In a rare interview that aired Tuesday, President Joe Biden downplayed the prospects of an economic downturn, predicting it will be “slight,” if it happens at all.
There’s nothing “slight” about what many Americans are already experiencing.
Biden, speaking to CNN’s Jake Tapper, said he doesn’t think a recession will occur, but if it does, “it will be a very slight recession.”
Biden’s optimism stands in stark contrast to the American public’s view of the economy.
- In July, 71% of Americans told Bank of America their wages have not kept pace with inflation.
- That same month, 62% said they were worried they wouldn’t be able to pay for housing in the next year, according to a survey conducted by Freddie Mac.
- 31% of Americans revealed they have skipped meals or cut back on portions in the past year because they didn’t have enough food, and 18% said they are not getting enough to eat, per a report released by consumer intelligence firm Dunnhumby last week.
CEOs and economists disagree with Biden’s assessment of the likelihood and severity of an economic downturn.
- 91% of 400 C-suite executives surveyed by KPMG in September predicted there will be a recession in the next 12 months, with just one third of the respondents forecasting a “short and mild” downturn.
- Economists surveyed by Bankrate in September on average forecasted a 65% chance of economic contraction in the next 12-18 months, double the 1-in-3 odds they gave six months before.
Some Democratic strategists and leaders are starting to worry the White House is neglecting the bread and butter issues that matter most to Americans.
- In an op-ed published Monday by The Guardian, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., a political independent who caucuses with the Democrats, warned that, “as we enter the final weeks of the 2022 midterm elections, I am alarmed to hear the advice that many Democratic candidates are getting from establishment consultants and directors of well-funded Super Pacs that the closing argument of Democrats should focus only on abortion.”
- “I believe that if Democrats do not fight back on economic issues and present a strong pro-worker agenda, they could well be in the minority in both the House and the Senate next year,” Sanders said.
- Veteran Democratic strategist James Carville echoed Sanders in recent comments to the Associated Press: “If you just sit there and they’re pummeling you on crime and pummeling you on the cost of living, you’ve got to be more aggressive than just yelling abortion every other word.”