'Hopefully it gets better': Economy a big concern ahead of Biden's State of the Union Address

Jamiese Price Image
Monday, February 6, 2023
Economy A Big Concern Ahead of Biden's State of the Union Address
Small business owners in Raleigh are facing concerns about the current state of the economy ahead of Biden's State of the Union Address.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Sami Lamir is like most North Carolinians. He's being hit hard by the rising costs of everyday items.

"Milk, eggs, bread everything has probably doubled. Kind of ridiculous," said Lamir.

He's also feeling it at work. Lamir is a small business owner and the cost of him doing business has also increased.

"I'm not taking home as much money after I pay sales tax, income tax, all the taxes that are associated with running a small business," he said. "I feel like I'm paying more for everything and I'm not sure if it's a direct reflection of the current administration, but things have definitely gotten more expensive."

Lamir is hoping for relief and so is contract worker Juan Garcia.

"I'm hoping better for the middle class obviously right now. I feel like we're not being helped at all right now, " said Garcia. "I hope that there is some type of economical plan to bring down to help against inflation."

It's a plan Garcia wants to be spelled out during President Joe Biden's second state of the union address on Tuesday night.

"President Biden's advisers, they're smart people, they're going to know, to some extent, what people are talking about and what they want to hear about. So, there will be some sort of message in there about the economy," said Mitch Kokai, Senior Political Analyst with the John Locke Foundation.

Kokai said President Biden will lean on the improvements that have been made under his administration. Inflation has eased, although still high and the current jobs report shows the unemployment rate is the lowest it's been since 1969.

"The key will be whether people hear this message and say, okay, it seems like the Biden administration is really tackling this, or if they say, just doesn't seem like they really get it," Kokai said.

A recent poll from ABC News and Washington Post shows 4 in 10 Americans say they've become worse off financially since Biden became President.

"People are definitely looking at President Biden and the Biden administration in this state, but they're not that thrilled with what he's doing. The State of the Union address gives him a chance to try to boost that rating. But it really has to have a message that resonates with people," Kokai said.

And what resonates with Lamir and Garcia is relief.

"Hopefully it gets better," said Garcia.