US Economy Struggles as Recession Looms: Impact on Politics and Elections
The US economy is showing signs of struggling, with GDP growing at an anemic rate of 1.1% in the first quarter of 2023. This slow growth, coupled with concerns about inflation and the threat of recession, has led some economists to predict that a recession may be on the way. Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers tweeted that there is a 70% chance a recession will begin in the US this year.
Exit poll data from the recent elections also highlighted concerns about the economy. Only 2% of respondents rated the economy as “excellent,” while 38% said it was “poor.” Of those who rated the economy as “good,” 89% voted for Democrats, while 88% of those who rated it as “poor” voted for Republicans. However, a significant majority of the group who rated the economy as “not so good” voted for Democrats, which made the difference in some Democratic victories.
The economic conditions could also make the Republican campaign case more important and easier to make. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former head of the Congressional Budget Office, expressed concern about both inflation and the possibility of recession. He is worried about getting through this year without a recession and sees the second half as very rough.
The slowing economy puts the greatest political burden on President Biden, as Republicans charge that he bears some personal responsibility for the slowing economy. His policies, mainly stratospheric government spending, have made the recession more likely, and he could be campaigning for reelection during a recession he helped cause.
Despite these concerns, President Biden spoke to reporters at the top of a meeting with his “Investing in America Cabinet” in the Roosevelt Room of the White House to extoll the new jobs report and accuse Republicans of threatening to destroy progress in the economy by refusing to pass a clean debt limit increase. As the US economy continues to struggle, it remains to be seen how this will affect future elections and the overall political climate.
0. “Byron York: GOP must convince voters they can handle economy” Daily Reflector, 6 May. 2023, https://www.reflector.com/opinion/editorial_columnists/byron-york-gop-must-convince-voters-they-can-handle-economy/article_1df943b3-d4ad-58a7-a06b-ecd5ec8e138e.html
1. “JUST IN: Biden Takes Victory Lap on Jobs Report — Torches Trump and ‘MAGA Republicans’ Over Debt” Mediaite, 5 May. 2023, https://www.mediaite.com/politics/just-in-biden-takes-victory-lap-on-jobs-report-torches-trump-and-maga-republicans-over-debt/