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Biden demands upbeat economic coverage, but Americans cite inflation woes

By Jake Beardslee · December 26, 2023

In brief…

  • Despite Biden's criticism, polls show broad disapproval of the economy, including among Democrats.
  • Many Americans say their personal financial struggles contradict Biden's economic claims.
  • People cite inflation, jobs not returning post-COVID, higher bills, and shrinking retirement savings.
Biden told a reporter to "Start reporting it the right way" when asked about his economic outlook for 2024.  David Lienemann/Wikimedia

President Biden criticized the media’s negative coverage of the economy on Saturday as he departed for Camp David ahead of Christmas, telling a reporter to “Start reporting it the right way” when asked about his economic outlook for 2024. Despite Biden’s scolding, his approval ratings have reached historic lows largely due to Americans’ discontent with the economy.

A recent Fox News poll found 14% of people say Biden’s economic policies have helped them financially, while 46% say his administration has hurt them. Even among Democrats, 61% say the economy is in bad shape. Americans are feeling the pain of high inflation, with the Fox News poll showing 93% of Republicans, 85% of independents and 61% of Democrats believing the economy is in poor condition.

Despite declining inflation, Americans remain pessimistic about the economy and are dramatically cutting back spending, according to a Suffolk University/USA Today poll. Most respondents described the economy in negative terms and said costs keep rising, especially for necessities like food and housing. To cope, people are dining out less, reducing grocery bills, canceling vacations, and delaying home repairs. Lower income households are being hit hardest, sharply reducing spending while taking on more debt.