When President Joe Biden this week gave credence to Republicans’ argument that America needs government spending cuts, he channeled the real-but-forgotten Joe Biden — the one that was memory-holed during the 2020 presidential campaign.

During a speech in New York on Wednesday, Biden laudably slammed GOP leaders for demanding draconian spending cuts in exchange for passage of routine legislation to prevent the government from defaulting on its outstanding debts. But then he also declared that such austerity must be a long-term priority.

“We should be cutting spending and lowering the deficit,” said Biden, less than two years after the government cut millions of Americans off pandemic aid.

Though Biden has rightly pressured Republicans to stop using the debt ceiling as leverage in budget talks, this brief but significant line raises the possibility of the White House capitulating to at least some GOP demands for crushing spending cuts.

On Thursday, Reuters further reported: “White House officials acknowledge that they must accept some spending cuts or strict caps on future spending if they are to strike a deal, two sources said.”

This posture no doubt thrills the Wall Street donors Biden is now courting, though it may surprise rank-and-file Democratic voters. It shouldn’t.

Though Biden was repackaged and sold to voters as a 21st century FDR, Clinton-style austerity has been his brand for most of his 40 years in public life.