Biden’s Middle Out Economics Is Working

Simon Rosenberg

Happy Tuesday all! Let’s focus on the economy today as two new economic reports have come out in the last few days – the monthly jobs report, and the Consumer Price Index, one of the key measures of inflation. 

First, inflation. Inflation in February came in about as expected, 0.4% for the month, 3.2% increase for the past 12 months. This is only slightly above where the Fed wants it, and the stock market reaction this morning has been positive.  From CNBC: 

″[W]hile it’s natural to expect the market to cool down a bit, it’s proving difficult to see what may stop the market’s momentum, as earnings, inflation, and interest rates are moving in the right direction,” said Skyler Weinand, chief investment officer at Regan Capital.

While gas was up a bit, groceries (food at home) did not increase last month, and have only risen by 1% over the past year. This is good news. And remember wages have risen by 4-5% over the past year, so groceries are now more affordable than they were a year ago. 

Friday’s February jobs report was another good one, coming in at 275,000 for the month. This brings the Hopium monthly jobs tracker to: 

  • 33.8m jobs = 16 years Clinton, Obama
  • 14.9m jobs = 37 months of Biden
  • 1.9m jobs = 16 years of Bush, Bush, Trump

Biden’s 14.9m jobs are more than 8 times as many jobs as were created in the 16 years of the last 3 Republican Presidencies, combined.  Since 1989 and the end of the Cold War, the US has seen 51 million new jobs created.  49 million of those 51 million jobs – 96% – have been created under Democratic Presidents. Just 2 million jobs – 4% – have been created under Republicans. There is one American political party good at this capitalism thing and it sure isn’t the party of Trump. 

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The ongoing failure of Republican policies to create growth and opportunity for American workers is perhaps best seen in the following graph. Over the past 3 Republican Presidents the economy has created 10,000 jobs a month. Which means last month’s 275,000 would be over 2 years of GOP level job growth in just a single month. The rate of job creation under Biden has been 40 times what it was under the those last 3 GOP Presidents. Republicans created just 10,000 jobs a month over 16 years. 

What this data tells us is that since this new age of globalization began in 1989, a modern and forward-looking Democratic Party has repeatedly seen strong economic growth on its watch.  Republican Presidents, on the other hand, have overseen three consecutive recessions – the last two, severe. The contrast in performance here is very stark. It is not a stretch to state that the GOP’s economic track record over the past 30+ years has been among the worst in the history of the United States.

Despite enormous challenges – COVID, insurrection, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, global inflation, repeated OPEC price hikes, war in the Middle East – the performance of the American economy over Biden’s Presidency has been remarkable. GDP growth has been 4.1% over the last two quarters, our recovery from COVID has been the strongest in the G7, the stock market is setting records, highs, wage growth remains very strong and outpacing inflation, consumer confidence is rising, sharply and we have the lowest uninsured rate in history. Things were hard in recent years, but they are much better now. We are getting there, together, and all this gives Joe Biden a very strong case for re-election

Let’s drill down on Biden’s economic record a bit: 

  • Best economic recovery from COVID in the G7, stock market breaking records, 401(k)s are happy
  • GDP grew by 4.1% over the past two quarters, and has been on average almost 3% in Biden’s Presidency, 3 times higher than Trump averaged per year
  • Lowest unemployment rate in peacetime economy since WWII, jobs more plentiful today than any time since the 1960s. 8 times as many Biden jobs in 36 months as last 3 GOP Presidents combined over 16 years. Overwhelming majority of Americans have never experienced a job market this robust and strong
  • All measures of consumer sentiment are improving, some sharply
  • Inflation has fallen, dramatically, and prices of many goods, including many food items, continue to fall. Inflation is lower here today than any G7 nation
  • Very elevated wage gainsnew business starts and prime-age worker participation rate. 1.3 job openings per unemployed person – an amazing stat
  • Lowest uninsured rate in history, ACA signups this past year highest ever
  • The annual deficit is trillions of dollars lower today than it was when Trump was in the White House
  • Median wealth up 37% from 2020-2022; median wealth for 18-34 year olds in this period more than doubled
  • The Biden Administration has erased more than $130b in student debt
  • Home ownership rates for Gen Z were above both Millennials and Gen X at this point in their lives 
  • Many cities and states have raised the minimum wage in recent years, creating a much higher income floor for young and low-wage workers
  • Domestic oil production set records in 2023, and we are setting records with renewable energy production too
  • Biden’s ambitious investment agenda will create growth, innovation, opportunities for American workers for decades to come, and is already dramatically accelerating our energy transition from carbon-based fuels

As this topic comes up a lot in our discussions, I want to focus a bit on homeownership rates for Gen Z. Here’s a recent report from Redfin: 

While the homeownership rate for adult Gen Zers has stagnated, a majority of them are still outpacing young people of the past.

The homeownership rates for 19-to-25-year-old Gen Zers are higher than the homeownership rates were for millennials and Gen Xers when they were the same age. For example, the rate for 24-year-old Gen Zers is 27.8%, compared with 24.5% for millennials when they were 24 and 23.5% of Gen Xers when they were 24.

This is likely because many Gen Z homeowners bought during the pandemic, when mortgage rates hit a record low. When many millennials were in their early twenties, many were struggling to find work due to the Great Recession, which made it harder to afford a home. And when Gen Xers were in their early twenties, they were grappling with some of the highest mortgage rates in history; for example, rates were around 11% in 1989, when the oldest Gen Xers were 24.

The bottom line on this data is that Democratic policies have repeatedly been able to make globalization work for the American people in this new and challenging age.  GOP policies have repeatedly failed to deliver, as a national party Republicans have repeatedly failed to do their part.  

It is a core belief here that the current radicalization of the GOP is intimately linked to its repeated failure to handle the challenges of the post-Cold War era.  The rigid ideological approach of the modern GOP has left it unable to govern in a time of rapid change; and those repeated failures have left many Republicans angry, reactionary and willing to do the unthinkable to stay in or regain power.  The modern GOP has no answers for many of the most important challenges America faces today, and rather than modernizing, and adapting, as all institutions must in a time of change, the GOP has decided to fight the future by trying to rig the system to remain in power while the country and its people drift from their narrow grasp. 

This argument – about the success Democrats have achieved through modernization, and the failures of the GOP for their refusal to do so – is at the very core of my most important presentation, With Democrats, Things Get Better.  You can learn more and watch this 30 minute presentation here

Finally, I believe our overarching message priority this year is to win the big economic argument with Trump and get into positive territory on the economy. I talk about why this is so important in a short take video. Given this strong track record going all the back to 1989 we shouldn’t be losing the economic debate to these guys. One of our most important info goals this year to work work together to establish this basic contrast: 

Dems = growth, lower deficits, progress for workers and families

Rs = recession, higher deficits, American decline

As I recently posted here, the conversation about the economy in the US remains very red wavy – it is full of false right-wing narratives that are distorting our understanding of what’s happening here in our own country. The bottom line is that our economy is historically strong. Joe Biden has been a very good President. The country is much better off today. And there is a great deal of data to suggest that Americans are not as down on the economy and Biden as conventional wisdom holds. 

I am proud of our country, our President and our Party. We need to be very loud in the coming months about all the good we’ve done. Our ability to win in November may very well depend on how successful we are in fighting this economic red wave and helping Americans come to a better understanding of how successful we’ve and America have been, together.

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