“It’s about the paycheck”: Why the White House is cautiously optimistic about the economy heading into 2023
In a conversation with Supercreator, Jared Bernstein, one of President Biden’s top economic advisors, shares what gives him hope and keeps him up at night with the new year right around the corner.
👋🏾 Hi, hey, hello! Welcome back to Supercreator, your twice-weekly guide to the politicians, power brokers and policies shaping how online creators work and live in the new economy.
In today’s issue: A write-up of my conversation yesterday afternoon with Jared Bernstein, a member of President Joe Biden’s Council of Economic Advisers, about the economy heading into the new year, why it seems like the White House is so fixated on the price at the pump and what gives him hope and keeps him up at night with 2023 right around the corner.
But first, let’s set the stage ahead of the Georgia runoff election results, which will start rolling in this evening. The latest polls have Sen. Raphael Warnock with a slight lead over former football star and Trump acolyte Herschel Walker in a race that will decide if the Senate remains split 50-50 or if Democrats will have an extra seat to work with for the next two years.
Here’s why it matters: For starters, a Warnock win would shift the Senate Democratic Caucus to left and prevent Sens. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia from bending the party’s legislative agenda to their whims — although the incoming slim House Republican majority will block any landmark progressive bills from reaching President Biden’s desk. A 51-seat majority would also give Senate Democrats actual control of committees, which would enable them to review and confirm the president’s judicial nominees quicker and empower them to issue subpoenas for investigations and oversight.
A Walker defeat would also weaken Trump’s reputation as a political kingmaker even further. Several of the former president’s handpicked candidates won their primaries but were seen as too extreme and/or inexperienced to succeed in the general election. If Warnock hangs on, Walker would be the latest example of the limitations of Trump’s brand of grievance politics.
The early voting numbers seem to favor Warnock, with young voters and voters of color waiting for hours in long lines to cast their ballots. (Walker’s camp estimates their candidate will need to win 60 percent of the vote today to win the election.) But Warnock, who won his seat in a runoff election two years ago with Sen. Jon Ossoff to give Democrats their current majority, isn’t leaving anything to chance.
“There is still a path for Herschel Walker to win this race — he still could win,” Warnock said during a Monday campaign stop.
At his final pre-election rally in Atlanta, Warnock added: “We have work to do. I feel good [...] but don’t dance too much. Don’t spike the football until we get it into the end zone. We are going to win, but we must remain focused.”
Now, back to my conversation with Bernstein, one of the president’s top economic advisors.