by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Jim Geraghty of National Review Online discusses the Biden administration’s unusual approach to the latest economic developments. Rather than focus on fixing problems, the president will try to convince you that you’re already doing really well.
In Politico’s Playbook newsletters: … President Biden will spend June pivoting to a focus on economic issues, “to convince skeptical voters that, despite their current misgivings, the economy is actually doing quite well.”
Attempting to convince people that they’re doing better than they think they are is always a risky political strategy, but it seems particularly unlikely to work when gas prices keep setting new records every day. This morning, the national average price of a gallon of regular gasoline is $4.62, according to AAA. A year ago, it was $3.04.
But it isn’t just gas prices:
*Electricity bills are expected to continue skyrocketing this summer, along with rolling blackouts in parts of the western states.
*Inflation is still exceptionally high by historical standards, even if it may have peaked.
*The rapid rise in food prices continues, unabated.
*Home sales are falling, and fears of a burst housing bubble are growing.
*After a while, those 11.5 million job openings stop looking like a sign of robust strength and start looking like a labor shortage that is becoming chronic.
There is something classically Biden about looking at the state of the U.S. economy at this moment and concluding the problem is that he isn’t getting enough credit for all the good news. As Politico notes, “Telling [Americans] that their day-to-day worries are not supported by macroeconomic data — or, as Biden writes, that ‘the U.S. is in a better economic position than almost any other country’ — is risky and could come across as tone-deaf, something frontline Democrats in swing districts have been concerned about.” No kidding!