2nd December 2023 – (Washington) When President Biden first embraced the term “Bidenomics” to brand his economic agenda, it reflected pride in accomplishments like pandemic job recovery and massive infrastructure investment. However, as high inflation persists and recession looms, continued use of that slogan now seems severely detached from voters’ lived reality. The Biden team appears to have recognised the gap between their rhetoric and the public’s economic experience by phasing out the “Bidenomics” messaging. But simply swapping slogans does not resolve the policy failures and political dilemma this administration faces.
Earlier in Biden’s term, when the economy was rebounding swiftly from COVID shutdowns, adopting the “Bidenomics” buzzword made some political sense. It aimed to cement a link in voters’ minds between the president’s American Rescue Plan, infrastructure law, clean energy investments and other legislative wins and the palpable economic gains occurring on his watch.
Using a catchy branding strategy to drive home policy achievements is a common tactic in politics and business. However, the celebratory tone was questionable even last summer given that many Americans continued struggling with high costs and inflation outpaced wage growth. Claiming victory was premature at best.
Nonetheless, Biden embarked on a nationwide tour to trumpet “Bidenomics,” even creating branded banners to showcase at events. He portrayed an America in ascent after his policies restored prosperity. But this Potemkin village soon crumbled as economic optimism withered. Bidenomics had failed to align with people’s daily experience.
Confirming the slogan’s tenuous connection to reality, Biden has now entirely ceased using the term “Bidenomics” in his economic speeches over the past two months. However, White House communications still dub his initiatives under the Bidenomics banner, despite its toxicity.
This strange two-track strategy reveals the administration’s stubborn clinging to a narrative utterly divorced from how most Americans feel about their economic prospects. While officials ignore the self-evident failure of Bidenomics as a message, they refuse to acknowledge its underlying policy misjudgments.
Above all, the White House cannot keep cherry-picking positive metrics like strong job growth while dismissing the public’s intense concerns about inflation, rising interest rates, and fading prosperity as mere perception problems. That denies the harsh impacts on family budgets and clouds the necessity of course-correcting.
Clinging to rose-coloured messaging has become untenable as polls deliver a brutal verdict on the Democrats’ economic management. In survey after survey, large majorities rate the economy negatively and disapprove of Biden’s economic leadership.
Even more alarming, polls show Biden losing swing state matchups against Donald Trump in a hypothetical rematch. Voters seem ready to bring back an objectively disastrous president largely due to their financial insecurity and anger over high costs under Bidenomics.
This working-class disaffection even reaches Democratic constituencies like Hispanics, younger voters and women who feel economically adrift. Democrats lost support across almost every demographic in the 2022 midterms for similar reasons. The flawed economic messaging deputized by Bidenomics exacerbates the party’s woes.
Some allies now urge Biden to refocus on bread-and-butter populism – higher taxes on billionaires, battling corporate consolidation, empowering unions and other kitchen-table issues. This likely offers a better path than technocratic lectures about GDP numbers.
Above all, the White House must listen to real public frustrations versus voices just echoing their optimism. While inflation may keep gradually slowing, costs will remain high for daily needs like food, gas and housing for the foreseeable future.
Any sustainable solution requires acknowledging that moral imperative outweighs promoting a political brand. The president should lead candid conversations on the struggles families face and concrete plans to alleviate economic anxieties. Only then can public faith in genuine competence be restored.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration and Congressional Democrats still have time to rescue their economic reputation before 2024 but jettisoning Potemkin facades like Bidenomics is the essential first step. Only by aligning words and policy with people’s real lives can trust be rebuilt. The ephemeral victories of clever slogans must give way to lasting change that makes life tangibly better for working Americans. There lies the path to redemption.