President Joe Biden is trying to underscore the difference between his economic policies, self-described as Bidenomics, and the “MAGAnomics” of his Republican foes.
But with July and last month’s consumer price index reports finding rising inflation, exacerbated by the increasing cost of gasoline, Republicans are welcoming Biden’s comparisons.
Heritage Foundation federal budget research fellow EJ Antoni confessed he is confused why Biden is determined to “hang” his “hat” on the economy, contending it seems to be “a losing formula.”
“We have a whole slew of economic data that says that things are going in the wrong direction,” Antoni told the Washington Examiner. “While it’s true that we have so far this year avoided a recession, it still seems like one is right around the corner. And we shouldn’t forget that we had a recession last year, although a lot of people in the media wanted to redefine what a recession was for the first time ever.”
Antoni pinpointed Biden’s spending as the president’s most problematic misstep, from the American Rescue Plan Act to the Inflation Reduction Act, which the economist argued has contributed to persistent inflation to the spring banking crisis.
Former President Donald Trump’s campaign has seized on the opportunity to promote the 2024 Republican primary front-runner’s economic positions, with aides mocking Biden for seeking “political credit and public gratitude” for Bidenomics, which they assert is undermined by “inflation, taxation, submission, and failure.” In addition to Biden’s spending, Trump’s campaign also cited his approach to taxes, energy, immigration, and regulation.
“With polls confirming that Americans overwhelmingly reject Biden’s effort to whitewash his abysmal economic record, he will now attempt to reverse his message 180 degrees, ludicrously trying to blame President Trump for the destruction and misery that Joe Biden himself has wrought,” the Trump campaign said.
Biden’s economic polling is not strong, though some of his stances are individually popular. The president’s average economic approval-disapproval rating is net negative 22 percentage points, 37% to 59%, according to RealClearPolitics. Specifically, a Suffolk University Sawyer Business School and USA Today poll this week found 47% of adult respondents trust Trump more than Biden with the economy, with 36% telling pollsters the opposite. Trump additionally performed better among independents, 46% to Biden’s 26%.
Biden brought back MAGAnomics, a phrase the Trump campaign first used in 2020, this week during an economic address at Prince George’s Community College in Maryland.
“I’m the only president who hands out the opposition’s economic plan,” he said Thursday. “America has the strongest economy in the world of all major economics, but all they do is attack it. But notice something, for all the time they spend attacking me and my plan, here’s what they never do: they never talk about what they want to do.”
A White House official previewing Biden’s speech reframed MAGAnomics around the upcoming federal government funding fight this fall amid House Republican disagreement over their defense appropriations bill this week before Congress’s Sept. 30 deadline to avoid a shutdown.
“Congressional Republicans’s MAGAnomics budget would slash taxes for the wealthy and big corporations; cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid; and raise costs for hardworking families,” the administration official said. “The American people overwhelmingly reject MAGAnomics — from trickle-down tax cuts to cutting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid — and strongly support Bidenomics, which invests in America and lowers costs.”
During a fundraiser in Virginia, Joe Biden similarly connected House Republicans’s impeachment inquiry into him and his son Hunter‘s business dealings, which House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced this week, to the prospect of a government shutdown.
“I don’t know quite why, but they just knew they wanted to impeach me,” the president told donors last Wednesday night. “The best I can tell, they want to impeach me because they want to shut down the government.”
“Everybody always asks about impeachment,” he said. “I get up every day — not a joke — not focused on impeachment. I’ve got a job to do. I’ve got to deal with the issues that affect the American people every single solitary day.”
More broadly, the Democratic National Committee has amplified Biden’s MAGAnomics talking points as well, emphasizing Trump’s tax cuts, which are due to expire at the end of 2025, and this cycle’s Republican presidential candidates.
“2024 GOP candidates love Trump’s unpopular tax breaks for the wealthy so much that they’ve pledged to bring back and extend his MAGA tax scam at the expense of America’s middle-class families,” the DNC said Thursday. “Republican presidential hopefuls have long, shameful records of railing against policies that support America’s hardworking middle-class families.”