President Biden is facing fact-checking scrutiny over a recent speech he gave in Virginia about his administration’s economic progress at the White House.
Speaking at Steamfitters Local 602 in Springfield on Thursday, Biden made a number of claims about the current state of the economy that have fact-checks from both CNN and the House Ways and Means Committee raising alarm bells.
After his remarks, CNN reporter Daniel Dale, who works to fact-check political claims for the newspaper, accused Biden of making “false and misleading claims.”
“Some of Biden’s claims in the speech were false, misleading or lacking in critical content, while others were true,” Dale wrote in an article examining Biden’s remarks.
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Topping Dale’s fact-check list was Biden’s claim that his administration has “funded 700,000 major construction projects, 700,000 across America,” which the White House admitted was not the case.
“Biden’s number of 700,000 is highly inaccurate. it adds two zeros to the correct number, which Biden used in a speech last week and the White House has also used in the past; 7,000 projects,” Dale wrote, noting that the White House changed Biden’s figure. a recording from the speech to reflect the exact number.
Dale also criticized Biden for his claim that “only 3.5 million people have even gotten the first vaccination” when former President Donald Trump leaves office in January 2021.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the actual number of people who received their first shot against COVID-19 when Trump left office in January 2021 was about 19 million. The 3.5 million number refers to those who received two rounds of the shot.
Biden also took issue with CNN’s claim that billionaires “only pay 3% of their income now, 3% they pay,” a comment later denied by the White House.
“Biden’s ‘3%’ claim is incorrect.” For the second time in a week, Biden inaccurately described a 2021 finding by his administration’s economists that the richest 400 billionaire families paid an average of 8.2 percent of their income in federal personal income taxes. taxes from 2010 to 2018,” Dale wrote. “After CNN inquired about Biden’s ‘3 percent’ claim on Thursday, the White House released a corrected official transcript that uses ‘8%’ instead.”
Pointing to comments Biden has made about the federal debt under Trump and that his administration “reduced the deficit by $1.7 trillion, the largest debt reduction in U.S. history,” Dale argued that it is “highly doubtful” that Biden how much credit does it deserve?
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“Biden’s boast misses important context. It’s true that the federal deficit fell by a total of $1.7 trillion under Biden in fiscal years 2021 and 2022, including a record $1.4 trillion drop in 2022, but it’s highly questionable how much credit Biden gets. deserves this cut,” Dale wrote. “Biden failed to mention that the main reason the deficit fell so significantly was that it hit a record high in 2020 under Trump because of bipartisan emergency pandemic relief spending, then fell as expected because spending ran out as planned. Independent analysts say Biden’s own actions, including his laws and executive orders, have had the overall effect of increasing current and projected future deficits, not reducing them.”
In addition to CNN, Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee took aim at Biden’s remarks with a fact-check from Thursday, insisting the president “didn’t let the facts get in the way of his speech in Springfield.”
“While Biden has maintained that the economy is strengthening, the latest economic growth report shows that the economy under his administration’s policies has fallen short of expectations in seven of the last eight economic growth reports,” the committee wrote. “In fact, the whole of 2022 was worse than expected for economic growth. And even more trouble lies ahead, according to the latest report from a leading economic index.”
Listing the president’s five most recent “misleading” claims the panel found wrong, the Republicans wrote: “President Biden is making inaccurate accusations against Republicans and fear mongering to scare the elderly when Republicans have made it clear that we are not going to touch their retirement security. Biden is also making Medicare and Social Security worse by not protecting them. Medicare premiums have risen for seniors since 2020, while Biden’s ongoing inflation crisis has pushed Social Security further into insolvency.”
Biden was recently criticized by FactCheck.org for claims he made about unemployment during his speech at the U.S. Winter Meeting of Mayors last week.
During the speech, according to FactCheck.org, Biden “distorted statistics on the number of people receiving unemployment benefits, misrepresenting them simply as the number of people ‘out of work’.”
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“His comment gives the false impression that unemployment fell by more than 16 million people, when the decline was actually less than 5 million,” the nonprofit website concluded. “And a big reason for the big drop in unemployment benefits is the end of the pandemic-related extension of such benefits.”
“Two years ago this week, 18 million people were unemployed, two years ago this week,” Biden said at the conference. “That number is now below 1.6 million, near the lowest level in decades.”
“The White House transcript notes that that line was met with applause,” noted FactCheck.org. “But that’s not accurate. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of people “out of work,” or officially unemployed, in the United States was about 10.2 million in January 2021 and 5.7 million in December 2022.