Home » Opinion | What Would the Economy Look Like Under a Second Biden Term?

Opinion | What Would the Economy Look Like Under a Second Biden Term?


President Biden is campaigning on four more years of yummy stew. A lot of voters are saying, “I like you, but I don’t like your stew.”

The performance of the U.S. economy should be a winning issue for Biden. I don’t know what the next half year holds in store, but as of now, unemployment is low and inflation, while still elevated, is way down from its 2021 peak. Economic growth is so strong that the Federal Reserve is putting off plans to lower interest rates.

Biden can’t credibly promise to turn things around — to make things much better in the coming term — because they’re already good by standard measures.

It’s just that many voters don’t see it that way. As I blogged on Monday, only 20 percent of likely voters in a survey by The New York Times and Siena College strongly approve of Biden’s handling of the economy as president, while 45 percent strongly approve of Donald Trump’s handling of the economy when he was president. Half rate current economic conditions as “poor.”

I asked people in the Biden White House and in Biden’s campaign as well as outside experts what Americans can expect on economic policy if he wins a second term. The short answer: more of the same. That’s encapsulated in the campaign’s slogan, “Finish the job.”

The biggest difference is that there most likely won’t be a pandemic to fight. The second-biggest difference is that the building blocks of Biden’s pro-worker industrial policy agenda are already in place. The emphasis in a second term would be on the executive branch carrying out that agenda while attempting to get federal budget deficits back under control.

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