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Americans Aren’t Buying Bidenomics—Because They’ve Heard the Lies Before

New York Post

July 19, 2023

President Joe Biden is desperately trying to sell Americans on Bidenomics, but they’re not buying it.

Recent polls show only 39% of US adults approve of Biden’s economic leadership, and a majority of the country has disapproved of his overall job performance for almost two years.

At this stage of a presidential administration, only Jimmy Carter had a lower overall approval rating than Joe Biden.

Biden’s unpopularity persists despite his latest claims of record job creation: “Bidenomics is already delivering for the American people. Our economy has added more than 13 million jobs.”

Yet such boasts merely reflect the president’s attempt to take credit for the return of a record number of jobs lost during the pandemic.

No one appreciates a snow job.

Stubborn high inflation, meanwhile, spurred by Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, continues to impose real financial pain on all families.

The Wall Street Journal recently spotlighted Bureau of Labor Statistics data showing that the “worst inflation in 40 years” contributed to a 3.16% decline in real earnings for the average worker during the Biden presidency.

That surely doesn’t help sell Bidenomics.

But another factor may be contributing to the president’s inability to sell Bidenomics: his record of selling dubious job-creation claims in the past.

Americans with longer memories will recall the Obama-Biden administration forecast its massive 2009 stimulus legislation would create millions of new jobs—which didn’t materialize. 

Indeed, that “recovery plan” resulted in 6.7 million fewer jobs than the Obama-Biden administration forecast in a 2009 report Biden’s new chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, Jared Bernstein, co-authored.

In the early years of the Obama-Biden administration, this failure was driven home with every monthly jobs report, as analysts added a new “actual unemployment rate” dot well above the administration’s “projected unemployment rate” forecast with—and even without—its massive “recovery plan.”

Unemployment rate with and without the recovery plan
The “recovery plan” set by the Obama-Biden administration resulted in 6.7 million fewer jobs than they forecasted in a 2009 report from Biden’s new chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, Jared Bernstein.

The administration subsequently backtracked from its job creation forecast to risibly suggest the 2009 law created or saved millions of jobs instead, which is impossible to prove.

Those claims were widely mocked, with polls suggesting more Americans believed Elvis was alive—a quarter-century after the King’s death—than that the Obama-Biden stimulus had created jobs.

Undeterred, then-Vice President Biden declared in June 2010 the start of “recovery summer,” when “more people are gonna be put to work.”

Yet by the end of that summer, 280,000 more jobs were lost while unemployment averaged 9.4%.

As a September 2010 NPR headline summed up, “‘Recovery Summer’ Ends with Economic Pothole.”

Voters asked “Where are the jobs?” and sent the administration a strong rebuke in that fall’s midterm elections, when Democrats lost 63 House and six Senate seats.

Many of the job-creation and other promises Vice President Biden made more than a decade ago are nearly identical to the promises President Biden continues to make.

Recalling the president’s failed past promises, Americans may be reluctant to believe his current claims about the supposed charms of Bidenomics.

As the saying goes, fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

Recent reports, meanwhile, indicate more workers being downshifted to part-time pay, declining employment among African Americans, the worst housing affordability ever and sharp declines in manufacturing.

If those and other trends worsen, the low regard voters already have for Bidenomics may prove a high-water mark instead.

About the Author

Matt Weidinger