On Wednesday evening, Biden gave his first address to Congress, in front of a limited and masked audience due to COVID-19 restrictions. Here is a breakdown of 23 false or misleading statements from hourlong address to Congress.
“The worst pandemic in a century. The worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War.”
On the subject of pandemics, there have been almost 150 million reported cases of COVID-19 and over 3 million deaths due to COVID-19 since the pandemic began in early 2020. One century prior, an estimated 500 million people died during the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918-2020. However, Joe Biden failed to acknowledge the AIDs pandemic and epidemic, running from approximately 1981 to today, which has killed an estimated 35 million people since it was first identified.
Biden implied that the January 6 U.S. Capitol building riots were the “worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War.” By making this claim, Biden is arguing that the January 6 riot — after which American democracy resumed that evening — is worse than attacks like Pearl Harbor or September 11, or even entire conflicts like World War II or the Vietnam War.
“After I promised 100 million COVID-19 vaccine shots in 100 days — we will have provided over 220 million COVID shots in 100 days.”
While true, this is a misleading claim which Biden has repeated before in order to imply that his presidency has had a drastic effect on increased vaccination rates. As The Daily Wire has previously pointed out, “When we look at the data, not only is it clear that [Biden’s] goal was easily achievable, but also that the Trump administration provided Biden with all the tools needed to succeed. In terms of sporting metaphors, this was a lay up, not a slam dunk.”
“Decades ago we used to invest 2% of our GDP on research and development. Today, we spend less than 1%.”
According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Biden is incorrect. Their data indicates that the United States spends 2.7% of its GDP on Research and Development, the largest in the world in terms of total expenditure.
“I spent a lot of time with President Xi, traveled over 17,000 miles with him. Spent over 24 hours in private discussion with him.”
The Washington Post have debunked this repeated claim, reported that they “could not get the travel to add up to anything close to 17,000 miles.” The statement was awarded three Pinocchios.
“In the 1990s, we passed universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines that hold 100 rounds that can be fired in seconds. We beat the NRA. Mass shootings and gun violence declined.”
This is not true. According to numerous non-partisan studies, the average number of mass shootings per year before and during the “Assault Weapons Ban” didn’t change, staying at 1.5 events per year.
“Today, 90% of Americans now live within 5 miles of a vaccination site. Everyone over the age of 16, everyone — is now eligible and can get vaccinated right away. So get vaccinated now.”
The key word here is “eligible.” As New York Magazine noted, eligibility “doesn’t mean all will, or will be able to [get the vaccine] — at least right away.”
“We went to Afghanistan to get the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11. We delivered justice to Osama Bin Laden and we degraded the terrorist threat of al Qaeda in Afghanistan. After 20 years of American valor and sacrifice, it’s time to bring our troops home.”
Joe Biden conveniently leaves out the part about how at the time, he opposed the assassination of Osama Bin Laden.
“You can’t yell fire in a crowded theater.”
This is a false claim often repeated by Joe Biden, and is “perhaps the most well-known — yet misquoted and misused — phrase in Supreme Court history.”
“When I was sworn in, less than 1% of seniors were fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 100 days later, nearly 70% of seniors are fully protected. Senior deaths from COVID-19 are down 80% since January. Down 80%. And, more than half of all adults in America have gotten at least one shot.”
Again, Biden misleadingly takes credit for simply being present as Trump’s vaccine program ramped up, with health-care workers, care home residents, essential workers, and people over the age of 75 initially prioritized.
“In the process, the economy created more than 1.3 million new jobs in 100 days. More new jobs in the first 100 days than any president on record. The International Monetary Fund is now estimating our economy will grow at a rate of more than 6% this year. That will be the fastest pace of economic growth in this country in nearly four decades. America is moving. Moving forward. And we can’t stop now.”
Again, this takes credit for simply removing the voluntary economic blocks enforced largely by Democrats. In March 2020, 1.68 million jobs were lost. In April 2020, 20.68 million jobs were lost. Except for December 2020, every single month since has experienced a net increase in jobs, with the job increases “under Biden” paling in comparison to the 12.6 million jobs added under Trump in 2020 after the initial collapse.
“2 million women have dropped out of the workforce during this pandemic, too often because they couldn’t get the care they need for their family, their children.”
Based on research by the World Economic Forum, “‘stress due to family pressures (e.g. childcare)’ was experienced by over 60% of women with children in the household,” and was a significant driving factor behind work-based decisions for women with children. Joe Biden completely ignores that these childcare requirements were fueled almost entirely by the closure of schools, usually in Democrat-run areas.
“And we need to ensure greater equity and opportunity for women. Let’s get the Paycheck Fairness Act to my desk for equal pay. It’s long past time.”
The gender pay gap does not exist.
“[Ending cancer] is personal to so many of us. I can think of no more worthy investment. And I know of nothing that is more bipartisan. Let’s end cancer as we know it. It’s within our power.”
Dr. Margaret Cuomo (sister of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo) wrote in her book “A World Without Cancer,” “More than 40 years after the war on cancer was declared, we have spent billions fighting the good fight. The National Cancer Institute has spent some $90 billion on research and treatment during that time. Some 260 nonprofit organizations in the United States have dedicated themselves to cancer — more than the number established for heart disease, AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, and stroke combined. Together, these 260 organizations have budgets that top $2.2 billion.”
The mere issue of investment is not the roadblock here.
“20 million Americans lost their jobs in the pandemic — working- and middle-class Americans. At the same time, the roughly 650 Billionaires in America saw their net worth increase by more than $1 Trillion. Let me say that again. Just 650 people increased their wealth by more than $1 Trillion during this pandemic. They are now worth more than $4 Trillion.”
This claim is misleading, as the dates chosen as the “start” of the pandemic often ignore the stock market crash prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, Jeff Bezos’ net worth declined from $130 billion in February 2020 to $111 billion in March 2020, and recovered to its original level in April 2020. The overall trajectory of his wealth remained generally consistent.
“The American Rescue Plan lowered health care premiums for 9 million Americans who buy their coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Let’s make that provision permanent so their premiums don’t go back up.”
Premiums for nearly everyone other than those who enrolled in Obamacare drastically increased. As Forbes noted, “Overall, Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) premiums actually decreased 4.6% in the four years before the ACA reforms came into effect (that is, from 2009 to 2013), but increased 46.4% in the first four years under the ACA. Point-of-Service (POS) premiums decreased 14.9% before the ACA, and increased a whopping 66.2% afterwards. Premiums for the more common Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans increased 15% in the four years before the ACA, and 66.2% afterwards.”
“I will not impose any tax increases on people making less than $400,000 a year. It’s time for corporate America and the wealthiest 1% of Americans to pay their fair share. Just pay their fair share.”
This is, at best, misleading. Biden promised not to impose tax increase on people making less than $400,000 a year, while his tax proposals would affect families making $400,000 or more a year. This means that two individuals with salaries which sum to $400,000 (for example, a husband who makes $150,001 a year and a wife who makes $250,000, who file jointly) would experience a tax increase.
The “fair share” line is one which has been debunked numerous times. According to the Brookings Institute, “The rich generally pay more of their incomes in taxes than the rest of us. The top fifth of households got 54% of all income and paid 69% of federal taxes; the top 1% got 16% of the income and paid 25% of all federal taxes, according to the CBO.”
“A recent study shows that 55 of the nation’s biggest corporations paid zero in federal income tax last year. No federal taxes on more than $40 billion in profits. A lot of companies evade taxes through tax havens from Switzerland to Bermuda to the Cayman Islands. And they benefit from tax loopholes and deductions that allow for offshoring jobs and shifting profits overseas. That’s not right.”
FedEx is one of these companies mentioned in this report, with a spokesman for the company noting that “through the third quarter of fiscal year 2021, FedEx has paid nearly $2 billion in U.S. federal income tax in the last 10 years.” This claim also ignores other forms of tax, such as payroll tax.
“Look, I’m not out to punish anyone. But I will not add to the tax burden of the middle class of this country. They’re already paying enough. What I’ve proposed is fair. It’s fiscally responsible.”
The claim that the middle class have a significant tax burden compared to other “class” groups is inaccurate. As The Washington Post reported, “By 2016, the most recent year for which data is available, the middle 60 percent paid just 31 percent of taxes and got a lot more of the benefits — including 49 percent of those distributed on a means-tested basis, meaning recipients needed to demonstrate financial need to qualify for them.”
“Look at the big tax cut in 2017. It was supposed to pay for itself and generate vast economic growth. Instead it added $2 trillion to the deficit. It was a huge windfall for corporate America and those at the very top.”
While the deficit did increase under Trump, it was not the tax cuts which added to the deficit. Tax cuts reduce “income,” but have nothing to do with expenditure. It was the Trump administration’s continued and increased expenditure which added to the deficit.
“Together — we passed the American Rescue Plan. One of the most consequential rescue packages in American history. We’re already seeing the results.”
The use of the word “together” is somewhat inaccurate, given that the House passed the Senate bill with a party-line vote of 220 to 211. The “consequential” aspect of the “rescue package” also ignores the man-made aspect of the crisis from which rescue is required.
“And I need not tell anyone this, but gun violence is an epidemic in America. Our flag at the White House was still flying at half-staff for the 8 victims of the mass shooting in Georgia, when 10 more lives were taken in a mass shooting in Colorado.”
Joe Biden ignores the fact that the rate of firearm homicides has steadily declined, despite the fact that gun ownership has increased dramatically in the past 50 years.
Ian Haworth is an Editor and Writer for The Daily Wire. Follow him on Twitter at @ighaworth.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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