Biden gets 'Bottomless Pinocchio' from Washington Post fact-checker

The Washington Post’s fact-checker, Glenn Kessler, awards President Biden what he calls a “Bottomless Pinocchio” for Biden’s claim that he “spent a lot of time — more time with Xi Jinping than any other head of state. . . . I’ve traveled 17,000 miles with him.” By Kessler’s count, Biden has made a variation of this claim 21 times during his presidency.

Kessler also raps Biden on the knuckles for claiming:

“Today, the most common price of gas in America is $3.39 — down from over $5 when I took office.”

“On my watch, for the first time in 10 years, seniors are getting an increase in their Social Security checks.”

And on Biden’s student loan bailout, “I got it passed by a vote or two.”

On Saturday, Biden used another one of his well-worn recurring “misstatements” that are probably more accurately described as “lies”:

And we’re going to do this while reducing the federal deficit. You know, because of the help I had from the senators in the Democratic Congress, we literally cut the federal debt in half by $1.4 trillion — (applause) — $1.4 trillion just this year, and last year by $350 billion. And another $250 billion over the next decade.

Look, I don’t want to hear from the MAGA Republicans who blew up the debt.  We’re the ones bringing it down. They’d shot it up.  (Applause.)

And by such a massive reduction in debt, we’re able to help working- and middle-class families in America.

The debt, or the total amount the U.S. owes, has not gone down on Biden’s watch, much less been “literally cut in half,” as Biden claims. On January 2020, 2021, the total U.S. debt was $21.6 trillion. Today, the debt is $24.3 trillion. (All numbers are from the U.S. Department of the Treasury website, Debt to the Penny.) On Biden’s watch, in about a two-year span, the debt has increased by $2.7 trillion.

I have been attempting to get the world to understand the difference between the deficit and the debt for many, many years now. Like Sisyphus, I am destined to roll this rock of fiscal literacy up a hill, only to watch it roll back again, pushed by politicians who prefer for the public to be ignorant of the difference.

Biden can claim that on his watch the annual deficit — the amount between revenues and spending in a fiscal year — has gone down, although that is entirely attributable to temporary spending programs related to Covid-19 pandemic expiring.

I’ve seen a lot of politicians boast of having reduced the deficit, hoping that audiences think he means that the debt has been reduced. But apparently Biden himself can’t tell the difference, flipping between the two terms during his speech, using them interchangeably.

I know we’ve all gotten used to Biden’s speeches becoming this barely coherent jumble of braggadocio and inaccurate claims and things his dad used to say and how deer don’t wear Kevlar and how Corn Pop was a bad dude, and how he was raised Puerto Rican, and everyone in the Senate calls him “Middle-Class Joe,” and I know that almost everyone tunes out what the president is saying because they know Biden is either making it up, doesn’t remember, or some combination of both.

But when the president claims to have cut a $20 trillion national debt in half when he’s done nothing of the sort, that’s the sort of thing that should get everyone left, right, and center to say, “Stop. Just stop. Stop BS-ing us, this isn’t a late-night hangout with your colleagues in the Senate, you’re not helping anyone when you just make up accomplishments like this.”

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