‘Bidenomics’ Is a Tough Sell for the White House

‘Bidenomics’ Is a Tough Sell for the White House

Reuters/Sarah Silbiger

With inflation falling and households finally seeing rising incomes in real terms, the U.S. economy continues to chug along, much to the surprise of those economists who for months have been predicting that a recession is just around the corner. The generally upbeat news, however, does not appear to be helping President Joe Biden much as he tries to sell his economic program, dubbed “Bidenomics,” to American voters.

In a poll conducted from July 12 to 17 by Monmouth University, just 34% of respondents said they approve of Biden’s handling of inflation, while 62% said they disapprove. Biden isn’t receiving much credit for his efforts to boost U.S. infrastructure, either, which include subsidies for clean energy and electric vehicle producers. Just 43% said they approve of how he has handled transportation and energy infrastructure, while 51% said they disapprove.

Biden did a bit better on his handling of jobs and employment, with a 47% approval rate, but even there, slightly more (48%) said they disapprove.

Americans also don’t seem to think that the U.S. under Biden is doing better than the rest of the world as it recovers from the pandemic, despite the country’s solid performance relative to other countries. Just 30% said the U.S. has done better, while 32% said the U.S. has done worse.

Overall, Monmouth says Biden “gets mediocre to poor marks” on his handling of the economy from the American public, despite his recent appearances around the country to promote his programs. A big part of the problem for Biden is partisanship. While more than 70% of Democrats give him positive marks on the economy, more than 80% of Republicans give him negative ones, and independents lean more toward the right than the left on the issue.

“The president has been touting ‘Bidenomics,’ but the needle of public opinion has not really moved,” said Monmouth pollster Patrick Murray. “Americans are just not giving him a lot of credit when it comes to the economy.”

Still, the White House is pressing ahead with its efforts to convince people that the economy is in pretty good shape and the president’s policies have a lot to do with that. “Polls don’t tell the full story — the combination of unemployment and inflation is near historic lows, consumer confidence is increasing, and wages are rising,” White House spokesman Michael Kikukawa told Bloomberg. He also said that Democrats’ better-than-expected performance in the midterm elections indicates that voters “are choosing economic policies that grow the economy from the middle out and the bottom up over congressional Republicans’ trickle-down economics.”