Biden leans into ‘Bidenomics’ to boost his economic message ahead of 2024

President Biden delivers remarks at the Old Post Office in Chicago.
President Biden delivers remarks on the economy at the Old Post Office in Chicago on Wednesday.
(Evan Vucci / Associated Press)
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President Biden launched a new push Wednesday to sell his economic agenda and convince skeptical voters that the economy is thriving under his watch, showcasing a message that White House officials see as crucial to his 2024 election prospects.

In a speech in the cavernous lobby of downtown Chicago’s Old Post Office, the president laid out his vision for “Bidenomics,” a catchall term for his strategy of investing in boosting the middle class and promoting competition to lower costs for working families.

He sought to contrast his plan with the trickle-down economics embraced by his predecessor and potential 2024 Republican opponent, former President Trump. The trickle-down theory, made famous by former President Reagan, focuses on cutting taxes and easing regulations.


“This vision is a fundamental break from the economic theory that has failed America’s middle class for decades. ... called trickle-down economics,” he said in what the White House billed as a major speech. “It failed America, it blew up the deficit and increased inequity. It weakened our infrastructure.”

His remarks were part of a broader White House effort to frame Biden as the architect of an economy that has defied expectations of a recession and continued to show a resilient labor market.

The latest economic numbers give the White House reason to boast. Unemployment remains at 3.7% while inflation eased to 4% from its high of 9.1% last June. But fears of an impending recession continue to loom as prices slow their descent from previous highs.

The president will appear with Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday as he announces more than $600 million in federal funding for the nation’s power grid and communities affected by climate change.

June 19, 2023

Last week, the Federal Reserve paused its streak of interest rate hikes for the first time in its 18-month campaign to tamp down inflation.

But on Wednesday, Fed Chairman Jerome H. Powell warned that the aggressive campaign would continue due to a strong labor market.

“More restrictions are coming,” he said at a monetary policy forum in Sintra, Portugal.

Administration officials complain that the president hasn’t been credited for the economic recovery under his leadership. Biden’s handling of the economy has been a persistent thorn in his side since inflation hit a 40-year high last summer.


Just 34% of U.S. adults approve of his handling of the economy, according to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public AffairsResearch poll released on Wednesday. Similarly, aCBS News poll released this month found just 36% approve of Biden’s handling of the economy.

The president has blamed soaring food and gas prices on the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, but Republicans argue it’s his government spending that has led to the record-high inflation that has bogged down Americans over the last two years.

“I’m not here to declare victory on the economy. I’m here to say we have a plan that’s turning things around incredibly quickly,” Biden said in Wednesday’s speech. “We have more work to do.”

On Monday, White House senior advisors Anita Dunn and Mike Donilon released a four-page memo outlining the president’s approach to building an economy “from the bottom up and middle out.” They declared Biden’s quest to turn the page on the era of trickle-down economics “the defining project of the Biden presidency.”

During his speech in Chicago, Biden sought to explain his economic vision, saying it is rooted in “investing in Americans, because when we invest in our people, we strengthen the middle class. We see the economy grow. That benefits all Americans.”

The Biden administration aims to tackle the potential dangers of artificial intelligence, including misinformation, job losses, discrimination and privacy violations.

June 20, 2023

Biden’s speech follows a White House event on Monday that highlighted the more than $42billion allocated to states to spend on high-speed internet projects through the bipartisan infrastructure law he championed. California received nearly $1.9 billion as part of the program.


The White House is deploying its top officials across the country to promote Bidenomics and the benefits of the sweeping economic legislation enacted since Biden took
office, including the $1-trillion infrastructure law, the $52.7billion to promote domestic production of semiconductors, and the president’s signature climate and drug-pricing bill to boost clean-energy projects.

Though Biden’s speech was an official event rather than a campaign appearance, it was hard to ignore the politics. After speaking, the president attended a campaign fundraiser hosted by Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker at the J.W. Marriott hotel. The minimum donation was $3,300, and a photo with the president had a price tag of $25,000.

“Folks, I’m actually looking forward to this campaign,” Biden told donors. “And you know why? Because we’ve actually got a story to tell.”

Presidential reelection fortunes are typically tied to the state of the economy, which is why Biden has no choice but to run on his record, according to Doug Sosnik, who was a longtime senior advisor to President Clinton.

Biden’s embrace of his economic record signals that the White House is confident Americans will soon begin to see the effects of his efforts.

“There is plenty of time for the public to begin feeling the impact of his accomplishments,” Sosnik said. “He just needs to stay with a sharp and repetitive message.”