Bidenomics is Squeezing Americans from All Sides

By: Dave McCormick
Gettysburg Times
January 31, 2024

Joe Biden says, “what is clear is my economic plan is working,” but as I travel across Pennsylvania, I can’t find anyone, even Democrats, who believes that.

In recent weeks on the campaign trail, I’ve met a young woman who is a welder in Bedford County, a law enforcement officer in Somerset, and a third generation farmer in Cambria who works a second job during the day so he can farm his family homestead at night. They all said the same thing: Biden’s economy is not working for them.

The American people are fed up with President Biden’s economy. A recent CNBC poll found 66% of Americans have a pessimistic view of the economy and 62% disapprove of Biden’s handling of it. Yet the White House-and my opponent, Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey-are touting positive statistics that show how out of touch they are. They’re politicians running for re-election, while most people in Pennsylvania are struggling to buy food, pay for gas, and afford rising rents.

We need leaders who will fight for opportunity and economic well-being for people who live in places like Bloomsburg, where I grew up. Here is what people in Pennsylvania are facing today: Nearly 6 in 10 say they now live paycheck-to-paycheck. More than a third of Americans would not be able to cover an unexpected $400 expense. When asked about the future, 4 out of 5 Americans doubt their children will be better off. And our economy’s productivity growth, especially in places like Pennsylvania, is stagnating, leaving communities behind and making our nation less competitive for the 21st century. President Biden’s economic policies have made this worse, not better.

There is some good news to be sure on the economic front. Every American should be happy to see our nation’s economic output growing, a stock market that has finally recovered after a two-year decline, and low unemployment.

But as I travel across Pennsylvania talking to workers and business owners, it’s clear that this news provides little comfort on Main Street.

The Biden administration wants to pretend that a dramatic rise in fuel prices, once-in-a-generation inflation, and a doubling of interest rates did not happen and that they are not to blame.

To begin with, instead of unleashing oil and gas production in places like Pennsylvania-which is blessed with abundant resources that would lower prices and strengthen our nation’s energy security-Biden caved to radical environmental groups. The administration has actively disincentivized production here at home, contributing to rising fuel prices. Gas reached $5 per gallon, which raised prices for goods even more.

Second, President Biden and Sen. Casey have enacted more than $5 trillion in new spending which was a primary driver of inflation. When inflation began to rise during this spending spree, the administration promised over and over again that it would be transitory. They ignored the warnings, even within their own party, that their spending plans could set off once-in-a-generation price increases.

When Biden took office, the annual rate of inflation was 1.4%. By June 2022, it was a staggering 9.1%, the highest in 40 years. Americans got hit in the pocketbook, and we’re still paying the price. While the growth in inflation has slowed, the cumulative impact on PA families has been brutal with prices for everyday essentials like food and rent rising by more than 20%.

To make matters worse, wages have not kept up with inflation. Since Biden took office, real household income in Pennsylvania has decreased by 10%, and real average weekly earnings nationwide are down nearly 5%. For workers living paycheck-to-paycheck, that difference really matters. It is going to take years for workers to regain the purchasing power they have lost in the Biden-Casey economy.

In short, most people are working more so they can pay more while making less.

Faced with this picture, the Federal Reserve increased interest rates to fight inflation. This made financing for things like buying a car or home significantly more expensive. Today, the total cost of purchasing a new F-150 after financing is $11,000 more than when Biden took office. And the monthly payment on an average home in Pennsylvania is $460 higher. It’s no wonder that purchases of existing homes have been cut almost in half since 2021, with homeownership out of reach for too many families.

Americans are being squeezed from every side by Bidenomics, so it’s no surprise that they’re not buying Biden and Casey’s rosy platitudes or ridiculous claims of “greedflation”. That’s why more than ever, we need leaders who understand these problems, will rein in wasteful government spending, and support pro-growth policies that create new jobs, support small businesses, and attract good-paying jobs back to communities in Pennsylvania and America.

David McCormick is a West Point graduate and combat veteran who has been the chief executive officer of two successful businesses. He is running for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania.