During his speech on the economy and the deficit last week, a speech that was widely derided as being delusional, Slow Joe Biden made a series of claims about the debt and deficit, claims that would be huge news if they are true. He said, according to the White House transcript:
And — all kidding aside, I — this week, my administration released new information that contains that we’re on track to cut the federal deficit by another — another $1.5 trillion by the end of this fiscal year — the biggest decline in a single year ever in American history. And the biggest decline on top of us having a $350 billion drop in the deficit last year, my first year as President.
We also learned that for the first time since 2016, the Treasury Department is planning to pay down the national debt issued to the public this quarter. And for all the talk that Republicans make about deficits, it didn’t happen a single quarter under my predecessor. Not once.
[…]Let me remind you again: I reduced the federal deficit. All the talk about the deficit from my Republican friends, I love it. I’ve reduced $350 billion in my first year in office. And we’re on track to reduce it by the end of September by another 1 trillion 500 billion dollars — the largest drop ever.
I don’t want to hear Republicans talk about deficits and their Ultra-MAGA Agenda. I want to hear about fairness. I want to hear about decency. I want to hear about help on ordinary people.
Problem is, the speech wasn’t really all that accurate. In fact, even CNN decided to fact check Biden’s claims, bringing on reporter and resident fact-checker Daniel Dale to discuss the issue of Biden and the deficit.
Dale, speaking on Biden’s claims, had this to say:
“Experts I spoke to still scoffed at the idea that President Biden is personally responsible for having reduced the deficit. In fact, one advocate of deficit reduction, Marc Goldwein of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, told me that this claim is almost bizarro world, a reversal of reality.”
Why is that? Because, though the deficit is dropping, that’s not the result of Biden or any of his plans. Rather, it’s the result of the massive amount of Covid-era spending and “aid” expiring, which has tanked government spending.
So, yes, the federal deficit has dropped. But that’s not because Joe is a fiscal hawk or penny pincher. Rather, it’s because the government has stopped spending massive amounts of money on pandemic “relief”.
In fact, the deficit reduction is far smaller than it should have been, with a CNN fact-check of Biden’s claims saying:
The deficit has been smaller under the Biden administration than it was at the end of President Donald Trump’s tenure. But the deficit has been bigger under the Biden administration than the nonpartisan federal Congressional Budget Office had projected it would be if the Biden-era federal government stuck with the laws that were in effect when Trump left office in early 2021.
“The actions of the administration and Congress have undoubtedly resulted in higher deficits, not smaller ones,” Dan White, senior director at Moody’s Analytics — an economic research firm whose analysis Biden has repeatedly touted in his speeches — said in an email. “It is encouraging that the administration has proposed some initiatives to bring down the deficit, but so far none of those initiatives has been seriously considered.”
[…]A $360 billion decline is certainly substantial. The Congressional Budget Office, however, had estimated at the beginning of Biden’s tenure that the fiscal 2021 deficit would be a decline of more than $870 billion if the Biden administration did not implement new policy.
The deficit has declined under Biden, yes. But it should have declined far, far more.