President Joe Biden’s pattern of misstatements and outright lies has often been written off as a tendency to commit “gaffes.” But in last week’s supposedly encouraging speech detailing the future of the U.S. economy, the president took blatant dishonesty to an extreme.
One was so obviously false that the White House was forced to issue a retraction.
Praising his infrastructure law passed in 2021, Biden said that last year the administration funded “700,000 major construction projects…all across America.” The actual number of the projects, which spanned highways, airports, bridges, and tunnels was 7,000.
The Democratic president trumpeted the fact that “we put a cap, and it’s now in effect, as of Jan. 1 — of $2,000 a year on prescription drug costs for seniors.”
Again, wildly inaccurate. The cap was part of last year’s so-called Inflation Reduction Act and does not take effect until 2025. Also, the maximum may eclipse $2,000 afterwards due to being tied to Medicare Part D’s per capita costs.
Biden just told Democrat leaders he won’t let the GOP ‘wreck’ the economy… pic.twitter.com/t2hxpHbj6A
— Senate Republicans (@SenateGOP) January 24, 2023
Biden did not miss the opportunity to criticize former President Donald Trump. Only, he did not bother to let the facts get in the way of a good argument this time either.
The president blasted the previous administration by asserting that “back then, only 3.5 million people…even had their first (COVID-19) vaccination because the other guy and the other team didn’t think it mattered a whole lot.”
However, the Centers for Disease Control reported that the day Biden was inaugurated in Jan. 2021, roughly 19 million Americans had received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
In fact, the only part of the statement that could be close to accurate is if the president referred to the people at that time who’d had both shots to complete their primary vaccination series. But that’s not what he said.
Not content to stop there, Biden charged that Republicans wish to cut taxes on billionaires and that this top class of earners “pay virtually only 3% of their income now.” This is an often-repeated falsehood that even the White House had previously backtracked on.
Administration economists in 2021 declared that billionaires pay an average of 8.2% of their income in federal individual income taxes. However, even that is false because their figures included unrealized capital gains, which are not taxable income under federal law.
Misstatements are one thing, and blatant falsehoods are wholly another. In attempting to whitewash his administration’s dismal economic record and paint a rosy financial outlook for the nation, President Biden laid out one lie after another.