Fact-checkers target Biden over ‘false and misleading’ statements about the economy

President Biden faced a push from fact-checkers in a recent speech he gave in Virginia about the economic progress he has made during his tenure in the White House.

Speaking at Steamfitters Local 602 in Springfield on Thursday, Biden made several claims about the current state of the economy that have fact-checkers – from CNN and the House Ways and Means Committee – sounding the alarm.

Following his remarks, CNN reporter Daniel Dale, who works to investigate political claims in the marketplace, accused Biden of making “false and misleading claims.”

“Some of Biden’s claims in the speech were false, misleading or without critical content, although others were accurate,” Dale wrote in a piece examining Biden’s comments.


President Biden speaks at the Steamfitters Local 602 United Association Mechanical Trades School in Springfield, Virginia, on Thursday, Jan.  26, 2023.

President Biden speaks at the Steamfitters Local 602 United Association Mechanical Trades School in Springfield, Virginia, on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023.
(Oliver Contreras/Sipa/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

At the center of the fact-check list from Dale was Biden’s claim that his administration has “funded 700,000 – 700,000 major construction projects across America,” which the White House admitted was not the case.

“Biden’s ‘700,000’ image is incorrect; add two extra zeros to the exact number Biden used in a speech last week and the White House has used before: 7,000 projects,” wrote Dale, noting that the White House replaced Biden. text from speech to display the correct number.

Dale also took aim at Biden with his claim that “only 3.5 million people had had their first vaccination” when former President Donald Trump left office in January 2021.

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The actual number of people who received their first shot against COVID-19 when Trump left office in January 2021 was about 19 million, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number of 3.5 million refers to those who received two rounds of shots.

Mr. Biden also faced scrutiny from CNN over his claim that billionaires “only pay 3% of their income now — 3%, they pay,” a point that was later retracted by the White House.

“Biden’s ‘3%’ claim is incorrect. For the second time in less than a week, Biden incorrectly reported the 2021 result from economists in his administration that the richest 400 billion families paid an average of 8.2% of their income in per capita income tax. 2010 and 2018,” Dale wrote. “After CNN asked about Biden’s ‘3%’ claim on Thursday, the White House published the correct official text that uses ‘8%’ instead.”

Biden faced scrutiny from CNN over his billionaire claim "they only pay 3% of their income now - 3%, they pay," a comment that was later pushed back by the White House.

Mr. Biden faced scrutiny from CNN over his claim that billionaires “only pay 3% of their income now — 3%, they pay,” a comment that was later pushed back by the White House.
(Nathan Howard/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Pointing to comments made by Biden about the federal debt under Trump and that his administration “cut the deficit by $1.7 trillion, the largest debt reduction in American history,” Dale insisted that it is “highly questionable” how much credit Biden deserves.


“Biden’s bragging leaves out an important context. It is true that the federal deficit will decrease by $1.7 trillion under Biden in fiscal years 2021 and 2022, including a record $1.4 trillion in 2022 — but it is highly questionable by how much blame Biden. He deserves this reduction,” Dale wrote. “Biden has not explained that the primary reason the deficit is so low is that it went up to a record high under Trump in 2020 because of bipartisan emergency spending, then went down as expected as independent analysts say that Biden’s actions, including his laws and executive orders, have had the net effect of adding to current and projected future deficits, not reducing those deficits.”

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In addition to CNN, Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee targeted Biden’s words from Thursday with the truth, saying the president “didn’t let the facts get in the way of his speech in Springfield.”

“While Biden says the economy is growing strongly, the latest economic growth report reveals that the economy under his Administration’s policies has failed to meet expectations in seven out of eight economic growth reports,” the committee wrote. “In fact, the year 2022 was worse for economic growth than expected. And the biggest crisis is still to come, according to the report of the Leading Economic Index.”

Listing five recent “misleading” claims from the president that the committee found flawed, the Republicans wrote: “President Biden is making inaccurate accusations about Republicans and fearmongering senior citizens when Republicans are clear that we will not touch their retirement security. . Medicare and Social Security have gotten worse – they are not protecting them. Medicare payments have increased for the elderly starting in 2020, while Biden’s continued inflation has pushed Social Security toward insolvency.

Mr. Biden recently faced criticism from FactCheck.org for claims he made about unemployment during his speech at the US Conference of Mayors winter meeting last week.

During the speech, according to FactCheck.org, Biden “included numbers on the number of people receiving unemployment benefits, which he mischaracterized as the number of people ‘out of work.’


“His comments leave the false impression that unemployment fell by more than 16 million people on his watch, when the decline was less than 5 million,” the website concluded. “And the most important reason for the big drop in unemployment benefits is the loss of benefits related to the pandemic.”

“Two years ago this week, 18 million people were unemployed — two years ago this week,” Biden said at the conference. “The number is now below 1.6 million, near the lowest level in decades.”

“The White House transcript notes that the line was applauded,” FactCheck.org said. “But it’s not accurate. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of people who are ‘unemployed’ – or legally unemployed – in the US in January 2021 was about 10.2 million, and the number in December 2022 was 5.7 million.”


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