Yahoo Finance’s Rick Newman joins the show live to discuss President Biden’s declining approval rating on his economic stewardship and growing concerns about inflation.
– Welcome back. President Biden’s approval rating hovers in the 40s. Now his economy rating is being downgraded. Our very own Rick Newman with his latest report card. Rick, what can you tell us?
RICK NEWMAN: Tracking the Biden economy under the same methodology that we put in place to track the Trump economy in 2017. Biden started out pretty strong. He had a full A in economics.
That was down to A-minus earlier this year. And now, it has fallen two steps in the last evaluation. So it’s down from A-minus to B-plus.
Some things are going in Biden’s favor. You get excellent grades on the job. And we are comparing it with previous presidents. He has the best job growth score of the eight most recent presidents. In addition, the highest note in the growth of GDP per capita.
However, what is really killing him are two things. The stock market spin we’ve been talking about for the last month. This is one of the things we measure, and Biden has gone from the second best stock performance of the eight presidents to the fourth best.
And it gets the lowest mark in average earnings per hour. We measure it against inflation. And I think in part because inflation has been so bad, Biden has the worst average hourly earnings number.
So it’s up on a couple of things, it’s down on one thing, earnings, and it’s in the middle on the rest.
– Politically devastating for him with midterms ahead. What can Biden work with, Rick?
RICK NEWMAN: Big question. He is still trying to function with solid working numbers. I mean, we saw them last week. And we have a very strong job market. But people don’t care.
I mean, when inflation is 8.5%, people just don’t care that jobs are available. I mean, there’s a real mismatch in the data. You know, we have — we’re not in a recession, but consumer confidence is recessionary. People have — people are almost more pessimistic than they were at the beginning of the COVID pandemic.
So we forget how powerful inflation is and how much it annoys people. So I think the best Biden can hope for is that people don’t believe the great job numbers. They want inflation to go down. And that’s — right now, that’s the most important thing for the Biden presidency.
SEANA SMITH: And Rick, when we talk about the midterms, another challenge here for the Democrats is going to be some of that divide that we’ve seen in the party between progressives and those more toward the center. I’m guessing, how big of an issue do you potentially see in midterms?
RICK NEWMAN: Seana, nice to see you back, by the way.
SEANA SMITH: Thanks, Rick. It’s good to see you too.
RICK NEWMAN: I hope to be sitting there at the desk with you soon. Well, it has characterized the Democratic Party throughout the Biden presidency thus far. I mean, Democrats notoriously at this point can’t even agree among themselves on what kind of legislation they want to pass, which is why they haven’t passed any of Biden’s Build Back Better laws. So I think the odds of even a small version of Build Back Better getting approved this year are pretty slim.
And this is going to work against Democrats running for reelection in Congress. Because it seems that they can not do anything.
SEANA SMITH: Good. Rick Newman, thank you very much.