Biden SOTU fact-checked in real-time with boos to false claim that GOP wants to cut Social Security, Medicare

 February 8, 2023

President Joe Biden delivered his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday and, as expected, his speech was full of disingenuous half-truths on some issues and outright lies on others.

One example was his oft-repeated false claim that Republicans are aiming to cut Social Security and Medicare, if not end those programs altogether, which was instantly fact-checked with a resounding chorus of boos from Republicans in the chamber, Fox News reported.

There were also numerous GOP members who, in addition to the boos, also shouted out in disagreement and rebuttal to Biden's dishonest claim, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who yelled out "Liar!" in response to the president's disputed assertion.

Biden claims GOP aims to end Social Security and Medicare

About midway through his remarks, while discussing the budget deficit and the need to raise the debt ceiling, President Biden falsely implied that Republicans wanted to hold the economy "hostage" by demanding that Social Security and Medicare be ended in exchange for raising the debt ceiling.

"So my -- many of -- some of my Republican friends want to take the economy hostage -- I get it -- unless I agree to their economic plans. All of you at home should know what those plans are," Biden said.

"Instead of making the wealthy pay their fair share, some Republicans -- some Republicans want Medicare and Social Security to sunset," he continued, only to be met with a disapproving chorus of boos and shouts.

Biden attempted to finish making his false claim but also seemed to backtrack and hedge his assertion amid the instantaneous pushback, and said, "I’m not saying it’s a majority of you. I don’t even think it’s a significant -- but it’s being proposed by individuals. I’m not -- politely not naming them, but it’s being proposed by some of you."

"Look, folks, the idea is that we’re not going to be -- we’re not going to be moved into being threatened to default on the debt if we don’t respond," he added, then attempted to lighten the mood by noting the obvious "agreement" -- as expressed by the GOP opposition to his dishonest assertion -- that neither program would face cuts.

How wrong was Biden?

A Forbes fact-check reported that President Biden, as he and other Democrats did repeatedly throughout the 2022 midterm election cycle, was disingenuously and with great exaggeration and wild misinterpretation referencing a scuttled proposal put forward last by Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) that even most Republicans don't support.

Scott had suggested that all federal programs "sunset," or expire, after five years unless specifically reauthorized, with amendments if necessary, by Congress.

As the outlet noted, though, Scott's proposal did not specifically include Social Security or Medicare, and furthermore, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and other top Republicans have repeatedly insisted that neither program is even being seriously considered for cuts, much less being used as a bargaining chip in the negotiations to raise the debt ceiling.

On top of that, Forbes noted that even Biden's arch-nemesis who gets blamed for everything, former President Donald Trump, has been explicit in stating that "under no circumstances" were either program to face cuts with Republican support.

Other lies fact-checked

As for the rest of President Biden's speech, the Daily Signal provided a fact-check on just seven of the countless additional blatantly false or wildly exaggerated claims that were made.

That includes things like the supposed benefits of the so-called Inflation Reduction Act, state regulations on abortion, border security, the supposed "threat" to democracy, law enforcement reform efforts, school closures during the pandemic, and inflation.

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