Only 13 Percent of Americans Believe Democrats' $369 Billion in Climate Spending Will Reduce Inflation: Poll

Only 13 Percent of Americans Believe Democrats' $369 Billion in Climate Spending Will Reduce Inflation: Poll
Cash is fanned out from a wallet in this photo illustration taken in North Andover, Mass., on June 15, 2018. (Elise Amendola/AP Photo)
Katabella Roberts
Just a small number of Americans believe that the Democrats' Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) will help lower inflation across the country, according to a new poll from The Economist/YouGov.

The survey was conducted Aug. 13–16, 2022, among 1,500 U.S. citizens age 18 and over and has a margin error of 2.9 percentage points adjusted for weighting 3 percentage points for registered voters.

The survey asked respondents whether they believe the $369 billion earmarked for climate and energy expenditures in the bill will increase or decrease inflation. Only 13 percent said they believe it will decrease inflation, and 26 percent said they are not sure.

A total of 38 percent of respondents said they believe it will increase inflation, while 22 percent said they think it will have no impact. In July, the annual inflation rate was at 8.5 percent.

Among Democrats, 23 percent said they believe it will decrease inflation, with 8 percent of Republicans in agreement.

Most Republicans, 68 percent, said the bill will increase inflation, along with 40 percent of independents and 17 percent of Democrats.

President Joe Biden signed the IRA into law on Aug. 16. Effectively a slimmed-down version of Biden’s $2.2 trillion "Build Back Better" bill, Democratic lawmakers claim it will help lower health care and energy costs for millions of Americans.

Cost of Living Could Get Worse

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the bill will save working families an average of $1,000 a year in lower energy bills, while reducing the government's budget deficit by $300 billion over the next decade.

Despite those promises, 41 percent of those polled by The Economist/YouGov said that they believe inflation will be at a higher rate within six months, while 23 percent said they believe inflation will be at the same rate.

Inflation is now costing U.S. households an extra $717 a month, according to a new analysis from the Joint Economic Committee Republicans.
A previous poll by The Economist/YouGov found that 95 percent of Americans said they're being affected by the soaring cost of living, which has led to higher costs for everything from food to gas.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) concluded in early August (pdf) that enacting the IRA would have a "negligible" impact on inflation in 2022, while in 2023, inflation would likely either increase or decrease by just 0.1 percentage points.

Experts have also warned that the IRA could worsen the situation for Americans, who could end up forking out even more for electricity and gasoline thanks to a number of taxes in the bill that could ultimately be passed on to consumers.

Fears are also mounting that the bill, which grants nearly $80 billion in funding to the Internal Revenue Service, including $45.6 billion for "enforcement," may see the agency go after middle-income Americans and small businesses with increased scrutiny and audits. The Democrats have vehemently denied this.
An analysis by the CBO found that audits of taxpayers making under $400,000 annually will account for about $20 billion in revenue for the IRA, Fox Business reported.
The Biden administration has declared that the bill, which was not supported by any Republicans in the House or Senate, is a "win for the American people."