Biden Begins A Necessary Conversation With Voters About the US Economy

The President’s budget always tries to do many things, but one thing the White House made clear yesterday was they were intending to have a far more serious conversation with the American people about the economy than we’ve had in recent months.  

As we all know by now poll after poll show the American people do not understand that the steps the government took in 2021 to hasten an economic recovery worked, and that in 2021 the American economy put in one of its best performances in history.  GDP growth came in close to 6%, the unemployment rate plummeted, millions gained health insurance, stocks and home prices soared, more new businesses were started than any year in US history, the annual deficit came down by hundreds of billions of dollars and real wages rose, most significantly for those in the bottom 25% of wage earners.  Most Americans were better off at the end of 2021, and many were much much better off.  We are experiencing, literally, a Biden Boom, one which has continued into 2022.  

Why don’t people understand what has happened with the economy over the past year or so? This is an area of vigorous debate, one which we have weighed in on pretty heavily in recent months.  And it speaks to a much bigger political challenge for Democrats, something we have called the most important least understood story in American politics today – that since the Cold War ended and a new global economic age began when Democrats were in charge the economy grew, stock markets boomed, wages and incomes went up and deficits fell (Clinton even got us to an annual surplus); and when Republicans have been in power we’ve had three consecutive recessions and exploding deficits.  Dems have done a good job, repeatedly; while Rs have failed to do their part, repeatedly. 

The contrast in the economy’s performance under the two parties, and two very different economic approaches, is perhaps best summed up in net jobs produced during this time.  In 17 years of Clinton Obama and Biden 41 million net new jobs were created.  Under 16 years of Bush, Bush, and Trump 2 million net new jobs were created.  Same time in the White House.  20 times more jobs with Democrats.  95% of all net new jobs created since 1989 have come under Democrats – 95%!  Yet Republicans today are more trusted on the economy than Democrats, despite have brought actual economic carnage over three consecutive Presidencies over decades.   

More illustrative stats: 

·      41m of the 43m jobs created since 1989 have come under Democratic Presidents – 95%. 19 out of every 20 new jobs created in America over the past 33 years have come under Democratic Presidents. 

·      3 times as many jobs were created in Biden’s first year in office than were created under the last 3 GOP Presidents, combined. 

·      The economy has produced more than 500,000 new jobs per month under Biden.  Under the last 3 GOP Presidents it was 9,700 jobs per month.  Yes, less than 10,000 per month over 16 years. 

·      All three GOP President saw dramatic expansions of the annual federal deficit on their watch.  Trump may have seen the largest peacetime expansion of the deficit in US history.  All three Dem Presidents saw a dramatic decline in the annual deficit on their watch, with Clinton getting us to a sustained period of surplus.  

And to be clear, the economy just didn’t perform better under Democrats.  The last two Republican Presidents have some of the worst economic track records of any Presidents in American history.  

There really is no easy explanation for how voters don’t understand this basic reality, a sky is blue kind of reality.  But what should be obvious to all Democratic leaders now is that helping voters understand just how much better the economy – and America – does under Democrats should become a ferocious and well-funded party wide effort in the months and years to come.  

By making “deficit reduction” the top priority in selling his new budget, Joe Biden joined this debate, with intensity.  For he began chipping away at this remarkable myth that Republicans have been good stewards of the economy or fiscally responsible, when we know from data the exact oppositive has been true.  It is a very welcome development, one which the team here at NDN enthusiastically supports.  Let the big conversation about the US economy now begin, in earnest. The American people, and the Democratic Party, will be better for it.  

Additional Resources

Mr Biden, Your Good Economy Won’t Sell Itself” – On Selling the Biden Boom

Report: The Biden Boom Keeps Booming and 41m Dem Jobs

Memo: Dems Need To Focus On Winning The Economic Argument

With Democrats Things Get Better – come watch our 30 minute data-filled presentation about how much better the economy does under Democrats.