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White House touts economic success of 'Bidenomics'

Advisers to President Joe Biden point out the contrast with failed policies that claim to improve the economy from ‘the top down.’

By Oliver Willis - June 26, 2023
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Joe Biden
President Joe Biden speaks in the East Room of the White House, June 26, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

According to the HuffPost, White House advisers on Monday released a memo touting economic progress under President Joe Biden, labeling his policies “Bidenomics” and contrasting their success with the “trickle down” economics policies of Republican presidents.

“Bidenomics is rooted in the simple idea that we need to grow the economy from the middle out and the bottom up—not the top down,” notes the memo from Anita Dunn and Mike Donilon.

It notes that the U.S. economy has recovered from the setback of the COVID-19 pandemic faster than expected and attributes this to Biden’s actions.

A February 2021 report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected that the unemployment rate, which was 6.1% at the time, would not go below 4.0%before 2026. But by December 2021, less than a year after Biden was sworn in, the rate hit 3.9%, and the rate as of May was 3.7%.

The unemployment rates for Black  and Latino workers have also hit record lows during Biden’s time in the presidency.

Biden signed into law several major pieces of legislation containing components intended to stimulate the economy and promote job growth, including the  American Rescue Plan, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the CHIPS and Science Act and the Inflation Reduction Act.

The Rescue Plan and the Inflation Reduction Act were completely opposed by Republicans in Congress and passed with only Democratic votes. The infrastructure law had bipartisan support, but a majority of Republicans voted against it.

The memo notes that the economy has added 13 million jobs since Biden took office, the most jobs added under any president in a single term. Under Biden’s immediate predecessor, former President Donald Trump, over 3 million jobs were lost, and his presidency is the only one to ever have a net job loss record.

In 2017, Trump signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which embodied the concept of “trickle down” economics, the claim being that taxes are lowered for large corporations and wealthy individuals and the resulting savings are passed down through the economic system to individuals who do not get the tax breaks directly. Trump said the law would be “rocket fuel for our economy,” but the deficit grew in the following years, and the economy grew by just 2.3% in 2019, below the 3% Trump had promised.

“Trickle down” policies were also enacted by former President George W. Bush, with tax cuts weighted in favor of the wealthy in the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 and the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003.

According to an October 2017 report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Bush’s policies failed to generate the economic growth that was promised.

“Despite promises from proponents of the tax cuts, evidence suggests that they did not improve economic growth or pay for themselves, but instead ballooned deficits and debt and contributed to a rise in income inequality,” the report noted.

When Republicans took control of the House following the 2022 midterm elections, they passed the Limit, Save, Grow Act, which would have rescinded tax incentives for clean energy investments in the Inflation Reduction Act. The Democratic-led Senate will not consider the legislation.

Republicans on May 25 introduced the Defending American Jobs and Investment Act, a $240 billion tax cut package.

“It’s Republican clockwork. Not even a week after their manufactured default crisis and it is back to tax cuts for the wealthy and well-connected,” Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA), the ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee, said in a statement in response to the new legislation.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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