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On the Economy: Biden Needs to Go Back and Take Remedial Math

Stephen Moore on

It's a good thing President Joe Biden wasn't strapped to a polygraph while giving his State of the Union speech on Thursday, because his results would have come back about as clean as O.J. Simpson's. That was especially true when he recited a lot of tall tales -- and some whoppers -- while touting his administration's alleged successes.

Here is a list my top five half-truths and in some cases outright fabrications:

1. "My administration cut the deficit by $1.7 trillion."

This isn't just a little bit false, it's an extraordinary and audacious misstatement of fact. The baseline deficit over 10 years, as measured when Biden came into office versus the latest forecast, shows nearly $6 trillion added to the debt since Biden arrived on the scene.

So how does a $6-trillion addition of red ink possibly equate to a $1.7-trillion reduction in the deficit? Someone didn't pass his basic math exam in high school. It's disheartening that Biden and his speechwriters thought they could get away with this one.

2. "We will make the rich pay their fair share."

 

The top 1% of American tax filers now pay an all-time record-high 46% of taxes. This is according to Biden's own IRS. If they paid an equal share of their income, they would be paying closer to 26% -- not 46%. Does Biden think the rich should pay ALL the taxes? This also doesn't include the hundreds of billions of dollars of taxes paid by the businesses they created.

3. "I inherited an economy [from Donald Trump] that was on the brink ..."

Actually, the economy grew by -- ready for this? -- 33% in the third quarter of 2020 and 4.1% in the fourth quarter of 2020. The economy was in a full-scale COVID-19 recovery when Biden came into office.

Oh, and inflation then was 1.4%, not the 5.5% average rate under Biden.

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