Biden campaigns on the economy at his own peril

The 2024 campaign is heating up, and President Biden is campaigning on … the economy?

On the campaign trail, Mr. Biden has doubled down on “Bidenomics,” which he claims to be “restoring the American dream.” Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre is similarly championing the Biden economic platform, which is allegedly responsible for cutting inflation in half.

Was Bidenomics also responsible for the four-decade inflation high of 9.1% in June 2022? Or the 16.6% increase in inflation since Mr. Biden took office? I guess not.

While the liberal media paints the picture of a Biden-led economic resurgence, the cost of food is still up nearly 6% year-over-year. The price of baby food and formula is still up 7.5%. Fruit and vegetable costs are up almost 9%, and 11.5% for bread. The price of pet food, meanwhile, has jumped over 12%.

How about monthly rent? Up 8.3%.

It’s funny how numbers work. Going from one to two sounds totally different than “200%,” but it’s all a matter of framing.

On the one hand, Mr. Biden and his allies are right to realize that the 2024 election will come down to the economy. Electorally speaking, they are better off harping on the economy than affirmative action or gender identity, given that pocketbook issues affect us all.

But in their hubristic self-righteousness, Biden Democrats are misreading the room. Drawing more attention to Bidenomics is bound to backfire because it only draws attention to its unpopularity.

Doubling down on the Biden economy means doubling down on fear, frustration and utter disgust. At a time when nearly 70% of Americans fear a potential recession, it is hardly the time to champion recessionary economics.

If Bidenomics is so successful, then why do so many people hate it? I’m not the only one asking the question. Look no further than former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich’s latest lament, “Why aren’t Americans happier about the economy?”

Because when you strip away the Biden narrative, the numbers don’t lie: U.S. inflation is still above the Federal Reserve’s own target rate of 2%, signaling more interest rate increases in the months ahead. The national mortgage rate average currently exceeds 7% — up from 2.65% when Mr. Biden became president.

At the same time, wage growth isn’t keeping up with inflation, so people are less able to afford the cost of living, whether it means buying groceries or financing a home. People are losing money in Mr. Biden’s economy, and they know it.

Americans aren’t stupid. People can tell when their wallets feel lighter, and they are right to blame Mr. Biden for it.

After all, the president’s current approval rating is barely 40%, and even lower in battleground states.

Do you know what’s even lower? Mr. Biden’s economic approval rating. Only 1 in 3 U.S. adults approve of the president’s economic “leadership.”

People in states like Pennsylvania are struggling to pay for gas, electricity and other necessities, and even most Democrats aren’t sold on Bidenomics. For American voters, the economy remains the top concern in the 2024 election, despite the White House’s rosy tweets.

Yet Mr. Biden doubles down on a losing issue, all while sending tens of billions of dollars to Ukraine.

I still haven’t seen a White House tweet about the Ukraine war’s financial toll — not on Ukraine, but on American taxpayers.

Nor have I seen a tweet about the American dollar potentially losing its status as the global economy’s reserve currency. Nor is there a tweet about Saudi Arabia favoring the Chinese yuan over the petrodollar.

What I have seen is Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen bowing at the feet of the Chinese government — America’s chief economic rival.

What I see daily is the Biden administration treating China as an ally instead of an adversary, despite China’s own intentions to the contrary. Millions of other Americans see it too.

If President Biden campaigns on the economy, he does so at his own peril. There’s no worse bet in American politics than Bidenomics.