President Joe Biden gave another self-serving speech on Friday, taking credit for economic gains that are just not materializing or that actually have nothing to do with him.
One of the many falsehoods and pieces of disinformation spread by the Democratic president in his condemnation of “mega MAGA trickle-down” economics was the tired trope that “the wealthy” and big corporations don’t pay their “fair share” of taxes.
Biden also took a shot at former President Donald Trump, whose policies helped produce the biggest economic boom in 50 years — at least until Trump listened to Dr. Anthony Fauci and other COVID scientists and shut down the economy in 2020.
Biden argued the federal budget deficit went up under Trump. “One big reason for that,” Biden maintained, ‘is Republicans voted for [a] $2 trillion tax cut — a Trump tax cut — which overwhelmingly benefited the wealthy and the biggest corporations. And that racked up the deficit sig- — significantly.”
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The truth, as often happens with Biden, is far different.
Because the problem is not that tax revenue suffered under Trump because of those 2017 tax cuts. The issue is, as always, federal borrowing and spending.
In fact, Biden is the one actually benefiting from Trump’s tax cuts, which he has not yet repealed.
On Friday, Terence Jeffrey, a columnist for CNSNews.com, noted that federal tax revenue once again set a record — despite, or perhaps because of, the tax-rate reductions implemented by Trump.
For fiscal year 2022, which ended on Sept. 30, the federal government collected $4.9 trillion in tax revenues.
That was a new record, coming in $518 billion, or nearly 12 percent, more than the previous record, which occurred just a year earlier.
The next highest haul occurred in 2015, before Trump’s tax cuts were enacted, when the federal government took in $4.1 trillion, or $800 billion less than last year.
Of that 2022 amount, individual incomes taxes comprised $2.63 trillion, or 54 percent, of the total.
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Jeffrey noted that the Treasury Department’s report for fiscal year 2021, which came out a year ago, showed the government collected $2 trillion in individual income taxes — or $630 billion less than in 2022.
As for the rich getting by with paying nothing, as Democrats argue, the Tax Foundation reported earlier this year that the top 1 percent of earners pay about 40 percent of all income taxes and pay an average tax rate of about 26 percent, compared to 13 percent for all taxpayers and just 3.5 percent for those in the bottom 50 percent of earners.
The problem, of course, is spending.
Jeffrey pointed out that in 2022 the federal government spent $6.3 trillion. That was down from the record of roughly $7.4 trillion in 2020 and 2021 to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Despite that decline,” Jeffrey noted, “the last three fiscal years have seen the highest spending in the nation’s history and the only years when spending (in constant September 2022 dollars) has exceeded $6 trillion.”
He also pointed out that 2022 “was the fourth straight year that the federal government has run an annual deficit of more than a trillion dollars.”
“In fact, when adjusted into constant September 2022 dollars, the federal deficit has exceeded a trillion dollars in eight of the last fourteen years.”
Biden wants credit for reducing the deficit, and advocates for higher taxes on almost all wage-earners, yet he is still spending more money than any president not named Trump, despite benefiting from record tax collections.