AMAC Exclusive – By Andrew Shirley
Third quarter GDP numbers released last week appeared to show robust growth for the U.S. economy, which the Biden administration was quick to tout as yet another example of the success of “Bidenomics.” But buried beneath the seemingly positive topline numbers is the reality that Biden’s economy still isn’t working for everyday Americans – and in particular American minority groups, whom Biden desperately needs win in next year’s election.
Shortly before the GDP data dropped, the Federal Reserve quietly released a new report underscoring just how bad things have gotten for minorities under Biden’s leadership. According to The Wall Street Journal, the report shows that real incomes for black and Hispanic families have fallen 1.6 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively, since 2019. Incomes for whites have risen a modest 1.3 percent.
In other words, despite Biden’s constant bragging about how strong GDP numbers are, wages simply aren’t keeping up with inflation. Americans, especially minorities, can afford less even if they’re making more in absolute terms. While inflation has cooled from nearly 40-year highs last year, it is still nearly four percent – more than double the Fed’s target rate of two percent.
President Ronald Reagan once famously said, “Inflation is a tax. In fact, inflation is the cruelest of taxes because poor people tend to pay it.” From this perspective, President Biden has done more to hike taxes for poor people than any president in recent history. Given that minority Americans on average are less wealthy, Biden’s inflation crisis is hitting them particularly hard.
Biden and his allies are trying to convince Americans that their massive spending bills are helping families manage rising costs. Yet he has unwittingly created a situation in which the average American family is getting hammered on both sides of the economy: The Federal Reserve is spiking interest rates specifically to decrease the money in circulation, while Democrats continue to print more money, increasing circulation.
Trickled down to everyday Amerians, this means that the dollars they earn buy less while the dollars they’re loaned cost more.
Economic numbers often touted by the Biden administration showing an increase in household wealth for minorities over the past two years are also misleading, according to the Fed report. For black and Hispanic families, most of those gains have been concentrated in home values – meaning that families actually have less cash to spend on the rising cost of groceries and consumer goods.
“Real average liquid wealth, which includes assets such as cash, checking, and savings accounts, did not grow much for Hispanic families and fell for Black families,” the report states. As the Journal Editorial Board put it, “The fact a family’s home might be worth 20 percent to 30 percent more than before is no consolation in the grocery checkout line.”
Unsurprisingly, despite the apparently strong overall economic numbers, a large majority of Americans still aren’t buying into the “Bidenomics” hype. An NBC News poll released earlier this fall found that 59 percent of Americans disapprove of Biden’s economic track record, while just 37 percent approve. More concerningly for Biden heading into a re-election year, the poll found the “GOP advantage on the economy to be the highest recorded in more than three decades of NBC News polling.”
Just as Biden’s economic failures are hitting minority Americans particularly hard, his collapse in support looks to be particularly acute among minority voters. A New York Times/Siena College poll released in September highlighted “consistent signs of erosion in black and Hispanic support for Biden” that could potentially cost him the 2024 election.
“Mr. Biden is underperforming most among nonwhite voters making less than $100,000 per year, at least temporarily erasing the century-old tendency for Democrats to fare better among lower-income than higher-income nonwhite voters,” Times chief political analyst Nate Cohn wrote of the poll results. “Overall, the president’s approval rating stands at just 47 percent among nonwhite voters in Times/Siena polling over the last year; his favorability rating is just 54 percent.”
In a hypothetical 2024 matchup between Trump and Biden, Biden led by a margin of just 53 percent to 28 percent among nonwhite voters in the Times/Siena poll – a far cry from the 70 percent support Biden garnered from that cohort in 2020.
If Biden can’t recover among this group, he faces a seemingly insurmountable challenge to win re-election next year. But given that he has shown no indication of reversing course on an economic agenda that is failing these very voters more than any other group, the prospect of such a recovery is becoming increasingly remote.
Andrew Shirley is a veteran speechwriter and AMAC Newsline columnist. His commentary can be found on X at @AA_Shirley.