EDITORIAL: ‘Bidenomics’ hurts working class

by Joe Holman
EDITORIAL: 'Bidenomics' hurts working class

Inflation-adjusted average hourly wages, which the Bureau of Labor Statistics adjusts to 1982-1984 dollars, were $11.39 when President Biden took office. They are now $11.09, meaning that American workers have seen a 2.6% pay cut since Mr. Biden entered the White House.

As the working class digs into their retirement funds and maxes out their credit cards to pay their bills, they are increasingly tightening their wallets when it comes to discretionary spending. Major retailers from T-Mobile to CVS have announced layoffs in the past month. The number of long-term unemployed Americans increased in July by 59,000, with 4 million working part time to make ends meet.

Since Mr. Biden took office and unleashed unprecedented levels of federal spending, inflation has risen 16.9%, costing the middle class $2.4 trillion since March 2022. Blue-collar Americans have lost more than $33,000 in real wealth in just the past year, with 61% of Americans living from paycheck to paycheck. 

On Labor Day, 61% of Americans are less likely to travel because of higher costs on everything from the grocery store to the gas pump. More than 85% plan on implementing money-saving measures to celebrate the holiday. Those who choose to eat out will pay, on average, 7.1% more than last year. 

This is as Mr. Biden tours the country — between vacations — touting what he considers his economic accomplishments, proudly dubbing them “Bidenonmics.”

The American people aren’t buying it, with consumer confidence recently seeing its biggest drop in two years due to “souring views on the labor market, higher borrowing costs, and lingering inflation.” Poll after poll shows Mr. Biden with underwater ratings on his effort to revive the economy. 

Lower-income Americans are being hit hardest by rising inflation, according to studies by the New York Fed, Dallas Fed, and the Urban Institute — as it is essentially a tax on American workers. Credit card balances are above $1 trillion for the first time, and household debt is at an all-time high. 

The Federal Reserve has raised interest rates 11 times since March 2022; rates are at their highest levels in 22 years. First-time homebuyers have been pushed out of the housing market because of rising interest rates. Starter home price increases are outpacing wage gains. 

With federal student loan repayment resuming in October, pressure on American workers will continue, and retail sales will likely continue to be depressed. 

Mr. Biden claims he’s building the economy from “the middle out and the bottom up.” Yet his rampant spending of taxpayer money has only made America poorer. 

It wasn’t too long ago, under a Republican administration, that gas prices were $2.38 a gallon, the inflation rate was 1.3%, and the interest on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 2.77%.

Median household incomes for Black, Hispanic and Asian Americans hit record highs in 2019. According to the Council of Economic Advisers, “the poverty rate fell to an all-time record low for every race and ethnic group in 2019.”

The child poverty rate was at a 50-year low. Paychecks were growing faster than inflation, with average weekly earnings for all workers up 8.7%.

Tax cuts reduced federal spending, and regulations are the recipe for success in making America richer. 

Mr. Biden’s policies are the antithesis. It will be up to the American public — and their wallets — to vote him out of office in 2024. 

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