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Tipsheet

Did Biden Fib Again About Reducing the Federal Deficit?

Townhall Media

President Joe Biden's gaffe-filled State of the Union Address last night was littered with lies, cringeworthy blunders, and pro-Biden administration propaganda. Among the distortions, Biden repeated his go-to talking point on America's supposedly declining federal deficit.

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CLAIM: "In the last two years, my administration cut the deficit by more than $1.7 trillion—the largest deficit reduction in American history," Biden claimed in the annual address. "Under the previous administration, America's deficit went up four years in a row."

FACTS: While it is accurate that the deficit—when the federal government's spending exceeds its tax revenues—fell by $1.7 trillion in fiscal years 2021 and 2022, Biden's self-congratulatory praise failed to acknowledge that the reason for the deficit's decline was the record-high increase in 2020 under then-President Donald Trump because of bipartisan pandemic-relief packages. As expected, the deficit dropped when the pandemic-era emergency spending expired. Thus, it's not Biden's doing.

Quite the contrary, independent analysts assert that Biden's actions, such as his executive orders as well as deficit-increasing policies and bills he has backed, have added to current and future deficits—"not reduced" them. Dan White, the senior director of economic research at Moody’s Analytics, a leading financial firm whose economic assessments Biden has frequently cited during presidential remarkstold CNN in the fall: "On net, the policies of the administration have increased the deficit, not reduced it."

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Meanwhile, non-profit public policy organization Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget published a September report that found that policymakers in the Biden administration are continuing to borrow at an excessive level, a spending spree that will contribute more than a whopping $4.8 trillion to deficits between 2021 and 2031 through legislative and executive actions.

CRFB president Maya MacGuineas declared in an October statement to CNN that the "White House is knowingly twisting the facts to tell a very different story than a fair and accurate one." Commenting on where credit is due, the president of the deficit watchdog added: "I'd love to give the White House credit. Unfortunately, their record doesn't give you anything to cheer about."

Townhall has previously debunked Biden's deficit-cutting claims that he has repeated—and continues to repeat—ad nauseam.

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RATING: Biden's boast is misleading, lacks context, and takes credit for an expected expiration of pandemic-related spending. It's a victory lap Biden has gone on often despite the fact that the deficit drop was driven down by waning COVID-19 relief. After the relief lapsed, the deficit would've fallen much more had spending-happy measures not been implemented, budget hawks say.

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