Biden’s Biggest Problem: The Economy, Stupid

By Grace Vuoto

No amount of White House or media spin has succeeded in altering the public’s perception that President Joe Biden cannot manage the nation’s economy. According to a May 6 Gallup report, he has a record low rating on this metric. Only 38% percent of Americans in the survey state they have “a great deal” or a “fair amount” of confidence in his economic stewardship, ranking “among the lowest Gallup has measured for any president since 2001.”

This bodes especially ill for Biden’s 2024 reelection hopes since independents, in particular, favor the presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump to manage the economy. In total, 46 percent of those sampled prefer Trump’s prowess on this; evidently, they believe he can steer the nation back to the prosperity of the pre-pandemic years of his tenure in office.

The Biden White House communications team has tried to shift blame and responsibility for our current economic malaise. Biden partisans point to the lingering effects of the COVID era, downplay the impact of inflation and high gas prices, and tout the administration’s job creation record. Yet, most voters have rejected their interpretation. The economic stagnancy of our time is clearly Biden’s fault; there is no spin or promises of future improvements that can change this public perception. Under Biden, we are sliding backwards not moving forward.

And there is no end in sight for those who are struggling financially. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell says interest rates will remain high to combat inflation. At the same time, in the last quarter, economic growth slowed to an abysmal annual rate of 1.6 %. These two facts signal to many American voters that we are at a dead end: Biden’s policies simply do not work and he cannot dig us out of this continuing downward spiral.

The high cost of living has led to record levels of personal debt, according to a February report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Total household debt rose to $17.5 trillion in the last quarter of 2023, with delinquency rates rising for all types of debt except student loans. One out of three Americans has more debt than savings in both 2023 and 2024, reveals a Bankrate survey. This data indicates many Americans cannot sustain their lifestyle, are using credit cards for help and then are struggling to make those monthly payments too.

Even the hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” who despise Trump with a passion, could no longer contain their disgust at Biden’s poor performance on the economy. During a revealing Dec.13 episode, economic analyst Steve Rattner tried to convince them the economy is  “exceptional” and inflation is receding. His statements failed to persuade them.

“But if you compare what people were paying in a grocery store for bread and milk in 2019 with what they’re paying today, yeah, maybe it’s only 3% higher than it was last year, but it’s 19-to-20 percent higher than in 2019,” Joe Scarborough said.

These two Trump haters par excellence, Joe and his wife, Mika Brzezinski, had to draw the line at Rattner’s ridiculous analysis. It is much better for them and other Biden surrogates to talk about ideals and aspirations such as “threats to democracy,” “health care rights,” and “character.”

For if voters ponder who can better manage the price of bread and milk, Biden’s campaign will sink. He cannot talk his way out of the giant economic mess he created.

 –Grace Vuoto, Ph.D. is a political commentator and columnist. She can be heard Wednesday mornings at 9:00 am on The Kuhner Report WRKO-AM 680. She is also Co-host of “The Conversation with Stephen and Grace,” Saturday mornings, 11:00-1:00 pm, on iHeart’s WXTK 95.1 FM.

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