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‘Bidenomics’: Americans Who Are Living Below Poverty Level Skyrocketing

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


President Joe Biden’s approval rating for a basket of issues is underwater, but he routinely gets the worst marks for the state of the economy during his term.

While he and the White House tout “Bidenomics” — a basket of economic policies the president has pursued — as a resounding success, the hard data says otherwise.

Real wages have declined during President Joe Biden’s term, leading to a dramatic increase in the number of Americans living below the poverty line, according to a new U.S. Census Bureau report.

The report, released last week, found that in 2022, the number of Americans living under the poverty level had risen to 12.4 percent, up from 7.8 percent in 2021.

Democrats controlled both chambers of Congress and the White House during Biden’s first two years in office, passing astronomical spending bills that many economists correctly predicted would lead to massive inflationary increases that continue to this day. Meanwhile, the administration has touted Bidenomics as a success as he heads into reelection mode.

The New York Post, citing the report, added: “You aren’t just imagining it: Your paycheck didn’t go as far last year as it did the year before — or the year before that. Inflation surges outpaced the average pay raises of US workers in 2022 — the third consecutive year under President Joe Biden in which Americans have seen their standard of living take a tumble, according to fresh data from the US Census Bureau. Inflation-adjusted median household income fell to $74,580 in 2022 — a 2.3% decline from the 2021 average of $76,330, the federal agency reported on Tuesday.”

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The rise in costs and the drop in real income under Biden and Democratic leadership has caused tens of millions of Americans to cut back on expenses, buy cheaper items, and even borrow money from family to pay for monthly expenses.

As gas prices begin to rise again and food prices have remained high, credit card debt in the U.S. has also swollen “by $45 billion from Q1 2023 to Q2 2023,” according to Bankrate.com in August.

The report said that “consumer credit card debt has risen to an all-time high of $1.03 trillion,” as “the number of credit card accounts also grew by 5.48 million.”

“Balances are up 34 percent from the pandemic low of $770 billion in Q1 2021,” Ted Rossman, Senior Industry Analyst at Bankrate, said. “Bankrate recently found that 47 percent of credit cardholders carry debt from month to month, up from 39 percent in 2021. Even more troubling is the fact that 60 percent of Americans with credit card debt have had it for at least a year, up 10 percentage points from two years ago.”

“My top tip for paying down credit card debt is to sign up for a 0% balance transfer credit card,” Rossman said.

Also, according to a LendingClub report published last week, some 60 percent of Americans are now living paycheck-to-paycheck as the holiday shopping season approaches, as inflation and gas prices both remain higher than they were when Biden took office.

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In addition, the report found that 4 in 10 consumers now consider themselves worse off than they were in 2022, CNBC reported, citing LendingClub’s data.

The report was compiled in October, just a month before the holiday shopping season kicked in.

“This year, holiday spending during the Thanksgiving week may hit a record as consumers try to maximize the weekend’s deals, according to a 2023 Deloitte Black Friday-Cyber Monday survey. Spending over the week is expected to jump 13% from last year, with shoppers shelling out $567 on average, Deloitte found,” CNBC reported.

According to a separate TD Bank survey, credit card debt has again topped $1 trillion, while “almost all — or 96% — of shoppers said they expect to overspend this season,” CNBC reported.

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The outlet added:

Half of consumers plan to take on more debt to pay for holiday expenses, another report by Ally Bank found. Only 23% have a plan to pay it off within one to two months.

Some 74% of Americans say they are stressed about finances, according to a separate CNBC Your Money Financial Confidence Survey conducted in August. Inflation, rising interest rates, and a lack of savings contribute to those feelings.

That CNBC survey found that 61% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, up from 58% in March.

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