Biden’s happy talk on economy in State of the Union shows he’s out of touch with Americans | Opinion

Jacquelyn Martin/AP

President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address Tuesday night was a bizarre combination of pie-in-the-sky positivity, pumping up typical Democrat policies, and misleading narratives.

Biden’s full-throated defense of the economy, while Americans worry about making ends meet, showed just how out of touch he really is with the rest of America. An NBC News poll says 71% of Americans think this country is headed in the wrong direction. His approval rating is only at 41% just, a couple points higher than the lowest it’s ever been. But according to this speech, everything is going great.

Biden began his speech saying he describes the country to foreign dignitaries as a land of “possibility.” He said the proof of that exists in his achievements in the last year, including a massive increase in jobs, a low unemployment rate and a decline in inflation and gas prices. Some of this might be true, but it’s not exactly due to Biden’s policies. This is misleading.

Job increases and a low unemployment rate are largely due to the country reopening and remaining open and an ongoing recovery from COVID. The unemployment rate is just about where it was in 2019, before the pandemic.

Is the U.S. doing better economically than it was during COVID? Yes. Has it improved massively since COVID started winding down? No.

Biden’s speech showed just how out of touch he is with Americans who say, in poll after poll, that they are worried about money, first and foremost. To that end, inflation is still at a nearly 40-year high, mortgage rates are at a 20-year high, the number of Americans saving money has declined to a historic low and spending via credit has increased. Does that sound like Biden’s America is humming along?

Biden wasn’t all smiles. He parroted a common Democratic narrative, condemning America’s tax system as “unfair.” He rambled about how America’s richest don’t pay their fair share of taxes, which is misleading. While occasional billionaires may find tax loopholes, the middle and upper classes pay plenty of taxes — and the vast majority of income taxes.

He also offered words of sympathy for the parents of Tyre Nichols, the black man police officers killed in January. The somber tone immediately switched to a litany of typical Democrat positions: banning assault rifles, immigration, and “restoring the right of Roe v. Wade.”

This is not to say that Biden, or any president for that matter, shouldn’t applaud what’s going right — America is clearly, steadily recovering from COVID — but it’s hard to see how tonight’s speech does Biden much good or provides Americans with much clarity. It was basically a litany of demands and ideas, misleading anecdotes, blurring reality and obscuring the things Americans care about most.