Fact-Checkers Turning on Biden

Uuganbayar / shutterstock.com
Uuganbayar / shutterstock.com

Social media used to be Biden’s personal playground. His claims and assertions were Teflon, and fact-checkers affectionately overlooked false and misleading statements coming from the Biden administration. Historically, fact-checking was largely done to rein in conservative views, and liberal views were never pulled into the equation. 

In perhaps the biggest sign of a doomed presidency, fact-checkers are turning against Biden and judging his statements under the same “standards” used to “debunk” conservative speech. 

For anyone not watching CNN as a primary news source, Biden’s claim that he “cut the deficit by 1.7 trillion dollars in two years, that’s more than any other president on record” is blatantly absurd. In a post-Biden world, however, that claim would never have been flagged as false.

And, when he first made the outrageous claim in 2022, it was flagged by the Washington Post as “highly misleading,” a label upheld by factcheck.org, and PolitiFact. 

A Community Notes correction at the time was quick to point out, “The Washington Post rated this claim ‘highly misleading,’ and other fact-checkers have disputed its accuracy,” explaining, “The $1.7T spending reduction claimed by Biden was the result of pandemic emergency spending that automatically expired, versus action taken by the president.” 

The Congressional Budget Office agreed that the 2021 deficit dropped “mostly because income tax receipts were greater than CBO projected.” Going one step further, the CBO credited the drop to the previous administration, explaining that revenue growth was because of “strong growth in economic activity, following the substantial disruption in 2020 caused by the pandemic” and “legislation enacted in response to the pandemic.” 

But the White House’s false and misleading claims about Bidenomics have fact-checkers, both official and unofficial, working overtime.  

The first flag involves Biden’s claim that real wages are higher under his term than they were prior to the pandemic. Fact-checkers revealed that real wages, meaning wages that include inflation adjustments, were higher in March of 2020 than they are now. 

Another false claim touted by Biden is that Trump’s tax cuts only benefitted the wealthy and cost $2 trillion. Following Trump’s tax cuts in 2018, the government collected more tax revenue than in the preceding year.

Corporate tax revenues increased during this time, and, In addition, corporate tax cuts led to private investment, which in turn led to job creation. Under Trump, most middle-class and low-income Americans received some form of reduction in taxes. 

Biden claims to have “created” 13.4 million jobs, “more jobs in two years than any president has ever made in four.” The math tells a different story, however, as COVID-19 lockdowns cost 9.4 million jobs. Nearly two-thirds of “Biden’s job creation” were old jobs returning to the workforce after lockdowns ended.

Per fact-checkers, a more accurate statement is that Biden “created” around four million jobs, which is lower than Trump’s five million jobs created during the first two years of his term. 

Closely tied to job creation is Biden’s claim that he was responsible for lower numbers of unemployment claims. Fact-checkers are quick to point out that COVID-19 drove unemployment to 14.8% in April of 2020, but it was regaining normalcy by the time Biden took office.

It’s argued that Biden’s refusal to end lockdown and ease pandemic restrictions were primary factors of the sustained high unemployment numbers. 

Biden also touts his green energy policies as cheaper than fossil fuel, but a quick fact check reveals that the only reason this appears true is that his administration has pushed costly regulations on oil production while offering tax incentives for wind and solar power. 

A key factor of the allegedly “successful” Bidenomics policies is the claim that inflation is lower than a year ago. This is true, fact-checkers agree, but Biden was at the helm when inflation initially skyrocketed in 2022. Between May 2021 and May 2022, consumers saw price hikes of more than 8.5%.

Biden’s claims that gas prices were impacted by the war between Ukraine and Russia are patently false, as gas prices were on the rise in 2021 prior to the war. 

Historically, Biden’s claims would have been flaunted, unchallenged, across all social media outlets and the mainstream media. Lately, however, it appears that even staunch network supporters such as CNN grow tired of fighting the negative public perception of Biden and the blatant falsehoods coming from the administration on an almost daily basis. 

Does this signal the beginning of the end of Biden’s presidential reelection bid? Even biased fact-checkers must reluctantly agree; that statement is “True.”