Wednesday’s CNN This Morning commended Biden’s supposed economic improvements, citing numerous infrastructure bills, now dubbed Bidenomics. Unfortunately for them, their poll showed 66 percent of Americans disapproved of Biden’s handling of the economy, and 76 percent considered it in poor shape.
“I want to start with what the President was kind of joking about, the idea of, you know, what is, what is Bidenomics,” host Phil Mattingly began as he questioned White House Budget Director Shalanda Young, “There are a lot of numbers you can point to that tell a story of success. That is not a story that has necessarily been received by the American people. Why?”
Young launched a long speech on the purported success of Bidenomics to avoid explaining America’s disapproval. “Grow the middle class. Middle out, bottom up. That's how we approach the economy, and it's working,” Young explained.
“Your unemployment rate is one any president would want to talk about often. Inflation is clearly decelerated over the last several months on a consistent basis,” Mattingly agreed.
“But if you look at the latest CNN poll about how the President is handling the economy, 34 percent approve, current economic conditions, 24 percent say good.”
Clearly, the public held a different view of Biden’s economy than Young or Mattingly.
“Is there concern that those bigger macro issues are crowding out what you’re talking about, that you think matters to regular people?” Mattingly asked, referring to inflation and unemployment, both topics that he and Young praised Biden for improving moments earlier.
Instead of addressing public disapproval, Young referred to decreasing inflation as a sign of Biden’s competence and began listing what she considers to be the President’s legislative successes.
Mattingly affirmed her points and wondered if the legislation still needed to take effect:
On prescription drugs, it hadn’t taken effect yet. Infrastructure projects, still rolling out. CHIPS Act, same, same type of deal. The first cabinet meeting he had of 2023 you were sitting there where he was talking about we have to implement. We have to show people what this actually is. Why aren't people feel -- you have been doing that. You’ve had projects rolling out. You had $40 billion in broadband coming out yesterday. Why is it not connecting?
Young clung to Mattingly’s assumption that the effects were still coming and restated her praise of Bidenomics.
So why do Americans disapprove of Bidenomics when Mattingly and Young think so highly of them?
Biden poured hundreds of billions of dollars into an already healthy economy through loan forgiveness, the Inflation Reduction Act, and the CHIPS Act. This massive increase in available money contributed to a jump in spending and increased demand. Suppliers raised their prices accordingly, and the economy inflated. The Federal Reserve raised interest rates ten consecutive times to correct rising costs, but Americans still feel the burden of inflation.
While America’s borrowing capabilities may seem like free money, nothing is ever free, not even Biden's bills. Americans paid the price (literally) for his ill-advised policies, causing many Americans to disapprove of Bidenomics.
Liberty Mutual sponsored CNN's Bidenomics advertising.
The Transcript is below, click "expand" to read.
CNN This Morning
PHIL MATTINGLY: That's President Biden there joking about Bidenomics, a term that's now at the heart of his economic message. The President today will deliver what seems kinda like a cornerstone major speech on Bidenomics. Branding the economy with Biden's name. It’s not without political risk, but the White House believes that focusing on the economy will help him win a second term. They also believe that they have a message to deliver despite high inflation and rising interest rates.
Joining us now to talk about that message, White House Budget Director Shalanda Young. Director Young, thanks so much for joining us from the North Lawn.
I want to start with what the President was kind of joking about, the idea of, you know, what is, what is Bidenomics. I’ve covered you guys pretty closely on the economic side over the course of the last two-plus years. There are a lot of numbers you can point to that tell a story of success. That is not a story that has necessarily been received by the American people. Why?
SHALANDA YOUNG: So, Phil, this isn't new. You’re right. You’ve heard a lot of this before. When the President talks about stopping banks, apartments, concerts, promoters from charging hidden fees to customers, when he says to people like my grandmother, you can buy hearing aids over the counter for hundreds of dollars instead of thousands through your insurance, that's Bidenomics.
Growing the middle class in this country, that's where our strength is. We tried to trickle down. We tried top-down. Guess what? It didn't reach regular folks. So this president, everything we’ve done, the three budgets I’ve worked with to help him put out, it is a core tenant. Grow the middle class. Middle out, bottom up. That's how we approach the economy, and it's working. Over 13 million jobs added.
MATTINGLY: You know – you -- What you were pointing out I think gets an interesting point. I think Greg at The Wall Street Journal had an interesting piece this morning where he said, ‘The effects on voters' lives are small and gradual, whereas the effects of inflation and unemployment are more significant, more tangible to some degree.’
Your unemployment rate is one any president would want to talk about often. Inflation is clearly decelerated over the last several months on a consistent basis. But if you look at the latest CNN poll about how the President is handling the economy, 34 percent approve, current economic conditions, 24 percent say good.
Is there concern that those bigger macro issues are crowding out what you’re talking about, that you think matters to regular people?
YOUNG: So Phil, on inflation, you say a number of months it's come down. As a reminder, 11 months of deceleration. We are moving in the right direction. More than moving in the right direction. We have more to do always to bring down costs, but that's why we work so hard with Democrats in Congress to pass the Inflation Reduction Act. Those individual pieces are absolutely positive.
You ask Americans should we rebuild our infrastructure? Absolutely. This president worked with Republicans to get that done. Do something about energy costs in this country. Do something about prescription drug costs in the country. This president worked with Democrats to get something done on that.
And look, you know this. It takes a while to implement these landmark pieces of legislation. That is what we are focused on for the next two years, and my agency across the administration. Implement, implement, implement. Get these dollars into communities to not only rebuild but to make sure we bring manufacturing back to this country, which we’ve already added 800,000 jobs and have good-paying jobs for Americans.
MATTINGLY: You know, that's a great point though, because I remember the scale of the legislative accomplishments in the first two years don't have much precedent in the last several decades if any at all. And yet, at the midterm elections the President will be on the campaign trail talking about, you know, people just haven’t felt it yet. Right? On prescription drugs, it hadn’t taken effect yet, infrastructure projects, still rolling out. Chips Act, same, same type of deal. The first cabinet meeting he had of 2023 you were sitting there where he was talking about we have to implement. We have to show people what this actually is.
Why aren't people feel -- you have been doing that. You’ve had projects rolling out. You had $40 billion in broadband coming out yesterday. Why is it not connecting?
YOUNG: Well Phil, what I will say is what people feel immediately. If you were sitting in 2020, and you were in a town like the one I grew up in South Louisiana, and you were without a job, not knowing when this pandemic would end, not seeing the progress you needed from your government to get back working, and you did not know what was gonna happen to your family, and you're one of those 13 million who gotten a job. You’ve seen wages go up in this country. You have felt that, immediately. That is a game changer in your family.
Now, what we're going to see over the next two years, you're right, we are going to see drug costs come down when the Government implements this bill the President worked on. We are going to see more infrastructure projects work, come out. You’ve seen announcements but look this week. We just announced the broadband program, $42 billion to get Americans hooked. Internet is not a luxury. It's a necessity. Try having school-age kids. They’ll tell you, they need it for school. So, we just announced that.
Those kind of things are starting to get into the bloodstream, and we are going to work as hard as we can to make sure it gets to all Americans, not just a few in this country.
MATTINGLY: I am going to ask you a political question, which I know you don't really play in that ball game much. You're the policy, you’re the wonk over on – you were the wonk from the House Appropriations Committee to some agree. But I do think it's an important point in the sense of making Bidenomics, making the economy a cornerstone as the President starts to really fully engage in the re-election campaign. There’s risks there, right?
You have defied every projection of economists over the course of the last several months. I don’t think anyone can deny that. But Brian Moynihan, the bank of America CEO told my colleague Poppy Harlow yesterday he expects a mild recession at the start of next year. Is there risk when you look at the economy of pinning too much to this what you think is a good story, something having an effect given the economy isn't necessarily always predictable?
YOUNG: Look Phil, I love being called a wonk budget nerd. That's what I do. I’m not on the political side. But, I am on the economics team. And we’re the little underdog that could. This President is always undervalued. He came in, got the pandemic under control, and that was not by accident what he did. And you wouldn't see the 13 million people back at work, and unemployment numbers, as you pointed out most presidents would have loved to have, and the legislative accomplishments that this president has overseen. In my 20 years, I have never seen before.
So, we'll put that record against anyone, and we'll continue to be undervalued, and we will continue to over perform.
MATTINGLY: I know, I know you are not at the CEA, but you have breakfast usually with the leaders once a week or twice a week or at least used to. Do you see a mild recession as possible at the first part of next year?
YOUNG: Not when you see jobs numbers like this. Not when you see wage growth like this. That is just not consistent with a recession. You know, for two years I’ve been asked the same question or told prognosticators say a recession is coming. And, we continue to see a strong labor market in this country. And so, we continue to point out that we have never been in a recession with a job market, with a labor statistics like we’ve seen, and those two things just don't go together.
MATTINGLY: All right. Director Shalanda Young, as always, appreciate your time.
YOUNG: Thanks, Phil.
POPPY HARLOW: That’s really interesting to see that the White House doesn't see a recession coming and most of the bankers do.
MATTINGLY: Yeah, no, I mean I think it's the open question, right? And I think to the White House credit to some degree, you say well most bankers have been calling for a recession for the better part of last year, and they have been wrong throughout, and I think that's why they feel more confident that kind of the soft landing idea is plausible. But we will have to see.