What do you do when a major city strongly disapproves of your handling of the economy? If you’re President Joe Biden, you go directly to that city and double down on how effective your economic policies are.
On Thursday, Biden traveled to Philadelphia’s Philly Shipyard to speak at a “steel-cutting” ceremony for a ship created to help with offshore wind farms. He proudly claimed that the vessel was constructed entirely of U.S. manufactured parts and inexplicably felt the need to point out that the rocks the ship will place at the base of the turbines were “manufactured in the United States.”
He began his speech by blaming climate change for the tragic Buck’s County floods and closed by touting his “successful” economic policies.
“I’m not here to declare victory. We’ve got a long way to go on the economy. I’m here to say, we have more work to do. We have a plan that’s turning things around pretty quickly,” Biden said. “Bidenomics is just another way of saying restore the American Dream. Forty years of trickle-down economics and Democratic and Republican administrations limited that dream to those at the top, but I believe every American willing to work hard should be able to get a job no matter where they live — in the heartland or a small town or big cities — raise their kids on a good paycheck, and keep a roof over your head.”
Polling reveals that for Philadelphians, Bidenomics just isn’t cutting it. Only 38.3% of the City of Brotherly Love approve, and the rest are left wondering what is wrong with 38.3% of their fellow residents.
The results closely parallel the country’s opinions on Biden’s handling of the economy, with 58% of Americans disapproving. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confidently asserted, “The polls don’t tell the full story, and we don’t understand that. The data shows the combination of unemployment and inflation is near historic lows. That’s what we have seen. Consumer confidence is increasing, and also wages are rising. That’s what certainly the data is showing.” She went on to add, “The polls don’t tell the entire story, and so we’re gonna continue to have the conversation. We’re going to continue to have a conversation with the American people.”
Democrats are seeking to distance themselves from the negative polls, claiming that results are driven by doom and gloom Republicans who “always say the economy is suffering unless there’s a Republican in the White House.” The administration is clinging to its claim that poor polling is just temporary, citing that Biden-created inflation continues to decline and hanging on to the skewed jobless numbers that suggest unemployment has remained below 4% for seventeen months.
The administration continues to claim that Bidenomics is popular. Deputy press secretary Olivia Dalton said, “When you look at things like the bipartisan infrastructure law, when you think look at the Inflation Reduction Act, when you think look at the Chips and Science Act, these are all important accomplishments that have large majorities, large bipartisan majorities of support from the American people.”
Except that they don’t support these policies. Support for the massive trillion-dollar infrastructure bill falls along party lines, with 83% of Democrats for the legislation and 78% of Republicans opposing it. The Inflation Reduction Act enjoys the support of only 49%.
During his speech in Philadelphia, Biden stuck with the now-debunked fallacies about job creation and wage increases. He falsely claimed again, “Wages are growing faster than inflation. That means a lot of working folks are beginning to be able to have a little — just a little bit of breathing room.”
But despite assertions that inflation is easing, the city’s residents understand they are paying 4.7% more for groceries than a year ago. One local told an NBC10 reporter, “I’d really like to not do the paycheck-to-paycheck thing. We do well, but we’re still struggling.”
It’s very telling that Biden is begging for support from Philadelphia. The city is the Democratic stronghold of Pennsylvania and has reliably voted Democrat in every election cycle since 2000. Biden took Philadelphia County by over 81% in 2020.
The fact that Biden must defend his wildly unpopular Bidenomics policies to Philadelphia might be alarming for the administration, but Progressive Policy Institute’s president Will Marshall thinks that distorting facts is the answer.
“The White House needs to make sure people know that the president understands the pain they’re feeling, understands the bite that inflation is putting on their disposable income,” Marshall said. “And then you have to give them a narrative of success.”