By Mark Lungariello
The number of people struggling financially in the US is rising as fast as inflation.
Four in 10 Americans say they’re fighting to stay afloat with white-hot inflation and high gas prices among families’ top concerns, according to a new poll released Tuesday.
Some 42% say they’re struggling financially – an 18-percentage-point increase in just one year, Monmouth University Polling Institute said .
It’s the first time in five years since Monmouth began asking about participants “current financial situation” that more than three in 10 people said they were struggling to remain where they are.
“Economic concerns tend to rise to the top of the list of family concerns, as you might expect, but the singular impact of inflation is really hitting home right now,” Patrick Murray, director of the institute, said in a statement.
“And most Americans are blaming Washington for their current pain.”
Of those polled, 33% said inflation and 15% said gas prices were their top concern, and only 23% said they expect Washington will help ease the burden of their top concerns in the next few years, the poll said.
Just 9% say their financial picture is getting better, down from 25% who were optimistic last July, according to the poll. The number of people earning under $50,000 who say they are financially struggling ballooned by 18 percentage points to 57% from just a year ago, the poll said.
A whopping 88% believe the US is on the wrong track – and more than half don’t think President Joe Biden’s policies are helping the middle class, according to Monmouth.
Only 10% of Americans think the US is headed in the right direction as Biden’s job underwater job-approval rating continued to take a nosedive .
He is now at an approve-disapprove mark of 36/57 – a sharp drop from 48/44 in July 2021, a Monmouth news release said. Fifty-four percent say Biden’s policies haven’t benefitted the middle class, up from 36% who said the same last July, according to Monmouth.
Another 52% said the president’s policies haven’t benefitted the poor, up from 29% who said they felt that way a year ago, the poll said.
Only 15% of those polled approve of the job Congress is doing, but there was a pretty even split over who they think should run the federal government. Including political “leaners” about 47% said Republicans should control Congress while 47% said Democrats should remain in control.
“The state of the economy has Americans in a foul mood,” Murray said. “They are not happy with Washington. However, that has not changed the overall picture of whom they want in control of Congress. The question is who actually shows up in the fall to vote.” The poll comes with a 3.1-point margin of error and was conducted between June 23 and 27.