In State of the Union, Biden Will Cheer the Economy and Draw a Contrast With Trump

President Biden enters his State of the Union speech on Thursday with an economic record that has defied forecasters’ gloomy expectations, avoiding recession while delivering stronger growth and lower unemployment than predicted.

But polls suggest voters know relatively little about the legislation Mr. Biden has signed into law that seeks to boost the economy through spending and tax breaks for infrastructure, clean energy, semiconductors and more.

They remain frustrated over high prices, particularly for groceries and housing, even though the rapid inflation that defined Mr. Biden’s early years in office has cooled. Mr. Biden consistently trails his predecessor and likely November opponent, former President Donald J. Trump, on economic issues.

His speech on Thursday will try to make the case for the success of “Bidenomics.” Mr. Biden will begin to hint at what his agenda might bring in a second term, including efforts to increase corporate taxes and to reduce the cost of housing, one of the most tangible examples of what Mr. Biden calls his attempts to build an economy that prioritizes workers and the middle class.

Mr. Biden’s State of the Union speech will “discuss the historic achievements he’s delivered for the American people and lay out his vision for the future,” Lael Brainard, who heads the president’s National Economic Council, told reporters ahead of the speech. She stressed recent wage gains, low unemployment and new factory construction that she said were linked to Mr. Biden’s agenda.

Ms. Brainard and other administration officials said the president would try to draw sharp contrasts with Mr. Trump on economic issues during his annual speech, including on tax policy and reducing consumer costs. Mr. Biden’s aim is to cast Mr. Trump and his Republican Party as allies of the wealthy and large corporations instead of Americans who are struggling with rising costs.

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