In a recent speech, President Biden discussed the country’s latest jobs report. In the process, he unfortunately made a series of factual errors and misleading claims regarding the administration’s achievements.
In his speech, President Biden stated that he reduced the federal debt by $1.7 trillion. This is incorrect. The federal debt has actually ballooned by over $5.7 trillion during his time in office.
What’s in a Word?
Biden confused the terms “debt” and “deficit” in his speech. The deficit is the annual budget shortfall, while the debt is the total amount the government owes. Biden should have referred to a decline in the deficit, not the debt.
White House Correction
After the speech, the White House clarified the mistake. They said it was the “deficit” that fell by $1.7 trillion, not the “debt.”
Credit for Deficit Reduction
The decline in the budget deficit wasn’t just Biden’s achievement. Most of it happened because emergency Covid-19 relief funds were no longer being spent.
Budget-Friendly Tax Policy
The President gave credit to a new tax policy for bettering the budget situation in 2021 and 2022. However, this policy only came into effect in 2023, making it impossible to have had any impact on previous years.
Biden stated that his administration had generated an “actual surplus.” This is not the case. The federal government is still operating with a budget deficit of well over $1 trillion.
What Is Surplus Anyway?
Biden’s use of the word “surplus” was misleading. In federal budgets, a “surplus” means revenues exceed spending. The U.S. has not experienced a budget surplus since 2001.
Corporate Tax Reality
Biden claimed a new 15% tax rate for large corporations. However, a study shows it will affect only 14 out of 55 eligible companies, as the new rule only targets companies with an average annual income of more than $1 billion.
Projected Impact of New Tax
Experts say this new 15% tax should reduce the deficit by around $222 billion by 2031. However, these benefits are expected to start appearing in 2023, not before. Contrary to Biden’s implication.
The effectiveness of the new tax may be reduced because of delays in implementing it. Some companies have also been excused from making early payments this year.
Biden also touted low unemployment rates. However these statistics were outdated, and current data shows an increase in unemployment.
Biden was right about one thing: women’s unemployment is at a 70-year low. But that’s the only claim backed by current data.
Other Groups Fare Worse
Unemployment rates for African Americans, Hispanics, and people with disabilities have gone up. They are now higher than some previous periods.
Skeptical of Biden’s Credibility
Reddit users were quick to respond to the inaccuracies and their opinions are mixed. Some applaud the fact-checking, while others are skeptical of Biden’s credibility.
The Distrust Issue
Redditers noted Biden has a history of bending the truth, contributing to a broader issue of public distrust in politicians. One user said, “The constant lies are one of the things that upset me the most about Biden.”
It’s Not Just Biden
Several users gave Biden the benefit of the doubt, arguing that misleading information isn’t unique to one politician or one party. It’s a widespread problem.
One Redditor noted the public should know better, “I think most people understand when politicians discuss reducing debt they are referencing the annual budget deficit and not cumulative national debt.”
No doubt Biden’s latest speech had numerous inaccuracies, fueling ongoing debates about government debt, spending, and overall credibility in leadership.
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