Op-EdAppeared in The Messenger on July 25, 2023By Alfredo Ortiz

Bidenomics Risks Destroying the American Dream

“Bidenomics is just another way of saying ‘Restore the American Dream.’” So claimed President Biden in a July 20 speech in Philadelphia.

The opposite is true. Biden’s reckless spending, anti-energy regulations, and proposed tax hikes threaten the American Dream for small businesses and ordinary Americans.

“Bidenomics” is just the latest euphemism for the same old tax-spend-and-regulate policies that reduce entrepreneurship and grind the economy to a halt. It follows “bottom-up” and “middle-out” economics as phrases that try to shine big government action.

Biden bragged in his speech that average wages are rising faster than inflation. Fact check: Over the course of his presidency, inflation has increased by 16%, far faster than average wages. As a result, Americans’ real incomes and living standards have fallen under his presidency. Prices of some items such as food have risen even faster.

This inflation is a direct result of Biden’s reckless spending, which bid up prices and diluted the currency already in existence. Countless small businesses have had to shut their doors because they couldn’t make it in this inflationary environment.

Saga Pastry and Sandwich in Las Vegas was forced to close last year because of what owner Gert Kvalsund described as “skyrocketing” prices. The Scandinavian eatery couldn’t pass these increased costs on to its consumers. “When it comes to prices, there’s only so much that people will pay for a sandwich and a waffle,” said Kvalsund.

In his speech, Biden bragged that his reckless spending will create green energy jobs — specifically, building overpriced offshore wind turbines. Taxpayer dollars are literally being dumped at sea on projects that are little more than bridges to nowhere. This state control of the economy — picking winners and losers — is the defining characteristic of Bidenomics.

Meanwhile, Biden has strangled traditional energy production that can lower electricity and gas costs for small businesses and households, stimulating the economy. Starting on Day One with the killing of the Keystone XL pipeline, the Biden administration has waged war on traditional energy. “It also has proposed or finalized regulations,” explains Heritage Foundation energy analyst Katie Tubb, “that restrict nearly every aspect of the oil industry: financing and private-sector investment, exploration and production, pipeline construction and operation, and consumer use.”

Biden never misses an opportunity to call on small businesses and successful Americans to pay more taxes. “Everybody should pay their fair share,” he said (again) in his speech. But the top 5% of earners already pay 63% of income taxes — far more than their fair share.

In contrast to Bidenomics, most Americans believe money should stay on Main Streets and in communities, where it can be put to productive use, rather than being expropriated to Washington to be wasted. This dynamic following the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 ushered in historic shared economic prosperity, especially for those with lower incomes.

Biden straw mans this approach as “trickle-down” economics, but it’s just basic logic that people, small businesses and communities know how to spend their money better than the federal government.

It’s true that inflation is finally moderating due to the Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate hikes. But small businesses now face a credit desert as a result. Almost no small businesses can access credit, and when they can, it is far more expensive.

As Laura Lacy, who owns Attic Brewing in Philadelphia, explains: “Everybody I’m talking to who needs a loan right now isn’t able to get one.” According to the Job Creators Network Foundation’s latest SBIQ poll of small businesses, nearly two-thirds are concerned that rising rates threaten their access to credit, preventing their ability to survive and thrive.

American small businesses face one economic crisis followed by the next. And rising interest rates in response to reckless spending may still tip the economy into an American Dream-destroying recession. This is the real legacy of Bidenomics.

Alfredo Ortiz is president and CEO of Job Creators Network, author of “The Real Race Revolutionaries,” and co-host of the “Main Street Matters” podcast.