Critics of President Biden’s recent address in Virginia are questioning his claims of the administration’s success in the economy.
On Thursday, Biden made several statements about the present state of the economy during a speech at the Steamfitters Local 602 in Springfield, prompting concern from fact-checkers.
After this statement from Biden, investigative journalist Daniel Dale, whose job is to fact-check political claims, indicted Biden made false and misleading claims.
While some of Biden’s comments were valid, others were deceptive and lacked crucial context, as pointed out by Dale in his analysis of the President’s speech.
Biden’s assertion that his administration had supported 700,000 major construction projects across America was the first target of Dale’s fact-checking. The White House has since admitted that this is not the case.
According to Dale, the White House revised Biden’s transcript to include the correct figure. The number Biden used in a speech last week and the White House has previously used is 7,000 projects; thus, Biden’s estimate is grossly off.
Dale also criticized Biden for saying that only 3.5 million people had had their first vaccination by the time Trump left office in January 2021.
When Trump left office in January 2021, almost 19 million people had received their first vaccination against COVID-19, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The 3.5 million are those who received two rounds of the vaccine.
Biden’s claim that billionaires are only taxed 3% of their income was again the subject of media inquiry. For a second time in a week, Biden misrepresented a 2021 conclusion by his administration’s analysts that the 400 wealthiest families paid 8.2% income taxes between 2010 and 2018. On Friday, in response to questions regarding President Biden’s 3% remark from Thursday, the White House released an updated official transcript in which 8% is used instead.
However, Dale argues it is highly debatable how much credit Biden deserves for this decrease, even though the federal deficit fell by a total of $1.7 trillion under Biden in both the 2021 and 2022 fiscal years, as well as a record $1.4 trillion drop in 2022. Biden failed to mention the deficit only ballooned to an all-time high under Trump in 2020 because of bipartisan emergency pandemic relief expenditure but dropped as planned when those funds stopped being used.
Independent researchers claim that Biden’s policies, particularly his laws and orders, have increased rather than decreased deficits.
House Ways and Means Committee Republicans fact-checked Joe Biden’s address from Thursday, arguing that the President did not allow facts get in the way of his mentions in Springfield.
The committee reported that despite Biden’s claims that the economy is booming, the most recent data shows that economic growth under his administration has disappointed in seven of the last eight reports.
The Republicans on the committee warned that President Biden has been making false accusations against Republicans and spreading fear among seniors. The Republican Party has clarified that seniors’ retirement security will remain untouched, and Medicare and Social Security have weakened under Biden’s watch.
The cost of Medicare premiums for seniors has increased since 2020, and Biden’s persistent inflation crisis has brought Social Security closer to insolvency.
At last week’s U.S. Conference of Mayors winter meeting, Biden faced criticism for statements he made about the nation’s unemployment rate.
As the speech progressed, Biden gave the idea that the unemployment rate had dropped by more than 16 million people under his watch, while in reality, it had dropped by less than 5 million.
Biden stated during the conference that 18 million people were out of work two years ago this week, now that number is under 1.6 million, near the lowest level in decades.
A transcript from the White House notes that the line received applause. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10.2 million Americans were officially unemployed in January 2021 and 5.7 million in December 2022.