WASHINGTON − President Joe Biden went on offense Thursday attacking Republicans as lingering concerns about rising costs suggest he’s losing his argument on the economy.
During his speech in Largo, Maryland, Biden accused his predecessor, Donald Trump, and Republicans of wanting to cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans and corporations, gut Social Security and Medicare and end cost-saving measures for the middle class. Dubbing it, “MAGAnomics,” Biden warned, Republicans’ economic plan “is more extreme than anything America has ever seen before.”
Absent from Biden’s address were any mention of rising grocery bills and housing costs as the country struggles through heightened inflation. This week, the Labor Department’s consumer price index revealed goods rose more than anticipated for the second month in a row.
Biden’s push to change the narrative of a struggling economy comes as more Americans trust Trump on the economy than Biden by a 46%-37% margin, according to a new poll this week from USA TODAY and the Suffolk University Sawyer Business School.
In other troubling signs for Biden before the 2024 election, the poll found 70% of Americans believe the economy is getting worse, while only 22% said it is getting better, and only 34% of Americans approve of Biden’s handling of the economy, compared to 59% who disapprove.
“The country should know the facts,” Biden said at Prince Georgie’s County Community College. “They should know the choice between Bidenomics and MAGAnomics.”
A disconnect between economic metrics and Americans’ anxieties
The findings point to a disconnect between the economic concerns of Americans, who cite food and grocery prices at the top of their financial challenges, and positive economic metrics touted by the White House.
The White House has struggled to get credit for an unemployment rate that’s near a 50-year-low, a robust job market, including 13.5 million jobs added under the Biden presidency, and annual inflation that, according to the Consumer Price Index, is down to 3.7% from a 40-year high of 9.1% in June 2022.
“We’ve climbed out of our great economic crisis. It’s beginning to work for working people,” Biden said.
The president’s speech came as the nation’s auto workers are threatening to walk off the job at midnight Thursday, which could further complicate the country’s economic outlook. Hours prior, his son, Hunter Biden, was indicted on federal gun charges. Earlier this week, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy opened an impeachment inquiry into Biden over his son’s foreign business dealings. The president mentioned neither.
Biden railed against Republicans for supporting a “failed plan of trickle-down economics,” trying to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act, which allows Medicare to negotiate lower drug prescription costs, and wanting to slash government spending so dramatically that it would reduce research for cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease by $4 billion.
“Their plan, MAGAnomics, is more extreme than anything America has ever seen before,” Biden said.
Biden also slammed Republicans for eliminating his plan to cancel student loan debt and opposition to extending child tax credits for families that helped reduce child poverty during the pandemic.
Biden contrasts ‘Bidenomics’ with ‘MAGAnomics’
He compared Republican policies to “Bidenomics,” originally used by Republicans to attack rising inflation.
Biden has touted “Bidenomics” to frame an economic agenda centered on the middle class, highlighting efforts to expand domestic manufacturing, push through historic infrastructure spending and work with Democrats in Congress to cap the price of insulin and lower drug prices through Medicare.
“What’s Bidenomics? It’s about investing in America and investing in Americans,” Biden said.
Biden’s “MAGAnomics” descriptor is an extension of “MAGA Republicans,” which Biden started using last year to paint Republicans as increasingly extreme and tied to the Make American Great Again movement of Trump.
Ahead of Biden’s speech, the White House distributed a pamphlet with the label “MAGAnomics” highlighted by the faces of three hardline Republicans: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., and Matt Gaetz, R-Fla.
“You hear from our friends from the other side, the MAGA Republicans: What’s wrong with America? Everything’s wrong with America. They keep telling us America’s failing,” Biden said. “Well, they’re wrong. They’re failing. America is not failing. America’s winning.”
Reach Joey Garrison on Twitter @joeygarrison.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Joe Biden in new speech attacks Trump, ‘MAGAnomics’