Tuesday, January 11, 2022

The Democrats Have Lost Their Way (Economic Pessimism Edition)

At The Liberal Patriot, John Halpin takes a look at new data from AP-NORC He notes the widespread economic pessimism among the public and suggests that Democrats might want to focus on that problem rather than the various quixotic crusades that now consume them.
"As 2022 gets underway, discussions about January 6, political polarization, and a phantom “second civil war” dominate elite discourse. Meanwhile, in less politically charged communities across the country, American voters remain focused on pocketbook issues, and express rising dissatisfaction with the nation’s economy and lack confidence that the nation’s political class can or will do anything about it.
Despite overall numbers that suggest America’s economy is in relatively good shape and recovering well from the pandemic hit, Americans themselves aren’t seeing it and many are nervous about the coming year.
Economic pessimism is now the most pressing and politically potent issue facing President Biden and congressional Democrats ahead of critical midterm elections....
Given widespread dissatisfaction and nervousness about the economy, President Biden and congressional Democrats would be wise to drop everything else they are doing and focus their entire policy efforts and public messaging on proving to Americans that the government: (1) can work effectively to bolster the overall national economy in terms of jobs, supply chains, public health, and getting businesses back to normal in the current Covid context; and (2) help struggling families deal with the pinch of stuck wages and high costs.
Pessimism about the economy is pervasive and incredibly hard to address.
But if Biden and Democrats focus their political efforts in the next few months on consensus and popular steps to help build public confidence in the government’s management of the economy, it is possible to restore some if not all public trust in their leadership ahead of the midterms. Everything else is secondary to Democrats’ political standing now.
Publicly haggling over the huge Build Back Better legislation won’t cut it. Take a few parts of the bill with the most immediate and important economic impacts and pass them into law. Make sure the remaining stimulus funds and new infrastructure projects are well designed, effectively spent, and widely touted across the country. Take inflation seriously and help Americans with high costs generally and on big ticket items like housing, education, and health care.
Do a few things well on the economy and let Americans know about it."
Read the whole piece at The Liberal Patriot!

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