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Bidenomics is a Losing Issue … So Why the Campaign Theme?

Bidenomics is a Losing Issue … So Why the Campaign Theme?

Political consultant James Carville memorialized a political reality when he said, “It’s the economy, stupid.” Most politicians and pundits agree that the state of the American economy is a major if not THE deciding factor in elections. Biden and his political caretakers know that. It is the reason they have coined “Bidenomics” as the primary theme of his reelection bid.

The terms is to capture the “wonderful” economy that has been the result of Biden’s economic policies.  He recently gave a major address on the first anniversary of the passage of the misnamed Inflation Reduction Act.  It has done nothing to reduce inflation – and never will.  Instead it is a massive spending Green New Deal bill with ironic side benefits to Senator Joe Manchin’s West Virginia fossil fuel industry.

There is a problem with Bidenomics.  The namesake theme the President is peddling is political snake oil.  If there is such a thing as Bidenomics, it is a noxious combination of economic incompetence and failure.

In terms of the economy, inflation is the number one issue with the American people – because it is the one thing every American can see and feel.  At the start of the Biden presidency in 2021, the inflation rate was 1.5 percent.  Today, it exceeds more than 3 percent – and that is piled on top of the earlier inflation increases running between 7 and 9 percent.  Inflation continues to ravage the middle and lower economic classes.  It continues to get worse, not better.

Inflation is like a dangerously high fever that we all feel.  Saying it is not going up as fast as before is not unmitigated good news.  The patient is still getting sicker.

That is not the only economic problem for the people.  The growth rate under 2 percent remains too low for a healthy economy.  The unemployment rate is better explained by the unprecedented number of job openings and the unprecedented number of able workers no longer seeking jobs.

The low level of unemployment is fueling inflation, sayeth the Federal Reserve.  It is the reason that the Fed keeps increasing interest rates.  They are trying to increase the unemployment number.  That gives Biden an opportunity to brag when there are new jobs being created and the unemployment levels drop – and again if job creation is down and unemployment levels are up.  And he does brag in both cases.

In addition to the general inflation numbers, people tend to focus on three cost areas – gas, mortgages, and credit card interest rates. Gasoline has increased approximately 10 percent in the past few weeks – and has not yet peaked, according to experts.

Mortgage rates that were at 2.96 percent at the end of the Trump presidency in 2021 are now at 7.26 – and expect to exceed 8 percent in the near future.  That is the highest since George Bush was inaugurated President in 2000.  Middle-class young couples are being driven out of homeownership.

Folks back home are relying more and more on credit to pay their bills.  That has put millions in the so-called “credit trap” in which the monthly income can barely cover the interest payments.  Inflation-driven increases in credit rates means more folks falling into the credit trap.

And the cost of credit will be heading up again due to more anticipated increases in interest rates by the Fed and the impact of America having its AAA credit rating lowered to AA+ by two rating agencies – one in the past and one recently.

While folks pay close attention to gas, mortgages and credit interest rates, they are not oblivious to the surging prices for all the basics.  Food has increased more than the official inflation rate.  The cost of running a household has risen more than $8500 per year over what it was in 2021, when Biden took office.

Even Biden’s frequently touted job creation numbers need an asterisk.  They are still not high enough – and 4 to 5 million of the jobs for which Biden takes credit were the natural return of jobs shut down during the Covid Pandemic.  Those had nothing to do with Biden policies.  Set those aside and Biden’s job creation claims are a joke.

President Reagan created the existential political question that has become a quadrennial rhetoric inquiry to the American people.  Are you better off today than you were four years ago?  Most Americans are saying “no.”  Only 35 percent of those polled say Biden is doing a good job with the economy. Most surveys put Biden below Trump on that issue.

It is true that the foundations of the American economy remain relatively strong.  However, that is more the result of the nature of America’s free-market economy than any influence of Biden policies.

The Biden economy is not what he is trying to make it to be with clever public relations campaigns.  Soooo … why would Biden promote a mediocre record on the economy as his leading campaign issue.  Simple.  What else could he possibly campaign on?  Border security? Crime? Civil Rights? Wokeness? Education? And he desperately needs something to distract from the Hunter Biden issue – and his possible role.

The only clearly winning issue for Democrats at the moment is abortion.  But that issue does not dominate like the economy.  And running on a slogan “Elect Biden, Your Abortion President” is not a winning strategy.  Is he supposed to brag and take credit for increasing the number of abortions?  Nay!  That will not work.  That leaves the economy as the best of all the bad options to try to spin.

Biden’s Bidenomics campaign is dependent on the old bamboozle – and the economy is the only issue with which he can remotely bamboozle the voters.  They see the throngs crossing the border and now overrunning the major cities.  They see the unfathomable crime — and the Democrats’ non-enforcement.  They see the folks trapped in the impoverished segregated communities with no relief from the oppressive conditions of de facto racism.  

The Democrats’ embrace of wokeism, identity politics and political correctness is being seen not only contrary to American values and traditions, but … well … outright nutty.  Thus, the economy is arguably the least losing of the losing issues that characterize Biden’s years in the Oval Office.  That leaves the economy as the best chance of fooling the public with a big lie.

Instead of campaign buttons, Biden is handing out rose-colored glasses.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

10 Comments

  1. Dan tyree

    The people pushing the big lie about the economy thinks everyone else is stupid

  2. Mike f

    Larry, Your nose is getting incredibly long with this ridiculous post. It shows you prefer to attack democrats rather than address real issues. How about addressing the economy for the four years prior to Biden? Stagnant growth, further increased disparity between rich and poor, increased deficits all 4 years of the prior regime. Is there anything to think is good about that? Yes, inflation is higher than during the trump or Obama administrations. But then we had something called a pandemic and the world shut down. Unfortunately, when the population decided that the pandemic was over and wanted to spend again, they had significant money from not spending during the pandemic and the people making goods they wanted to buy had shut down and were unable to crank up so goods would not be available for purchase, hence the capitalist system raised prices to decrease demand-in other words inflation. Not Biden’s fault. If you study the rest of the world, our inflation rate is lower than most other countries, which is to Biden’s credit. As for Bidenomics itself-it is working as advertised. It is putting more money into the lower income people’s hands (rather than the wealthy-who republicans prefer to enrich rather than the poor). There are also a lot of manufacturing jobs coming back (wasn’t happening during trumps time with his tariff wars). The only thing I give conservatives credit for is their messaging-they (like you) can lie indiscriminately and convince a significant portion of the populace that things are going terribly in the US when they are actually improving. So much ignorance!

  3. larry Horist

    Mike f …. Your post is nothing but whataboutism and platitudes. You did not refute any of my facts and statistics. Judging from the polling number, apparently most of the people agree with me — you know, the folks suffering under Bidenomics. . Put aside you bias and your rose-colored view.. I see your last sentence as a summation of your own offering rather than and insult directed at me.

    • Mike f

      Actually Larry, I did refute everything you said. Most of your post dealt with the cost of inflation, and the actions by the fed to reduce it. Inflationary pressures were not due to ‘Bidenomics’, which a rational person would realize, nor are the actions of the fed part of Bidenomics. But Larry, you are not a rational person. You see everything as Republicans good, Democrats bad. The fed has raised interest rates to attempt to control inflation (which is succeeding). With the higher interest rates, the economy is going to be stifled, hence the ‘unacceptable’ GDP growth in your opinion. But the key here is that the economy is still growing even with higher interest rates, at a level equivalent to what was happened during the trump era, even with historically low interest rates during that period. That is due to Bidenomics putting money in working peoples pockets by focusing on infrastructure projects and manufacturing rather than cutting taxes. You are no economist and too stupid to realize that you are just touting conservative talking points without looking at the background. Disgusting!

  4. frank stetson

    Very good topic, Mr. Horist, hope you don’t bust a gut over imagined insults and, instead, stick to the issues. For the most part, citizen Horist is a glass half empty while partisan Stetson sees a glass half full, and getting fuller. Many people feel bad, rightfully so, recovery lags for some, yet I think we are heading in the right direction, sans yet another rock in the economic road.

    This too can change with the upcoming months being critical for Biden to win or lose on this single most important central issue. Sure, he’s got abortion, voter rights, black history bans, mask bans, vaccine bans, book bans, trans bans, gay bans, partisan scotus and much, much, more silliness all going for him, but cash is king and if you think there’s not enough, it sure ain’t funny. Larry is gloomy and doomy mostly because he wants to win election with Trump’s economy being a rare issue that brings people from the middle or across the aisle to Trump, silly as they are to believe criminally lying Trump hogwash. Trump excels at spending other people’s money. He excels at the quick fix without providing foundational support. He gave the people free money in many different ways putting the country deep in hock, much, much deeper than that any President in history. You can claim the covid rationale, but Trump spending sucked pondwater, from the muddy bottom, in all the years previous to covid. Some compute he OWNS a third of the nation’s current debt, a statistic that should sink him politically. Instead, many want some more of that. He gave them the lowest taxes recent history, racking up the debt faster than his GDP growth floundered. A lot of people liked that, especially the rich and big business. His tax cut depended on 3% or higher GDP growth, that was the plan. He said he would beat 4% easy. He delivered 2% or less. He said he would bring factories back, he blew that one. He would fix healthcare, he blew that one. His economic plan was a total failure. Then he straight dealt out the cash, covid cash. Over $420B went to households under Trump, a third of it in his vote-for-me election cheat giveaway during the 4th quarter of 2020. How low can you go to spend the people’s money to buy the people’s vote. Because that’s all he’s got when it comes to the economy: free money. Your money. On the other stuff, he’s meh at best. Jobs (meh, Biden better), unemployment (meh, Biden better), wages (meh, Biden better) housing (Trump high, Biden higher – double-edged sword, homeowners yea, new owners boo) consumer confidence (Trump good, Biden sucks), new factories (Trump failed, Biden is succeeding,) oil independence (was it Trump supply or pandemic lack of demand?), etc. etc. Charts available upon request.

    But not many Americans with money, jobs, or both, spent the cash. US savings went through the roof. And that’s where Biden made a mistake. He misjudged the savings effect, hurried his stimulus of over $400B in the first half of 2021, which while a smaller total than Trump’s total, was the largest single package, just as he declared covid over and the spending went through the roof, inflation soared, and covid came back. Heck, I have a non-working kid in college who got the $1,200. I gave all my Biden stimulus away, I was fine, I could not for the life of me figure out why he was giving money to me when so many others seemed to need it more and I did not, by the numbers. The resulting return of covid combined with high inflation was certainly depressing, economy wise. Inflation is down, not enough, but considerably lower, livable, but my depression, fan that I am, is still there. I too question Biden’s economy. I looked and will report out on the results later, but before Trump’s prime time photo op at Fulton County Jail. It will be wild.

  5. frank Stetson

    I would go through it all and show point by point where Larry may be incorrect in conclusion but accurate on the facts; it’s still not the complete story allowing him to spin his web of VOTE TRUMP.

    Example: “At the start of the Biden presidency in 2021, the inflation rate was 1.5 percent. Today, it exceeds more than 3 percent – and that is piled on top of the earlier inflation increases running between 7 and 9 percent. Inflation continues to ravage the middle and lower economic classes. It continues to get worse, not better.”

    First, Horist is wrong: inflation is not getting worse, there was ONE UPTICK in the last freakin 12 months of downward numbers, like 11 or 12 in a row. Larry has his knickers knotted screaming that the sky is falling. It’s a single data point against a series of data points over a year, all trending downward. This has been pointed out to him, but apparently he chooses not to listen.

    Second — Inflation does not get “piled on top of earlier inflation increases.” It’s not additive, but adjusted to a yearly factor. Sorry Larry, math no worky that way. Matter of fact, inflation only hits you when you actually buy something. It isn’t cumulative, additive, nor piled on top. That’s one reason the results are uneven per household. Anecdotally, my household feels it in food, but not in gas or housing. We don’t commute and are not buying a home. Our fixed assets return higher interest than under Trump, a 100% or more improvement in revenue. Still not as good as equities under Trump, but still uneven compared to folks who don’t have fixed assets. Point is the effects are uneven and even though I can see a light at the end of the inflation tunnel, many are still in the middle of it, especially if in the market for a new house, for example.

    Lastly, Trump did have inflation around 2% give or take. That’s good. That’s the target. It’s also actually markedly higher than his predecessor who was under 2%. Trump in 2017 raised inflation by 70% and over 200% from 2015. It was also a 1% increase, similar to the increment Biden needs to lower to reach target. Where was Horist then? Nowhere because it was still a low number just like 3% is over the target, but still relatively low. It’s a data bluster frack.

    Trump in 2020 almost went negative in inflation, covid had people holding cash big time. US household savings went up massively. Trump kept throwing money at it. Biden continued and the flood gate of buying began. Biden’s policy was no worse on free money than Trump’s, he just got caught. He held the straw that broke the camel’s back. Remember, inflation is the result of having too much money, and that came from Trump and Biden. They both did it, Biden got caught, and within about a year, but now it’s within spitting distance of the target. Toss in the war, oil shortages, and we are off to the races. A year later, and it’s down from Horist’s 9% to around 3%. It ain’t mission accomplished, but it’s great progress with last month’s uptick worthy of watching. Not the sky is falling.

    And yes, next inflation report is very important to Biden’s success; under 3%, he’s doing quite well, 3% and he’s treading water, above 3% and he has big troubles, right here in 2024 election city. Even if inflation is dropping, it’s uneven in market segments, uneven for people’s purchase, and not stable yet. Many are hurting still. But the trend currently is still in the right direction and we are 1% off target. It’s good for Biden to tell us that.

    Most of Horist’s stats are like that: spin to the right through careful partisan selection of the facts. IMO, Biden is smart to take the bull by the horns and attempt to clarify current economic stats to folks. Yet given many folks are still under a lot of economic pressure, the coming months results will be critical to assess whether recovery, soft recession, hard recession, or worse — stagflation. But in no way is the sky falling with inflation; it’s a 12 month downward trend, a current one month slight uptidce, we are 1 point from target, and next readout will verify trend up, down, or flat. I am picking down or flat.

    • larry Horist

      Frank Stetson … I cannot believe you are that stupid, so I assume you are just BS-ing. When the RATE of inflation goes down, the COST of goods and services continue to rise but at a slower rate. If inflation is 8 percent. that is the rise in prices across the board. If it drops to 4 percent, that is the new rise in prices across the board. Since the start of the Biden inflation, there has not been a single month that prices went down from the surge to 8 precent — and they are still going up.. And do not omit the fact that to reduce the run-away inflation under Biden, the Fed had to increase everyone’s interest rates. Perhaps you are lucky enough to be immune from price increases, but most Americans are feeling the pain– and they know who has the levers of economic policy — the current President. So, your whataboutism is an irrelevant distraction from your disinformation spin, You are the perfect example that “figures do not lie, but liars figure.”

      • Mike f

        Larry seems unable to comprehend that the entire world has experienced a large inflationary jump since the lockdowns were over. He points to the inflation in the US as a result of ‘Bidenomics’, ignoring that this is a worldwide issue, not one caused by the current President, and the fact that inflation in the US is actually lower than most other countries. Certainly inflation causes pain to individuals, but ignoring the actual cause of this inflationary period, and pointing his shriveled little finger at the Biden administration is just one more example of conservative spin. It is amazing that you end your reply to Frank with “figures do not lie, but liars figure”, because figuring is exactly what you do in every windbag post you make, deciding how you can pin the problems in the US on democrats, rather than looking for the actual cause. Disgusting!

    • Dan tyree

      Mike F as in fag. Do your homework before posting bullshit

      • Mike f

        Dan-I have done my homework. You obviously did not do yours today or 40 years ago in grade school..

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