Washington Post: Biden’s imprint on economy emerges, although inflation threatens wins

August 20, 2022 Media

It’s been a big month for Bidenomics.

After a year marked by Democrats’ internal dysfunction, Congress has over the last few weeks suddenly delivered a raft of legislation that will help form the core of President Biden’s economic record before lawmakers face voters in the 2022 midterm elections.

Beyond the economic rescue package and bipartisan infrastructure law passed last year, Congress this month alone also approved a $280 billion measure to expand veterans health care, a $280 billion law to counter China’s economic rise, and the Inflation Reduction Act centered on addressing the climate crisis, lowering health-care costs and raising taxes on large corporations.

The recent wins, in particular, have sharpened the Biden administration’s imprint on the U.S. economy. His presidency combines some traditional features of Democratic policymaking — such as pursuing higher taxes and expanded access to health care — with a new focus on reviving domestic industry through targeted investment, supporting American labor, and cracking down on monopolistic firms through a heavier emphasis on antitrust enforcement.

“It’s a huge change from the Reagan consensus that carried through the Obama administration,” said Sarah Miller, executive director of the American Economic Liberties Project, a think tank that supports aggressive antitrust policy.