable invitation issued only to Israel’s ambassador to the African Union, Aleli Admasu.

Israel swiftly condemned the move.

tippinsights is a reader-supported publication. To support our work, consider becoming a paid subscriber.

Republished with permission from TIPP Insights

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