During a Tuesday speech, President Biden made a big claim about his economic record. There’s just one problem: It isn’t true.
“And unlike the last president, in my first two years in office, even with all we’ve done – I’m the first one to cut the federal debt by $1 trillion $700 billion,” Biden said.
The federal government is $32.7 trillion in debt—an astonishing $253,000 per taxpayer—so, if true, eliminating $1.7 trillion from the debt would be an impressive accomplishment. But, as a simple matter of fact, President Biden has not reduced or cut the federal debt at all during his time in office. On the contrary, the national debt has risen by more than $2.5 trillion since Biden was inaugurated.
What Biden may have meant to say is that he reduced the federal deficit—the amount being added to the debt—by $1.7 trillion. But there’s a huge difference between these two things. One involves actually paying back what we owe and reducing our debt burden. The other simply means continuing to bury the country in more debt but somewhat less than was initially planned.
Still, did Biden significantly reduce the federal deficit? It’s complicated.
We did see the deficit fall enormously between 2020 and 2021. However, that happened mostly in spite of Biden’s best efforts, not because of them.
The decrease in budget deficits mostly occurred because pandemic-era spending expired and because many of President Biden’s big spending proposals, aka “Build Back Better,” failed to pass Congress. The legislation Biden did get passed, such as the American Rescue Plan, added to the debt significantly. All told, the policies Biden has passed have added more than $4.5 trillion in future debt.
Hence why Manhattan Institute economist Brian Riedl labeled Biden’s deficit reduction victory lap as “epic gaslighting.”
So, the president’s claim that he reduced the debt is false. And Biden’s fallback claim, that he reduced the deficit, is misleading, because that occurred despite his actions.
You know this was a big whopper because even CNN’s fact-checker, Daniel Dale, called the president out for this error. Dale also points out the kind of insane fact that in the same Tuesday speech, Biden told three false personal anecdotes. What the heck is going on?
It’s unclear whether President Biden is knowingly misleading the American public or has mentally declined to the point where he can no longer keep track of basic facts about the country he is supposed to be leading. Either way, you know Biden’s disconnect from reality is getting bad when even the mainstream media increasingly can’t ignore it.