Biden’s Economic Agenda Faces Doubts Among Voters

by Michael Nguyen
economic agenda

President Joe Biden is determined to fully embrace his economic agenda, known as “Bidenomics,” in an effort to demonstrate his control over the U.S. economy. The White House believes that with inflation subsiding and steady job growth, it is crucial to inform voters about these positive developments.

However, polling consistently shows that the economy remains a weak point for Biden’s chances of re-election. A May survey conducted by the Big Big News-NORC Center for Public Affairs revealed that only 33% of respondents approve of his leadership on economic matters.

Throughout his presidency, Biden has attributed high gasoline prices and the rising cost of living to the pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine. He argued that these factors were beyond his control and significantly impacted his approval ratings when inflation reached a 40-year high last summer.

In an upcoming speech in Chicago, Biden plans to actively convince the concerned public that the U.S. economy is thriving under his leadership and is not headed for a recession. The timing of this effort aligns with the upcoming 2024 re-election campaign and recent positive economic data, leading the White House to believe that emphasizing “Bidenomics” will help rally Democratic voters.

While the message is not new, the White House believes it is worth repeating to ensure it resonates. During a press briefing, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated that the president’s forthcoming remarks would be a “cornerstone” speech and part of a broader administration-wide effort.

The rate of inflation has indeed decreased over the past year, while the job market has remained stable—a combination that defied the expectations of many economic analysts who anticipated that inflation-fighting measures would lead to layoffs and a recession. Goldman Sachs has revised its estimate of a recession in the next 12 months from 35% to 25%.

Although consumer prices increased by 4% in May, down from 9.1% in June of the previous year, they still exceed the Federal Reserve’s target of 2%, indicating an ongoing challenge with inflation. However, the addition of 339,000 jobs in the previous month and the positive inflation-adjusted increase in hourly earnings in May are encouraging signs that the economy continues to grow. These are key indicators that White House officials have been monitoring to gauge the economy’s impact on workers.

Biden’s Republican rivals argue that he has damaged the U.S. economy. They have focused on issues such as gasoline prices, grocery bills, the debt associated with Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package, and the administration’s commitment to transitioning away from fossil fuels to combat climate change.

Former President Donald Trump, the Republican front-runner, stated in a speech to evangelical Christians that he would “stop Joe Biden’s inflation nightmare” and save the U.S. economy. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis criticized Biden’s energy policies and his push for electric vehicles, claiming it would increase reliance on China for battery materials.

One of Biden’s challenges is the waning confidence in his economic leadership. A poll by the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs conducted in March 2021, shortly after his pandemic relief package was enacted, indicated that 60% of U.S. adults approved of his handling of the economy. Since then, that figure has roughly halved.

Nevertheless, there are indications that people’s views of the economy are improving. The University of Michigan’s survey of consumer sentiment showed that Democrats, Republicans, and unaffiliated voters generally feel more positive about the current state of the economy compared to a year ago. However, confidence among Democrats remains weaker than during Biden’s first year in office.

Ahead of Biden’s speech, the administration released a memo highlighting that his policy ideas enjoy broad support in polls, implicitly acknowledging that his proposals generally fare better than he does personally.

Biden’s team considers “Bidenomics” as a comprehensive framework for a range of his policies, designed to be easily understood by the public. It aims to connect various initiatives aimed at enhancing the nation’s global competitiveness with programs focused on strengthening the middle class.

The president believes that targeted government investments can propel the economy forward and benefit workers. During the first two years of his presidency, when Democrats controlled the House, Biden followed up on his pandemic relief efforts by advancing a bipartisan infrastructure bill, allocating funds for computer chip plants, and providing tax breaks to promote renewable energy usage.

However, it takes time to replace infrastructure, build new facilities, expand broadband connectivity, and shift public sentiment towards electric vehicles. Administration officials privately acknowledge that there may be a lag between the economic vision Biden promises and what voters are likely to witness by the 2024 elections.

In July 2021, Biden initially dismissed concerns about rising inflation as “transitory,” believing it to be a temporary result of the pandemic. His statement became a target of criticism from Republican lawmakers and economists as inflation worsened.

Nevertheless, Biden emphasizes that he offers an alternative to GOP policies that primarily rely on tax cuts to boost the economy. He compared his ideas to the New Deal-era playbook employed to combat the Great Depression, emphasizing his belief that his approach aligns with Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s efforts to bring electricity to American homes and farms.

The question remains whether voters perceive Biden as capable of delivering results similar to FDR’s accomplishments and whether today’s elections operate similarly to those in 1936 when the Rural Electrification Act was enacted. Roosevelt won over 60% of the popular vote in his successful bid for a second term that November.

In the current polarized political landscape, Biden is unlikely to secure a comparable margin of victory. However, his message in Wednesday’s speech will likely center on how his presidency has already begun reshaping the world’s largest economy for the better, urging voters to judge him based on that record.

During a recent fundraiser in California, Biden shared the key takeaway he wants voters to remember, even amid ongoing public pessimism about the country’s direction. “We unleashed, I think,” he said, “a sense of expectation in America that we can do anything.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about economic agenda

What is Bidenomics and why is President Biden promoting it?

Bidenomics refers to President Joe Biden’s economic agenda and policies aimed at improving the U.S. economy. President Biden is promoting it because he believes that inflation is subsiding, job growth is solid, and voters need to be informed about the positive developments under his leadership.

How is the economy perceived by voters in relation to Biden’s re-election hopes?

Polling indicates that the economy is a weak spot for Biden’s re-election hopes. According to a May survey, only 33% of respondents approve of his leadership on economic issues. Confidence in his economic leadership has waned since his pandemic relief package, and there is skepticism among voters.

What factors has Biden attributed to high gasoline prices and rising cost of living?

Biden has attributed high gasoline prices and rising cost of living to the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. He argued that these factors were beyond his control and significantly impacted his approval ratings as inflation reached a 40-year high.

What is the focus of Biden’s upcoming speech in Chicago?

Biden’s upcoming speech in Chicago aims to actively convince the public that the U.S. economy is thriving under his leadership and not heading for a recession. It is part of a larger effort to rally Democratic voters and emphasize the positive impact of “Bidenomics” as he enters the 2024 re-election campaign.

How has the economy performed in terms of inflation and job growth?

Over the past year, the rate of inflation has fallen while the job market has remained stable. This combination defied expectations that efforts to combat inflation would lead to layoffs and a recession. Consumer prices rose at a lower pace in May, and employers added a significant number of jobs, indicating a positive trajectory for the economy.

What are Biden’s Republican rivals criticizing him for in relation to the economy?

Biden’s Republican rivals are criticizing him for allegedly breaking the U.S. economy. They focus on issues such as gas prices, grocery bills, the debt associated with his pandemic relief package, and his administration’s emphasis on transitioning away from fossil fuels. They argue that these policies are detrimental to the economy.

How has confidence in Biden’s economic leadership changed over time?

Confidence in Biden’s economic leadership has diminished since the enactment of his pandemic relief package. A poll conducted shortly after its passage showed that 60% of U.S. adults approved of his handling of the economy. However, that figure has since declined by nearly half, indicating a decline in confidence among the public.

What is the significance of “Bidenomics” as a framework?

“Bidenomics” serves as a comprehensive framework encompassing a range of policies aimed at boosting the nation’s global competitiveness and strengthening the middle class. It represents targeted government investments in key areas such as infrastructure, renewable energy, and technology, with the goal of driving economic growth and benefiting workers.

What challenges does Biden face in implementing his economic vision?

One of the challenges Biden faces is the time it takes to implement his economic vision. Replacing infrastructure, building new facilities, expanding broadband connectivity, and transitioning to electric vehicles require time and effort. There may be a lag between the economic promises Biden makes and what voters are likely to see by the 2024 elections.

How does Biden position himself in contrast to GOP economic policies?

Biden positions himself as an alternative to GOP economic policies that primarily rely on tax cuts to stimulate the economy. He emphasizes the similarity between his ideas and the New Deal-era playbook employed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt during the Great Depression. Biden believes in targeted government investments as a means of driving economic growth and benefiting the middle class.

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PoliticsObserver99 June 28, 2023 - 10:55 am

interesting how biden still pushing his economic agenda, thinkin it will save him. polls say othrwse! gotta face the truth, bidenomics not impressin voters!

GOPForever June 28, 2023 - 12:30 pm

bidenomics failin big time! gas price ⬆, groceries expensiv, debt risin. republican rivals kno wats up! we need change! #SaveTheEconomy


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