Biden planning to tout economic agenda in State of the Union


President Biden will deliver his third State of the Union address on Thursday night as he attempts to convince the American public he deserves another four years in office.

The high-profile speech comes amid growing discontent among many households about the state of the U.S. economy and the persistent pain of high inflation.  

Still, the president plans to use his address to the nation to assuage those concerns by touting some of the positive economic outcomes realized over the past year. He will also lay out the work ahead still required to improve life for everyday Americans, a White House official told FOX Business.

Biden will touch on lowering costs and giving people more “breathing room” as his administration turns their attention to so-called “shrinkflation” – when companies reduce the package size and portions of their foods while also raising the price or holding it steady. The White House launched a new task force this week that is intended to take on “unfair and illegal” corporate pricing, which Biden has blamed for the frustratingly high price of groceries. 


“As an ice cream lover, what makes me the most angry is that ice cream cartons have shrunk in size, but not in price,” Biden said during an ad about shrinkflation that ran during the Super Bowl in mid-February. “It’s a ripoff.”


The White House lauded a mostly steady yearlong decline in inflation, but most economists agree it is due to the Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate hike campaign and the resolution of supply chain disruptions, not the president’s economic agenda.

While inflation has fallen considerably from a peak of 9.1% notched during June 2022, it remains well above the Fed’s 2% goal. When compared with January 2021, shortly before the inflation crisis began, prices are up a stunning 17.97%. 

US inflation

Food has been one of the most acute inflation pain points for Americans. More than two-thirds of voters say that inflation has hit them the hardest through higher food prices, according to a survey published by Yahoo Finance/Ipsos in November 2023. That is more than 50 percentage points higher than any other category, including gasoline, transportation costs and housing expenses. 

Stubbornly high grocery prices are weighing on voters across the country and calling into question Biden’s claim that the economy is booming. 

Consumers hoping for immediate relief may be disappointed. 


Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said during an interview with “60 Minutes” that aired at the beginning of February that high prices could be here to stay unless there is a severe recession.

“The prices of some things will decline. Others will go up. But we don’t expect to see a decline in the overall price level. That doesn’t tend to happen in economies, except in very negative circumstances,” Powell said. “If you think about the basic necessities, things like bread and milk and eggs and meats of various kinds, if you look back, prices are substantially higher than they were before the pandemic.”

US Capitol in Washington, DC

In addition to discussing lowering prices, Biden will also talk about reducing health care premiums and taking on drug companies to lower the cost of prescription drugs during his speech, the White House official said. 

The Inflation Reduction Act that Biden signed into law in 2022 allowed Medicare for the first time to negotiate the price of 20 drugs used by many Americans with diabetes, arthritis and heart disease. 

A fact sheet released Wednesday by the White House shows that Biden plans to outline several new health-care policy ideas during his address, including allowing Medicare to negotiate prices for at least 50 prescription drugs instead of 20. 

“Medicare should not be limited to negotiating just 20 drugs per year. Instead, the President is proposing that Medicare be able to negotiate prices for the major drugs that seniors rely on, like those used for treating heart disease, cancer, and diabetes,” the fact sheet read.

Biden will also push for higher taxes for wealthy Americans and corporations on Thursday night, part of what the White House official said is Biden’s plan to put the middle class first.

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