Speaking to Al Sharpton’s National Action Network’s Annual MLK Breakfast, Biden boasted:
President Joe Biden
False. Completely make believe.
President Biden is playing make-believe again. He is taking undeserved credit for lowering the deficit by making yet another disingenuous argument.
Last fall, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released the following economic data: The federal deficit, or federal budget shortfall, declined to $1.4 trillion in the 2022 fiscal year. This is down by nearly half of the $2. Trillion deficit from the prior year.
The CBO explained that the drop resulted from two driving factors: increased government revenues or taxes (particularly from individual income taxes) and decreased government expenditures or spending on temporary Covid-19-related programs, such as stimulus checks and small-business loans.
In short, as the economy reopened, workers went back to work and consumers were spending more on goods, services, and leisure again, tax revenue climbed. That is the economy working on its own.
Meanwhile, vehement pushback against massive $3.5 trillion Build Back Better Plan—such as ours—tanked a whole new round of spending while ensuring that other unnecessary cash payments to households were ended. Democrats managed to transfer elements of the BBB into the stripped-down $730 billion Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)—which does not reduce inflation but fuels it. The IRA is a fraction of what President Biden had intended to spend and a down payment on what he wishes he could get away with.
And to be clear, a $1.4 trillion deficit is still far above our pre-pandemic deficit level of $984 billion in the fiscal year 2019. That is the baseline for celebration.
President Biden is taking credit for economic activity that was poised to recover once pandemic closures were lifted. He is also pretending to prioritize spending restraint by claiming credit for savings that occurred as pandemic spending wound down despite his demands for more. The latter argument is akin to a spouse claiming to save the family money by purchasing unneeded items on sale. She or he would have saved a lot more by not spending at all.
Biden has since announced a $1 trillion student loan forgiveness plan that would destroy any so-called deficit savings.
Even CNN called President Biden out on his faux deficit-busting boasts:
President Joe Biden took a victory lap on Friday for the biggest one-year drop in the federal deficit in American history.
Hours later, Biden championed his student debt forgiveness program – a program that completely wipes out the modest deficit savings created by the Inflation Reduction Act.
Glenn Kessler at the Washington Post gave President Biden three Pinocchios last year when he claimed credit for deficit reductions:
Biden is citing real deficit-reduction numbers, but doing so in a way to mislead listeners.
The president is leaving out important context. The budget deficit was supposed to shrink as the massive spending caused by the pandemic faded.
Here’s what President Biden can take credit for: a bunch of unicorns and Pinocchios for misleading the American people. He does it well.