Biden Embarrasses Himself After Trying, Failing to Spell Out Single-Digit Number


Wednesday was apparently “Sesame Street” day for the Biden administration — and the number of the day was 8.

Do you know how to spell that, boys and girls? If not, President Joe Biden will happily share it with you, because he says 8 percent is the average tax rate for the “thousand billionaires” we have in America today.

The funny thing is that Tuesday was also “Sesame Street” day at the White House — and the tax rate that “about a thousand billionaires” in America pay was 3 percent then. But that’s how it is on “Sesame Street”: The number of the day always changes.

The difference was that on Wednesday, Biden couldn’t spell the single-digit number of the day.

The president’s latest “Sesame Street” moment came during a visit to a union hall in Accokeek, Maryland, where The Associated Press said he “lambasted Republicans’ emerging trade-off plans to raise the nation’s debt limit only in exchange for spending cuts and other policy concessions.”

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A full transcript of the speech hadn’t been posted on the White House’s website Thursday morning, just a short excerpt where he blasted House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Biden said the Republican leader “went to Wall Street two days ago to describe the MAGA economic vision. It was the day before Tax Day.”

“Do you think he told the wealthy and powerful that it was finally time to start paying their fair share of taxes?” he said. “No.

“Do you think he told billion-dollar companies to stop stashing profits in tax havens and shipping jobs overseas? No.

“Instead he proposed huge cuts to important programs that millions of working- and middle-class Americans count on. All the while he and MAGA officials are separately pushing more tax giveaways that overwhelmingly benefit the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations.”

Video of the speech, however, showed the president started talking about how much our nation’s billionaires pay in taxes, at least by Democrats’ calculations.

“I’m not saying every wealthy American cheats on their taxes,” Biden said. “But you have — we have a thousand billionaires in America. You know the average tax rate they pay? Eight — E-I-G-H — percent.”

This quickly went viral, as many wondered 1) whether he thought reporters were as far gone mentally as he was and needed the number spelled out and 2) whether he realized he missed the T:

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Others noted that maybe this would be similar to the traditional definition of “recession,” which the left changed so it could claim America wasn’t in one after two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth.

“They are going to change the spelling of 8, just watch,” one commenter said.

Well, actually, you’re not entirely wrong, Mr. rip240sx. Except it’s kind of the other way around: Overnight, it seems, the spelling of T-H-R-E-E became E-I-G-H(-T). Just watch:

I’ll give him this: He certainly nailed the spelling there. Keep the vague, single-digit number under five and he’ll be fine.

Now, I’m not going to use this as an occasion to harp on why the percentages that Democrats say billionaires pay on their taxes tend to be wildly misleading or how this kind of bad-faith wealth-baiting is only going to further despoil the debt ceiling negotiations, not bring us any closer to a conclusion. (Both of those are true, mind you, but that’s not the point.)

Is Biden an embarrassment to the United States?

The point is that on Tuesday, Biden felt he had to spell out the T-H-R-E-E percent he said billionaires pay in taxes for emphasis. On Wednesday, it was E-I-G-H. You leave off the last T for “taxes,” apparently.

How did that happen? Did the president misread the number, or is this just another silly, telling gaffe? Did his speechwriters on Tuesday know he couldn’t spell “eight” and decide to stick to the numbers he could spell?

Because, mind you, these gaffes are becoming a lot more common. For instance, during another speech to the hard-hat crowd in October, Biden began his remarks thusly: “Let me start off with two words — made in America!”

More recently, there was his visit to Ireland, which included several embarrassing — and politically problematic — gaffes.

For instance, during a speech in Dundalk, County Louth, he mentioned that he’d been given a tie by a member of Ireland’s rugby team, which famously beat New Zealand’s dominant rugby squad — nicknamed the All Blacks — on U.S. soil for their first victory over the Kiwis in 111 years.

Except he didn’t quite nail the delivery.

“You see this tie I have with this shamrock on it?” Biden said. “This was given to me by one of these guys right here. He was a hell of a rugby player, and he beat the hell out of the Black and Tans.”

The Black and Tans were a brutal auxiliary unit of British security forces who are infamous for the atrocities they committed against the Irish during the country’s war of independence from the United Kingdom in 1919-21.


To be fair, he also insulted the United Kingdom, appearing not to recognize Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and pushing him aside after disembarking from Air Force One to greet dignitaries:

In fact, it was so bad that Hunter Biden — you know, laptop/crackhead guy — had to step in to help him understand a question asked by a child about how to become successful.

That’s the K-E-Y to S-U-C- … um, is it another C? I always forget. Folks, literally, I love — and I can tell you two words: Made in America!

This man wants to seek another term in the White House, which would mean he would be in office until Jan. 20, 2029. Do you see him mentally making it until then? Because I don’t see Captain Sesame Street making it now — and I’m hardly alone.

Whatever the case, the next time he wants to claim billionaires pay only 8 percent in taxes, make sure the letter of the day is “T.” Maybe he’ll remember to say it then.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture