WSJ: The State of the Union Contradiction: If Biden is such a success, why aren’t Americans pleased?

President Biden devoted most of his State of the Union address on Tuesday night to celebrating what he says is a long list of legislative and economic achievements—spending on social programs and public works, subsidies for computer chips, even more subsidies for green energy, and a strong labor market. But if he’s done so much for America, why does most of America not seem to appreciate it?

That’s the contradiction stalking his Presidency as he enters his third year and plots a likely re-election campaign. The disconnect is clear enough in the polls. His job approval rating average has climbed to 44.2% in the RealClearPolitics average, which should be better with all of that supposed good news. Gallup has it at 41%. Mr. Biden’s RCP average job approval on the economy is 38%.

The latest Washington Post/ABC poll is even worse for the President. Some 41% of Americans say they’re worse off financially than when Mr. Biden became President, while only 16% say they’re better off. Most people—62%—say Mr. Biden has accomplished either not very much or little or nothing. That includes 22% of Democrats.

And here’s the really bad news for Mr. Biden. Some 58% of Democrats say they’d prefer a different party nominee for President in 2024, and he even loses a head to head matchup with former President Trump 48%-44%. . . .

The President’s biggest problem is that all of his legislative victories haven’t delivered the benefits he promised. The $1.9 trillion Covid bill in March 2021 added so much cash to the economy that it helped to trigger an historic inflation. The result is that most Americans haven’t had a raise in their income after inflation in two years. This takes a shine off the low unemployment rate every time people hit the grocery store. They can see that the nearly $500 billion in spending and tax subsidies in the Inflation Reduction Act in 2022 had nothing at all to do with reducing inflation.

Americans also observe a fraying social consensus that has them worried about the country. Crime may not be as high as it was in the 1990s, but it has risen sharply in big cities. The record migrant surge across the border would be less worrisome if Mr. Biden seemed to care about stopping it. The fentanyl scourge isn’t his fault, but its breadth betrays a troubling decay in values.

As for foreign policy, Americans can see that the world is becoming more dangerous and its rogues more brazen.

Americans aren’t pleased, because he’s not a success, all claims by the Biden Administration and the media — but I repeat myself — notwithstanding.