President Joe Biden, long known for rarely telling the truth about anything, has earned a “bottomless Pinocchio” from The Washington Post.
Last week the Post’s “fact-checker,” Glenn Kessler, cited Biden with the dubious honor for refusing to let go of the fiction that the national debt has improved since he took office.
As Kessler recounted in his piece on Friday, Biden launched his re-election bid with a familiar claim: “As a matter of fact, my first two years in office, I’ve lowered the deficit by a record $1.7 trillion. Lowered the deficit — the debt,” Biden told a gathering of the North America’s Building Trades Unions Legislative Conference.
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“It’s an important talking point for him as he faces off against House Republicans who are demanding steep reductions in government spending in exchange for a vote to raise the nation’s debt limit,” Kessler wrote.
“But, as we have documented before, Biden’s talking point is highly misleading. … Yet he keeps saying it over and over. By our count, at least 30 times since June, he’s taken credit for reducing the budget deficit by $1.7 trillion.”
Kessler explained that by the Post’s standards, a statement becomes a “bottomless Pinocchio” if a politician earns ratings of three or four Pinocchios by saying it and repeating at least 20 times.
Kessler noted that Biden had already received one “bottomless” award by falsely claiming he has traveled 17,000 miles with China’s President Xi Jinping, a line he repeated most recently during a speech to the Irish parliament on April 13.
In fiscal years 2021 and 2022 — we are still in FY 2023 — Biden increased the national debt by $850 billion more than originally projected by congressional analysts.
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Regarding its ratio to gross domestic product, or GDP, the debt grew to 5.5% under Biden, or nearly a full point higher than the 4.6$ estimated by congressional budget analysts.
“In other words,” Kessler wrote, “again the data shows the deficit picture has worsened under Biden.”
“Moreover, going forward, Biden has enacted legislation that will require the federal government to borrow even more, such as the bipartisan infrastructure bill ($370 billion in additional deficits over 10 years), health and disability benefits for veterans exposed to toxic substances ($280 billion), the CHIPS Act for semiconductor manufacturing expansion in the United States ($80 billion) and student loan debt relief and repayment pauses ($750 billion)” Kessler added.
“The president repeatedly has claimed he achieved historic deficit reduction because of his policies. Budget numbers often make people’s eyes glaze over and so, from a communications perspective, it’s easy to manipulate the math,” Kessler noted. “But the numbers don’t lie. The president earns his second Bottomless Pinocchio.”
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