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‘Bidenomics’ Is Not a Viable Election Strategy

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President Joe Biden and his team are banking on their handling of the economy to make the case for his reelection, focusing largely on jobs numbers as evidence that “Bidenomics” is just the cure the ailing U.S. economy needs.

The White House has been touting rising job numbers all summer, and even though the July jobs numbers were slightly lower than expected, Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su insisted that “this is an example of what slow and steady growth looks like.”

Indeed, “steady growth” is a phrase of which this administration appears to be quite fond. In its statement last month regarding the June jobs numbers, the White House claimed that “we are seeing stable and steady growth” as a direct result of Biden’s policies. “That’s Bidenomics—growing the economy by creating jobs, lowering costs for hardworking families, and making smart investments in America,” the statement continues.

Except, we’re not really seeing stable and steady growth—nor is Bidenomics lowering costs for American families and businesses or making smart investments in America.

First, let’s address the most obvious problem with this rosy tale the White House is telling. The vast majority of jobs the administration has taken credit for “creating” are in reality jobs recovered from the economic devastation wrought by the COVID-19 crisis.

Moreover, wage increases for most jobs are no match for the high inflation that continues to plague our economy, resulting in decreased buying power and high interest rates that are increasingly putting big-ticket purchases such as cars and homes beyond the reach of ordinary American families.

That’s why more Americans than ever—as much as 10 percent of the workforce—are working multiple jobs, and a staggering three-quarters of Americans say they don’t earn enough to cover their costs of living.

Clearly, inflation is still crushing Americans and American small businesses. But inflation means more than just rising costs for workers and small businesses—it is also tied inextricably to rising interest rates that, by design, act as a drag on economic growth and development.

Just imagine you’re a small business owner and it’s the early days of the COVID-19 crisis. You need a loan to keep your livelihood and your employees’ livelihoods afloat. For whatever reason, you can’t qualify for a Paycheck Protection Program loan, the banks aren’t lending, and your only other option is a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan—which is tied to the prime interest rate. At the time, interest rates were quite reasonable, and this probably wouldn’t seem so bad. But fast-forward a few years later and that same loan’s interest payments have doubled—or more—as most SBA loans were pushed to a 10.5 percent interest rate last year. Unfortunately, this hypothetical situation is all too real for some of my clients and their associates, and many other small business owners across the country.

Joe Biden
WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 17: U.S. President Joe Biden departs the White House on August 17, 2023 in Washington, DC. Biden is scheduled to travel to Pennsylvania today and then travel to Camp David in the afternoon.
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Then there’s those “smart investments in America” the administration has been bragging about. So far, the biggest investments the Biden administration has made have gone toward dubious green energy projects and reckless, market-distorting expenditures like writing off student loans.

Even the much-ballyhooed CHIPS Act, which allocated tens of billions of taxpayer dollars toward the construction of domestic semiconductor manufacturing facilities, is looking like a major misallocation of resources. Analyses by The New York Times and The Economist report that there will not be nearly enough American workers with the right skill sets to fill the jobs these investments will create.

What these “investments” have gotten Americans in return are rising energy costs as the administration continues to strangle non-green energy sectors, and massive tax breaks and subsidies for politically connected corporations that are incapable of turning a profit.

That’s not to mention an increased federal deficit, which translates ultimately to more national debt and a weaker dollar.

The Congressional Budget Office reported recently that compared to a year ago, the federal deficit more than doubled—to an eye-watering $1.6 trillion—in the first 10 months of FY 2023. This is why countries across the globe are abandoning the dollar like rats fleeing a sinking ship, and why Fitch Ratings, one of the Big Three credit rating agencies, had to downgrade U.S. government debt from a AAA rating to AA+.

Upon announcing its downgrade, Fitch warned that the “rating downgrade of the United States reflects the expected fiscal deterioration over the next three years, a high and growing general government debt burden, and the erosion of governance.”

Fiscal deterioration. High and growing government debt. And the erosion of governance. That’s Bidenomics, and that’s why the Biden administration’s decision to shine a spotlight on its economic record seems like a bizarre and risky election strategy.

Whatever the outcome of the next election, it’s obvious that American families and businesses continue to endure economic suffering and hardship. We need a sea change in economic policy from the current administration—or its successor—or we’re all going to sink.

Julio Gonzalez is the CEO and Founder of Engineered Tax Services, Inc.

The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.

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