While economists and politicians tout Biden’s strong economy, Americans say they feel poorer than ever. Why?

Photo by Igor Omilaev on Unsplash.

Bidenomics Is Working: The President’s Plan Grows the Economy from the Middle Out and Bottom Up — Not the Top Down,” promised President Biden on June 28, 2023.

“While our work isn’t finished, Bidenomics is already delivering for the American people,” said President Biden in a statement. “Our economy has added more than 13 million jobs — including nearly 800,000 manufacturing jobs — and we’ve unleashed a manufacturing and clean energy boom. There were more than 10 million applications for new small businesses filed in 2021 and 2022 — the strongest two years on record.”

“None of this progress was an accident or inevitable — it has been a direct result of Bidenomics,” touted Mr. Biden. “And rather than taking us back to the failed trickle-down policies of the past, President Biden is committed to finishing the job and continuing to build an economy that finally works for working families — with better jobs, lower costs, and more opportunity.”

Though many popular media outlets began a full-court press touting Biden’s strong economy, some seemed to sense early that they might have trouble getting the message to stick.

Can Joe Biden convince Americans the economy is actually good?” wondered Emily Stewart for Vox on August 1, 2023.

“The way the White House lays it out, at the core of Bidenomics are three pillars: making smart public investments in America, empowering and educating workers, and promoting competition,” explained Stewart. “Within those pillars, Bidenomics takes big swings at change but also tackles issues at the margins, and some of it appears to be working.”

Biden’s Economy Is Booming,” Katherine Fung assured readers of Newsweek likewise on August 2, 2023, before qualifying, “Here’s Why You’re Not Feeling It.

“Inflation, unemployment, and gross domestic product numbers are all giving Biden something to smile about,” noted Fung. “But even though Americans are making more than they did before the pandemic, their money is getting them a lot less than it did two and half years ago.”

Should People Be Happy About the Biden Economy?” Dean Baker asked for the Center of Economic Policy and Research on September 4, 2023.

“We constantly see reports in the media that people are unhappy about the economy and they blame President Biden,” began Baker.

“I, along with many liberal/left colleagues, have been telling people to shut up and enjoy the good times,” Baker admitted before beginning his persuasive economic essay, as most American consumers concerned about the cost of living do, in 1935.

Why Biden’s strong economy feels so bad to most Americans,” explained Allison Morrow for CNN on September 7, 2023. “What’s the biggest problem with the US economy right now? The vibes are off.”

As the months passed, President Biden’s defenders continued their campaign.

US economy going strong under Biden — Americans don’t believe it,” concluded Dominic Rushe for The Guardian in September. “Despite a strong economy, an exclusive Guardian poll shows mistrust in media and government means disbelief in both parties.”

Biden’s Economy Is Great Everywhere Except in the Polls,” analyzed Matthew Yglesias for the Washington Post on October 22, 2023. “As the US economy continues to improve, President Joe Biden continues to not get credit for it. Only 35% of voters in seven swing states trust Biden on the economy, according to a Bloomberg/Morning Consult poll, with 51% saying it was better under Donald Trump.”

Joe Biden’s economy is, honestly, pretty amazing: How come he doesn’t get credit?” raged Kirk Swearingen for Salon only last week. “Many voters claim Biden’s economy is bad and Trump’s was better. What fantasy version of America do they live in?”

While some economists, analysts, and journalists are at a loss to understand the dissatisfaction so many Americans feel about the U.S. economy, others put the problem very simply.

In Arizona, Bad Feelings About the Economy Sour Some Voters on Biden,” Jack Healy broke the bad news for the New York Times on Tuesday. “Economists say, ‘Look at these indicators’ — People don’t care about that,” a top polling expert told the New York Times. “They care about their day-to-day lives.”

(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)