WASHINGTON — After weeks of defending his economic policies against critics who blame them for overheating the economy, President Joe Biden went on the offensive Thursday, arguing that rising wages are a sign his agenda is boosting the fortunes of working Americans.

“The bottom line is this: The Biden economic plan is working,” said the president in a speech at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio. “We’ve had record job creation, we’re seeing record economic growth, we’re creating a new paradigm. One that rewards work — the working people in this nation, not just those at the top.”

Republicans and business groups claim that the enhanced federal unemployment benefits in Biden’s American Rescue Plan, his signature domestic accomplishment, are to blame for a “labor shortage” that has forced corporations like McDonald’s and Bank of America to raise their minimum hourly wage. Some economists fear increasing wages could lead to…

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