ANBLEs are recognizing that Joe Biden’s spending is a unique opportunity due to years of insufficient investment.

ANBLEs are recognizing that Joe Biden's spending is a unique opportunity due to years of insufficient investment.

Bidenomics: Charting a New Era of Manufacturing and Modernization

electric vehicle battery belt

They say history repeats itself, and it seems President Joe Biden is taking a page out of the history books as he attempts to revolutionize the United States’ domestic manufacturing sector. His ambitious plan, aptly coined as “Bidenomics” by the White House, aims to propel the nation into the 21st century, ensuring its competitiveness and prosperity in a rapidly changing world.

These efforts are encapsulated in three major bills that were approved in the previous Congress but are also intended to serve as Biden’s roadmap for reelection. However, the debate around these bills has become a battleground, with Republicans criticizing what they perceive as excessive federal spending. The clash between these two opposing views will likely shape the outcome of the 2024 presidential race and determine control of Congress.

On the ground, the implementation of Bidenomics is a mixed bag of promises and challenges. It represents a new world of opportunity, as industries across the country are investing millions of dollars to upgrade their facilities and transform their operations. Similar in magnitude to the development of the federal highway system in the 1950s or the space race to the moon in the 1960s, Bidenomics is a once-in-a-generation endeavor.

As we approach the end of its inaugural year, Bidenomics is still a work in progress. The Inflation Reduction Act, the Chips and Science Act, and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act are coming to fruition against a backdrop of economic upheaval and persistent inflation stemming from the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Years of underinvestment have left the country with a significant gap to fill.

For Democrats, these three bills represent their calling card to voters ahead of the 2024 election, showcasing tangible results from Biden’s vision and leadership. On the other hand, Republicans, many of whom voted against the bills, deride Bidenomics as an example of excessive government interference and overreach.

Nevertheless, both supporters and critics acknowledge that the investments made under Bidenomics are contributing to ongoing inflation and increasing demand and price pressures, putting upward pressure on interest rates and potentially tightening lending conditions. The contrast between Bidenomics and what former President Donald Trump refers to as his own “boom” years in the White House highlights the sharp ideological divisions that have come to define American politics.

When we look at the map being produced by the government and outside groups, the scope of public and private investment becomes increasingly clear. The legislation, fueled by direct funding and lucrative federal tax breaks, has attracted substantial outside investment. The White House claims that these policies have already generated over $500 billion in private investment announcements, with much of it flowing to Republican-held congressional districts where land is cheap, and labor unions have less influence. Even Republican lawmakers who initially opposed the bills are now seeking credit for the resulting investments.

The CHIPS bill, in particular, has spurred over $200 billion in domestic semiconductor manufacturing, a critical industry for technological advancement. Additionally, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act’s centerpiece, a $400 billion federal investment to curb climate change, has led to the establishment of solar, electric vehicle, and battery manufacturing facilities, predominantly in the Southeast region where Republicans dominate. The bill also empowers counties and local governments to tap into federal green energy production tax credits, allowing them to develop their own projects.

This transformation is leading to new opportunities for counties to innovate and take the lead in green energy initiatives. Biden himself encourages Americans to witness the progress firsthand, urging everyone to visit Invest.gov and discover the projects being delivered across the nation.

Bidenomics bears the imprint of the President’s initial “Build Back Better” agenda, which began as an industrial policy but later expanded to encompass a broader package of social programs. However, Congress surprised skeptics by successfully delivering the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which not only addressed roads and bridges but also financed public works projects across the country.

For instance, the bill allocated funds to upgrade drinking water systems, combatting the persistent issue of lead pipes affecting millions of Americans. It also allocated $42 billion for broadband expansion, aiming to connect approximately 8 million households to the internet, including 271,000 locations in West Virginia. Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito fought to ensure connectivity in her home state.

While the CHIPS bill also garnered bipartisan support, the Inflation Reduction Act faced staunch opposition from Republicans. Yet, it passed through the efforts of Democrats alone. GOP-led efforts to dismantle the IRA law have been largely unsuccessful, as its effects become increasingly evident within the communities it supports.

Republican lawmakers in the Midwest, such as Governor Kim Reynolds of Iowa, have fought to preserve tax breaks benefiting ethanol producers in their home states. Biden has been quick to highlight the dissonance between these lawmakers’ opposition to his policies and the positive impact in their own districts. He visited the district represented by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, which is home to a solar plant expansion, and called out Rep. Lauren Boebert’s district, where a wind turbine blade manufacturing plant is located.

While Bidenomics may contribute to inflation and other economic challenges, experts argue that it is rapidly stimulating private industry investment. Jason Furman, a former Obama official and now a professor at Harvard, described these bills as a catalyst for a significant surge in activity, exceeding expectations and reshaping the economic landscape. He believes that Bidenomics is the most substantial development in the last half-century.

As Bidenomics takes shape, the nation stands at a critical juncture. The success or failure of these initiatives will not only define Biden’s presidency but also shape the future of American manufacturing and competitiveness. The battle between supporters and detractors will continue to unfold, ultimately determining the course of the 2024 election and the nation’s trajectory for years to come.

So, explore the interactive map on Invest.gov, witness the remarkable projects underway, and join the conversation on the future of American manufacturing and Bidenomics.