As His Polls Plummet, What Are Joe Biden’s Policy Options?
Author: Greg Valliere
November 9, 2021
As His Polls Plummet,
What are Joe Biden’s Policy Options?
November 9, 2021
IT MUST BE FRUSTRATING for Joe Biden to see his poll numbers in free-fall; some recent surveys have his job approval rating in the low-40s.
SO WE ASKED several Washington insiders yesterday what Biden can do to improve the Democrats’ dismal prospects for next year’s mid-term elections. Their answer: fix the inflation problem.
ALSO HIGH ON THE LIST is the need for Biden to sell his programs more forcefully. His advisers are reluctant to put him in front of the press, a format that frequently leads to gaffes and White House walk-backs.
NEVERTHELESS, THE IMMINENT ENACTMENT of a $1 trillion-plus infrastructure law is something worth bragging about; many Republicans, including Mitch McConnell, voted for it.
LOCAL OFFICIALS ARE ALREADY SCRAMBLING to get in on the action, which should add hundreds of thousands of jobs to the economy, while further filling the states’ surprisingly full coffers — thanks, largely, to the stock market surge. Many presidents would brag about a red hot Wall Street, but Biden’s doesn’t want to; he’s fearful of annoying the progressives.
AS DOZENS OF MAJOR NEW INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS get off the ground by spring, Biden and top aides will publicize the positive impact on the economy, but there’s been a major change in public attitudes.
THE INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS — and most of the social spending proposals in the next bill — are now viewed suspiciously by the public. Polls show that most people feel these massive new spending projects will exacerbate inflation.
THE GREATEST RISK TO DEMOCRATS clearly is the rising inflation threat. Voters see a direct connection between spending and higher prices, and Biden is committed to more spending. His anti-inflation options are limited — drain the strategic petroleum reserve, replace the Fed Chairman, etc. — which won’t make a big difference. He’ll have to wait out inflation.
IF DEMOCRATS LOSE THE HOUSE next fall, which seems likely, what options would Biden have in the last two years of his term? Biden would have his veto power; he would focus on aggressive regulation; and he would attempt to improve trade relations with China.
AN AGE-OLD PROBLEM: Even as the over-caffeinated economy grows strongly because of massive fiscal stimulus, Biden can’t do anything about his age. He turns 79 later this month and sometimes he looks older.
BIDEN AND HIS ADVISERS KNOW that they have less than a year to get their agenda enacted, so they will push hard to pass a $2 trillion social spending bill. But they can’t seem to sell it, and the likelihood of several more months of hot inflation will make the public even more leery of spending.
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