President Joe Biden has a knack for embellishment — some might say dishonesty — when touting his purported achievements, particularly if he can use them as a basis to launch partisan attacks against his political opposition.
Biden did exactly that during a speech on Monday when he claimed credit for federal deficit reduction and smeared Republicans as “fiscally demented,” but was rightly called out over it by former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley (R), Fox Business reported.
Haley, who previously served as governor of South Carolina, pointed out that Biden has signed off on more than $6 trillion in new spending since he took office and has called for trillions more in additional new federal spending — which is the antithesis of the president’s laughable claim in that same speech to be the “fiscally responsible” one in Washington D.C.
Biden makes disingenuous claims on spending, deficit reduction
On Monday, in honor of the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., President Biden delivered remarks at the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network’s Annual MLK Day Breakfast event — remarks that were full of partisan attacks against Republicans.
A sizeable portion of the first half of his speech was devoted to highlighting some of his accomplishments and the billions and trillions of taxpayer dollars now being spent on various agenda goals. He claimed at one point, “And we’re doing all this while being fiscally responsible.”
“Now, we’re making this progress. At the same time, reduce the deficit. You know the talk — they’re going to talk about ‘big-spendin’ Democrats’ again?” Biden said in reference to the GOP. “Guess what? I reduced the deficit, last year, $350 billion. And this year, the federal deficit is down one trillion-plus dollars. Hear me. That’s a fact. And there’s going to be hundreds of billions reduced over the next decade.”
“But so what? These guys are the fiscally — they’re fiscally demented, I think. They don’t — they don’t quite get it,” he added to laughter and applause from the predominately Democratic audience.
“Try again, Mr. President”
In response to that quip about Republicans being “fiscally demented,” former Ambassador Haley took to Twitter to share a brief video clip of the insult.
“Biden’s signed off on more than $6 trillion in new spending — and pushed for trillions more — and he’s calling Republicans ‘fiscally demented,” Haley wrote. “Try again, Mr. President. #CognitiveTest”
Biden’s signed off on more than $6 trillion in new spending—and pushed for trillions more—and he’s calling Republicans “fiscally demented.”
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) January 17, 2023
Fact-checking the president’s claims
Fox Business noted that since President Biden first took office, the national debt has increased by around $3.7 trillion. During that same span, he has proposed more than $6 trillion in new federal spending and, considering major legislation alone, has signed off on more than $3.8 trillion in new spending.
That includes more than $1.9 trillion in the American Rescue Plan and more than $1.2 trillion in the bipartisan infrastructure bill in 2021, along with at least $480 billion from the misnamed Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, as well as hundreds of billions more in other assorted bills passed largely along party lines by congressional Democrats that he has signed into law.
As for Biden’s claimed deficit reduction, one he has made numerous times before, even CNN’s fact-checker felt compelled to call him out over it last year for being exceedingly disingenuous. Yes, the deficit did decrease by around $360 billion in 2021, but according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, it would have declined anyway by more than $870 billion if Biden had simply done nothing at all.
That is because the overwhelming majority of the reduction was due directly to the expiration of temporary pandemic-related emergency spending measures in 2020. CNN noted again that, had Biden just left everything alone and not added any new spending, the deficit would have automatically been reduced by nearly $2.4 trillion, counting the estimated $870 billion reduction in 2021 plus another estimated $1.5 trillion reduction in 2022 — neither of which fully transpired thanks to the profligate spending plans of Biden and his fellow Democrats.