Brian Mark Weber / February 10, 2023

Falling Behind in Biden’s Economy

The president tried to paint a rosy picture during his State of the Union speech, but the American people aren’t picking up what he’s laying down.

It wasn’t a surprise that President Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech portrayed the country in a positive light. Presidents of both parties must confidently announce that “the state of the union has never been stronger” if they’re going to get a rousing ovation from those in attendance.

We get it.

Some presidents, though, stretch the truth quite a lot to make us all feel like everything’s under control. But sometimes the America we’re told has never been better isn’t the America we see when we’re going to work, talking to neighbors, or scrambling to pay the mortgage or the rent.

That explains why an ABC News poll recently found that four in 10 Americans think they’re worse off under Joe Biden. That’s the highest percentage this question has yielded in four decades.

“The big hit on Biden is the economy,” reports ABC News. “With inflation moderating but still high, 41 percent say they’re not as well off financially as they were when Biden took office, the most in nearly three dozen ABC/Post polls to ask the question since 1986, when Ronald Reagan, who popularized the ‘better off’ phrase, held office.”

So Biden had a big task in front of him, knowing inflation and consumer prices are killing the middle class. The task was so daunting, in fact, that the president felt he had to lie.

Here’s how Biden put it during his speech: “As I stand here tonight, we have created a record 12 million new jobs, more jobs created in two years than any president has ever created in four years.”

It was a great sound bite, and maybe some folks will buy it. But that doesn’t make it true.

Presidents don’t create jobs. Jobs are created by the private sector. Moreover, “Biden’s contention was exceptionally misleading,” writes political analyst David Harsanyi, “considering he inherited an economy that had been unplugged by an artificial, state-induced shutdown. If the government compels businesses to shutter, it doesn’t ‘create’ jobs when allowing them to open.”

In other words, many jobs post-COVID would have come back no matter who was at the helm. More than 12 million of them already had before Biden even darkened the door of the Oval Office.

But there are still problems: The labor participation rate still hasn’t recovered from the lockdown days. And there are plenty of other signs that things aren’t nearly as rosy as Biden portrayed in his speech. For example, the Consumer Price Index is nearly 6% higher than this time last year, so it’s no surprise that 64% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.

Imagine what they thought when they listened to Biden talk about an economic rebound. Probably the same thing we thought: I don’t know what the heck he’s talking about.

Here’s something else Biden didn’t touch: Americans are drowning in credit card debt because they’re finding it harder to pay the rent, buy groceries, and put gas in the tank. For many, falling back on high-interest credit cards is the only way to make ends meet.

“My economic plan is about investing in places and people that have been forgotten,” Biden boasted during his remarks. “Amid the economic upheaval of the past four decades, too many people have been left behind or treated like they’re invisible. Maybe that’s you, watching at home.”

Yes, millions of people have been made to feel invisible by decades of programs designed not to help people thrive but to make them dependent. And the people most likely to be hurt are middle- and low-income earners, the very people Biden and the Democrats claim to care about most. Their only answer? More government intervention.

Perhaps the biggest lie of Biden’s State of the Union speech occurred when he boasted, “I’m a capitalist,” only to devote the rest of his remarks to socialist ideas such as forcing unions on businesses, increasing government regulations, attacking businesses over the smallest of fees, and taxing the rich. And now that people can’t even afford to pay the bills, Team Biden wants to force you to buy an electric car.

All in all, it was quite the show. But the show’s over now, and the rest of us have to figure out how to get by in this weird new world with an American president untethered to reality.

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