President Joe Biden’s claim of achieving the “largest deficit reduction in American history” has been called out as misleading by a new fact-checking pop-up feature on Twitter introduced by new owner and CEO Elon Musk.
The feature highlights two crucial pieces of context that the administration failed to add to the claim about deficit reduction, stating that while Biden’s claim is “statistically accurate,” it is still misleading in its claim.
First, the COVID-19 pandemic led to huge deficits in 2020 and 2021, and the end of that crisis led directly to the deficit reduction in 2022. Second, Biden made other spending increases that brought the 2022 deficit up, which is now 41% larger than President Donald Trump’s largest non-COVID deficit.
Whatever problems Twitter has I LOVE the instant fact-check on things like this.
Biden taking credit for "cutting the deficit" because his $10T spending plans got chopped down and COVID relief expired is just so bizarre. https://t.co/pvnzPqMNsd
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) February 13, 2023
Another context post provided: “Independent analysts say Biden’s own actions…have had the overall effect of adding to current and projected future deficits, not reducing those deficits.”
Under my predecessor, the deficit went up four years in a row.
In the last two years, my Administration cut the deficit by more than $1.7 trillion.
The largest deficit reduction in American history.
— President Biden (@POTUS) February 11, 2023
The fiscal year (FY) 2020 deficit was $3.13 trillion, and the FY 2022 deficit was $1.375 trillion, translating to a roughly $1.7 trillion drop. However, the deficit in FY 2022 is much higher than in FY 2019 before the pandemic.
According to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB), 100% of the deficit reduction on net was the result of waning COVID relief. Meanwhile, additional legislative and executive actions, such as student debt cancellation and higher interest rates, pushed the deficit in the other direction. Biden’s actions over the last two years have increased federal deficits by $4.8 trillion projected through 2031, according to the CRFB.
The CRFB also warned that economic changes will likely boost deficits further soon, as interest rates are higher and economic growth is weaker than projected in the spring.
This kind of honest fact-checking on Twitter, made possible by the “reader context” feature, has thrown much of the Democrat’s narrative creation into disarray. Despite almost every corporate media outlet working hard to advance the Democrat agenda, Twitter as reimagined by Musk has empowered everyday Americans to scrutinize and fact-check politicians’ claims.
It will be interesting to see how these fact-checks work against politicians of both major parties over time and whether they can effectively shape the national political conversation. For example, in the case of Biden’s faulty federal spending claims, it is clear that the deficit reduction was mainly due to the waning of COVID relief and not a result of historic spending reform by Joe Biden, as the administration laughably claims.