President Joe Biden delivered a major economic speech that many political observers are calling the groundwork for his 2024 re-election campaign. He spoke to an audience at a steamfitters’ union hall in Springfield, VA, where he touted his administration’s economic achievements and targeted MAGA Republicans. The event was everything wrong with the president, from misleading statements to incorrect names.
Joe Biden Asks: ‘Where’s Doug?’
One of the most noteworthy Joe being Joe moments occurred at the beginning, when he was looking around for a congressman named Doug. But there is no representative from the Old Dominion with that name. There is, however, Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), who he was looking for. Even when he did find the lawmaker, Biden still referred to him as Doug. Why is this notable? Because this happens to him at nearly every event he attends: Supreme Court Justice “Kejohn Drown Jackson,” General Motors CEO “Amy Barrett,” Vice President “Camel-la Harris,” and much more.
Lies, Damned Lies, and Bidenese
Today, billionaires in America pay a federal income tax rate of 8.2%, according to a September 2021 report by the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). But President Biden keeps telling the public that billionaires pay 3%. “You know, a babysitter pays more than that,” he said at the event.
The latest talking point being spouted by Biden and the Democrats is that House Republicans want to impose a 30% national sales tax. This is partly true, but the president and his allies refuse to mention the other part: The GOP has proposed to abolish the other estate, gift, income, and payroll taxes while also putting the kibosh on the Internal Revenue Service.
Another falsehood was his claim that his administration funded 700,000 major construction projects, such as airports, bridges, and highways, across the country, which generated applause from the crowd that may not have been paying attention. Seven-hundred thousand? As of Nov. 15, 2022, the White House has financially supported fewer than 7,000 projects for a total of $185 billion. He also incorrectly called one of these repair projects the “Brent Smith Bridge,” which should have been the Brent Spence Bridge.
Once again, Joe Biden cited his impressive employment record. “We’ve created nearly 11 million jobs, including 750,000 manufacturing jobs.” Both of these figures are wrong. First, the US economy returned all of the jobs lost from the pandemic in the summer of 2022, meaning that Biden has only overseen about 10% of these new positions. Second, at the start of the COVID-19 public health crisis, there were 12.785 million manufacturing positions. In December 2022, there were 12.934 million, confirming that he has only maybe been responsible for 149,000 jobs in this sector.
There was another comment that was just shy of being correct. “Manufacturing jobs continue to go up, stronger than any time in the last 40 years,” he said. This is also inaccurate because manufacturing payrolls are way below where they were four decades ago. Or, if you want to consider the growth rate, it also falls short of other 18-month records among presidents since after the Second World War.
He also asserted that jobs are the highest they have been in American history. However, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment rate is 60.1%, under the record high of more than 64% established in the 1990s. Plus, according to a recent interview with an economist from The Heritage Foundation, “… if you look at the rate of the population that’s actually participating in the labor market, if you look at the percentage of the population that’s actually employed, we still are nowhere near pre-pandemic rates.”
The biggest blunder might have occurred when he said that “my president” former President Donald Trump had only vaccinated fewer than four million people. “Back then, only 3.5 million people had been — even had their first vaccination, because the other guy and the other team didn’t think it mattered a whole lot,” he stated. This is dubious for two reasons: Trump left office just two months after Pfizer and Moderna announced they had come up with a vaccine, and the previous administration did think it mattered since he established Operation Warp Speed.
Lastly, in his attempt to target the so-called MAGA Republicans, the president asserted that they plan to cut Social Security and Medicare. This is false. What some have suggested is making changes to these two programs to ensure they become financially secure again. According to the 2023 Republican Study Committee Budget plan, the most significant adjustment to the federal retirement and health benefits programs is incrementally raising the eligibility age – and it might not even happen. Biden refused to acknowledge how broke these schemes are and will inevitably require substantial reforms for survival.
The Biden Campaign
Before Joe Biden’s visit to the Washington suburb, the White House had been pumping this up as a speech that would lay the groundwork for the president’s 2024 bid for a second term. If you happened to fall asleep in the crowd, it is understandable if you believed this was a huge deal. However, if you were taken aback by the gaffes and mendacity, this was simply a blunder. Even the White House had to edit the transcripts to correct Biden’s mistakes, from names to statistics. This speech can be defined in a single word: Asufutimaehaehfutbw.
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