State of the Union: Biden Touts Economy as Republicans Point to America's Pocketbook Pain
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President Joe Biden spoke to Congress and the nation Tuesday night in his first State of the Union address since Republicans took control of the House.
The state of the U.S. economy was a prominent theme for Biden as he touted what he sees as a strong economy, claiming credit for a better-than-expected jobs report.
Citing the return to normalcy after the COVID shutdowns, Biden said, "Two years ago our economy was reeling. As I stand here tonight, we have created a record 12 million new jobs – more jobs created in two years than any president has ever created in four years."
"We're building an economy where no one is left behind. Jobs are coming back, pride is coming back because of the choices we made in the last two years. This is a blue-collar blueprint to rebuild America and make a real difference in your lives," Biden said.
The Biden administration's primary financial plan was to pump trillions of dollars in borrowed cash into the economy to stave off a financial disaster from COVID. Inflation then shot up to record levels unseen in four decades.
While the latest jobs report was positive, big tech companies recently laid off tens of thousands of employees, and economists are warning of recession while Republicans say middle-class Americans are feeling financially pinched.
With painfully high prices for food, gas, and home heating, many Americans aren't too happy with the state of the country. A Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that 4 out of every 10 Americans say they're worse off financially since Biden took office. And 62 percent of Americans say Biden's presidency has achieved "little or nothing" or "not very much."
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Before Republicans offered their official reply, former President Donald Trump issued his own rebuttal on the economy. He issued a statement saying, "Biden and the radical Democrats have wasted trillions of dollars and caused the worst inflation in half a century. Real wages are down 21 months in a row. Gas prices have soared and are now going up much higher than ever before and the typical American family is paying $2,200 in increased energy and food costs each year."
Then Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders spoke, offering a blistering Republican response to Biden's claims about the economy and the state of the country.
"In the radical left's America, Washington taxes you and lights your hard-earned money on fire, but you get crushed with high gas prices, empty grocery shelves, and our children are taught to hate one another on account of their race, but not to love one another or our great country," she said in pre-released remarks.
In the background, Biden's highest-profile speech of the year came during a special counsel investigation into his potential mishandling of classified documents. On top of that, there's Russia's war in Ukraine and growing tensions with China. And then there's the battle over raising the country's debt ceiling, which Republicans are using to try and rein in more big spending bills.
In the end, Biden called for unity in Washington saying, "Fighting for the sake of fighting, power for the sake of power, conflict for the sake of conflict, gets us nowhere. And that's always been my vision for the country: to restore the soul of the nation, to rebuild the backbone of America: the middle class, to unite the country."
Sanders wasn't buying Biden's claims of being a unity-builder saying, "The Biden administration seems more interested in woke fantasies than the hard reality Americans face every day. Most Americans simply want to live their lives in freedom and peace, but we are under attack in a left-wing culture war we didn't start and never wanted to fight."
It remains to be seen if the president or Congress will work together for the American people in the coming year.
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