Although President Joe Biden recently downplayed the latest consumer price index numbers showing that inflation continued to tick upward in August, a clear majority of Americans remain concerned about the toll that rising costs are taking on their household budgets.
“Let’s put this in perspective,” the president told CBS News correspondent Scott Pelley earlier this month. “Inflation rate month to month was just an inch, hardly at all.”
For ordinary Americans struggling to absorb the increasing price of food and other necessities, however, his reassurances are not particularly helpful.
Recent results from Bank of America’s annual Workplace Benefits Report show that a whopping 71% of Americans “feel the cost of living is outpacing growth in their salary or wages,” which is in turn negatively impacting their “overall feeling of financial wellness.”
That percentage is 13 points higher than when the same question was asked in February.
Overall, 80% of U.S. workers across all demographic lines reported concerns about inflation. Additionally, more than 60% of respondents say that their jobs do not prevent them from worrying about personal finances.
Lorna Sabbia, Bank of America’s head of retirement and personal wealth solutions summarized the main points from the latest report, noting that American workers “are looking for help from their employers” to ease their financial stress.
Those hoping for sympathy from the Biden administration, however, might be disappointed by the response. Instead of accepting responsibility for the economic downturn, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre this week pointed the finger at pharmaceutical companies and Republican lawmakers for creating the current situation.
“For decades, Big Pharma and special interests had blocked Medicare from negotiating lower prescription drug prices,” she said during a press briefing on Monday. “President Biden and Democrats in Congress put an end to that through the Inflation Reduction Act, while every single Republican official voted against it. Not only that, Republicans in Congress continue to advance legislation to cut Social Security and Medicare and put these programs on the chopping block.”
Meanwhile, Biden continues to repeat the inaccurate claim that multiple states across the nation now have an average fuel price below $3 per gallon.
Joe Biden claims again — falsely — that gas is below $3/gal in some states.
There are ZERO states with an average price under $3/gal — and gas prices remain $1.34/gal higher than when Biden took office. pic.twitter.com/wG2oVAXgWU
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) September 26, 2022
Despite a virtual consensus that the Inflation Reduction Act will do little, if anything, to bring consumer prices down, the president has touted its passage as a significant step toward repairing the economy.
“It will take more time and resolve to bring inflation down, which is why we passed the Inflation Reduction Act to lower the cost of healthcare, prescription drugs and energy,” he said. “And my economic plan is showing that, as we bring prices down, we are creating good paying jobs and bringing manufacturing back to America.”