If this economy is Biden restoring American Dream, what do nightmares look like?
Grocery prices remain off the charts, and people are racking up debt. | Opinion
Alex Brandon/AP

The holidays are around the corner and in this economy, that means Americans will either stretch budgets as best they can, go into debt or go without.

Bidenomics, the name President Joe Biden embraced for his plan to “restore the American Dream,” has proven to do anything but that.

Reports on how the economy is doing on a macro level vary. Some wonder if we are currently in a recession, others say it’s coming, and still others posit we just missed one.

Inflation is lower than it was two years ago, but it’s still higher than it was even in 2020, when it was just at 1.2%. It rose to 3.7 then fell back to 3.2% in October. Mortgage interest rates are still high and credit card debt is too.The average balance is now $6,000, higher than it’s been in a decade suggesting people are still struggling to make ends meet.

Even if prices are going up slower than before or inflation has decreased over all, people are still experiencing increases on top of increases. The compound effect of this has people reeling.

In October, liberal economist Paul Krugman tweeted joyously that inflation was over based on a chart which excluded essential items people need like food, energy, shelter, and used cars. The backlash online was swift and fierce.

The war on inflation is over. We won, at very little cost pic.twitter.com/opumf3nEvL

— Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) October 12, 2023

Sure of course, the economy is great, according to Biden and some economists, if you don’t have to buy or finance anything. According to a recent AP-NORC poll, about one third of respondents think that Biden is doing a good job on the economy.

While some numbers show steady economic growth and low unemployment, the cost of necessities is still high, making everyday Americans doubt Biden’s speeches celebrating Bidenomics. Grocery prices especially, an obvious essential to well-being, have increased 11% from 2021 to 2022.

Supply chain issues have an impact, too. While growth and low unemployment are typically how we define a good overall economy, Biden can’t convince people that it’s good because their own bank account balance reveals an entirely different situation.

All this raises the question: If this is Biden’s economic plan to help people achieve the American Dream — where a 6.25 pound package of chicken breasts is $18 at Walmart — what would constitute a nightmare?

Inflation isn’t necessarily Biden’s fault, even though he’s taken credit for reducing it. In fact, at least some of what we’re seeing now is possibly a trickle-down effect from former President Donald Trump’s COVID-era stimulus checks. But Biden has absolutely throttled energy resources by refusing to reopen the Keystone XL pipeline and trying to block new oil and gas production on federal lands, among other things. This has resulted in increased costs at the pump and elsewhere.

But Trump’s not the president — Biden’s at the helm now, and he keeps telling Americans, whose grocery prices have soared, that his plan is working. When discussing the economy, honesty would be a great place for Biden to start, as well as more realistic ideas to reduce grocery prices, interest rates and inflation.

Otherwise the kids on the naughty list aren’t the only ones who won’t be getting Christmas presents this year —- and nobody else will, either, because they can’t afford it.

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