President leans into ‘Bidenomics’ with visit to Milwaukee wind turbine factory

President Joe Biden flew into Milwaukee Tuesday and addressed cheering union workers at a wind turbine manufacturer to mark the one-year anniversary of legislation to boost renewable energy and address climate change.

In a 40-minute stemwinder of a speech the president went far beyond promoting the Inflation Reduction Act that he signed a year ago and leaned into the “Bidenomics” nickname for his administration’s economic policy. 

“I came to office determined to move away from the trickle-down economics and [to] focus on the middle class,” Biden said. “When the middle class does well, everybody does well. Everybody does well.”

He added later: “Bidenomics is about growing an economy by strengthening the middle class.” 

Biden took note of the job growth nationally and in Wisconsin since he was sworn into office two and a half years ago and highlighted the drop in inflation, recently reported to be close to 3%. 

He poked fun at economists who, when prices were skyrocketing over the last two years, prescribed higher interest rates to drive up unemployment and drive down wages as the cure for the record inflation.

“I never thought the problem was too many people working or working people making too much money,” Biden said, observing that the inflation rate has fallen without increased joblessness or falling wages.

Biden spoke on the factory floor at Ingeteam, which manufactures wind turbine equipment and is expanding into making electric vehicle chargers. And he praised the International Brotherhood of Electrical workers, the union representing Ingeteam’s workforce.

“This company predicts that demand for the wind turbine generators, which they’re making right here in this facility, will double next year,” Biden said. 

Private investment has poured $3 billion into wind energy manufacturers since he took office, Biden said. “And by the way [wind power is] cheaper than fossil fuels.”

He also highlighted another measure that he signed in late 2021, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which included $7.5 billion in federal investment to build a network of electric vehicle charging stations across the country. 

“This company concluded that it was an opportunity for them as well,” Biden said. “And now they’re making fast-charging EV chargers here in America, right here in Wisconsin.”

Besides the Inflation Reduction Act and the infrastructure law, Biden name-checked the CHIPS and Science Act, bipartisan legislation to boost domestic manufacturing in the microprocessor industry. In the process, he repeatedly circled back to mock U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) — although naming him only infrequently — for voting against all of the measures Biden touted.

The president also pointed to his administration’s agriculture policies that he said would expand support for more and smaller meat processors in Wisconsin and grants to Wisconsin farmers to help them embrace more sustainable practices.

On his visit, Biden was greeted at Mitchell International Airport by Gov. Tony Evers, U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Milwaukee), Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson and Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley.  The four joined the motorcade taking Biden to Ingeteam’s factory, where the president and his party began their visit with a tour of the plant and were joined by Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Attorney General Josh Kaul.

The Blue-Green Alliance, an advocacy group that promotes common ground between environmental and union activists, praised Biden’s visit, one of several events this week to promote the Inflation Reduction Act’s anniversary. 

“President Biden’s visit to Ingeteam today shows that he knows what we’ve known for ages, Wisconsin can, and should, be a manufacturing powerhouse in the clean economy,” said Carly Ebben Eaton, the alliance’s Wisconsin policy organizer. “Investments like those being made at Ingeteam will create good-paying, union jobs in the communities that need them most — like low-income communities and communities of color. They will also give workers a viable path to the middle class that has been cut off for too long.”

On Wednesday, US. Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Town of Vermont), Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway and Dane County Executive Joe Parisi have scheduled a morning event in front of the state Capitol with Faith in Place, Healthy Climate Wisconsin, the National Wildlife Federation and other climate advocates to mark the act’s first anniversary.

The Democratic Party has also planned events in a half-dozen states, including Wisconsin, on Wednesday.



originally published at https%3A%2F%2Fwisconsinexaminer.com%2F2023%2F08%2F16%2Fpresident-leans-into-bidenomics-with-visit-to-milwaukee-wind-turbine-factory%2F by Erik Gunn

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