Nearly 80 percent of registered voters blame the country's inflation surge on President Joe Biden's economic policies, according to a recent poll.
While 86 percent of respondents say the coronavirus pandemic has contributed to rising consumer prices, 79 percent of voters say the Biden administration's policies, which include trillions of dollars in record spending, are also responsible, according to a Fox News poll released Wednesday.
Inflation remains a major issue for most Americans: Eighty-six percent of registered voters say they are "concerned" about inflation, up from 83 percent in June. Inflation fears could be behind Biden's negative approval rating on economic issues: Just 47 percent of respondents say they approve of Biden's handling of the economy—a 4-point drop from June—compared with 49 percent who disapprove.
The poll numbers come amid a record spike in inflation: The Labor Department reported Wednesday that consumer prices jumped 5.4 percent over the last 12 months, a 13-year high. Rising energy and food prices have helped drive the rampant inflation, according to the report. The price of gasoline has spiked 41 percent over the last year, and restaurant prices increased 0.8 percent in July, the largest monthly increase in 40 years.
The Biden administration has responded to rising prices by pushing for trillions of dollars in additional spending, including a $3.5 trillion package that prioritizes Democratic policy initiatives.
"If your primary concern right now is the cost of living, you should support this plan, not oppose it," Biden said Wednesday. "A vote against this plan is a vote against lowering the cost of health care, housing, child care, elder care, and prescription drugs for American families."
The president, however, has faced criticism that his administration's spending—including enhanced unemployment benefits that have kept workers at home—has tightened the country's labor market, driving up businesses' operating costs. Rising food prices are an "indication that a continuing shortage of workers and rising wages are being passed through" to consumers, according to Reuters.
The White House on Wednesday requested that OPEC increase its oil production to address surging fuel prices. Some experts have blamed the elevated energy prices on the Biden administration's policies, including its ban on new oil leases on federal lands.