By the numbers, the trio of spending bills, which President Joe Biden refers to as Bidenomics has had a dramatic impact on the nation’s economy.

Annual spending on manufacturing construction, a number which seldom approached $80 billion over the past couple of decades, hit $189 billion in April. The economy has grown by more than 13 million jobs, including 800,000 manufacturing jobs. New business creation is up sharply, nowhere more so than in Georgia, which, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered the top six and 14 of the top 25 counties in the country for new business establishments in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Not all of this post-pandemic spurt can be attributed to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Inflation Reduction Act and the CHIPS and Science Act. But together, these measures are pumping well over a trillion dollars into the economy and attracting hundreds of billions in private investments around the initiatives it has launched.

By the words that have been spent on the subject, the impact of these bills on Biden’s re-election hasn’t been that great. Polls indicate voters are still sour on the economy and doubtful of Biden’s leadership, even if his infrastructure program is the most ambitious since the launch of the federal highway system in the 1950s.

The economy is a huge factor in politics, but it takes its time to come into focus. So, the handwringing among Democrats over Biden not getting enough credit for a strong economy could be premature.

One reason all this new spending hasn’t had much political resonance nationwide may have to do with where the money’s being spent.

An Axios analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that Texas has gained the largest number of these new manufacturing jobs, followed by California, Florida, Ohio and Georgia. This means that in four of the five states, California being the exception, Biden has a Republican governor arm-wrestling him for the credit at every plant opening.

The Mountain West — Nevada, Montana and Wyoming — has seen the largest percentage gain in new industrial jobs. That’s three more Republican governors. Biden jokes about Republicans taking credit for projects they voted against, but that’s because so much of this spending is taking place in Republican territory.

A generous share of the $550 billion in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is being poured into the development of a new transportation system that accommodates electric vehicles. Georgia is betting its industrial future on the success of that project.

By Election Day next year, there will have been plenty of disputes over who deserves the most credit — or blame — for all the new spending these bills have unleashed. What matters more is whether the cumulative effect of all these battery plants, bridge replacements, broadband expansions, fire engines, and airport modernizations is going to be recognized by that time.

That’s a lot of different things for voters to get their heads around. In some form or fashion, Biden has to capture the spirit, if not the language, of that famous hot mike moment when, as vice president, he told Barack Obama that the passage of the Affordable Care Act was “a big f—-ing deal.”

The economy Biden wants to be able to boast of next year has more immediate challenges, including the effects of a possible government shutdown. Pointless dueling over debt limits has become so customary that the upcoming face-off has raised few alarms, but it poses a potential threat.

Much more serious, for Biden as well as former President Donald Trump, is what could be settling into a long United Auto Workers strike.

As you would expect for a Democrat, Biden has expressed support for the UAW. UAW president Shawn Fain said the White House would play no role in its negotiations with the Big Three automakers. Inevitably, however, what happens in this strike will affect the administration’s plans for an electrified transportation network.

Trump has courted auto workers, much as he has coal miners, with the message that Biden’s electric cars will cost them their jobs. But he has been sharply critical of Fain, saying union members are being “sold down the river.” Biden’s understated support and Trump’s outspoken opposition could make the strike the first real issue of a long campaign.

Tom Baxter has written about politics and the South for more than four decades. He was national editor and chief political correspondent at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and later edited The Southern...

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