Fact Check: Biden Loves to Claim He Has Cut the Deficit - Numbers Highlight Painful Truth


In a Thursday interview with CNN, President Joe Biden was once again claiming that he has reduced the deficit.

Quick fact check: That claim is utterly false.

While arguing for increasing taxes on wealthy Americans, Biden said, “We could further reduce the deficit, which I have been able to reduce.”

In 2022 and 2023, Biden was bragging about cutting the deficit by $1.7 trillion, but multiple fact checks refuted that.

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Politifact actually noted the deficit came down because of the expiration of emergency COVID-19 spending passed in fiscal years 2020 and 2021.

After Biden repeated the claim during his 2023 State of the Union address, reported, “The FY 2020 deficit was $3.13 trillion and the FY 2022 deficit was $1.375 trillion. That translates to a roughly $1.7 trillion drop. But the deficit in FY 2022 is still nearly 41% higher than it was in FY 2019, before the pandemic hit.”

The federal deficit in FY 2019 before the pandemic under former President Donald Trump was $984 billion.

Total federal expenditures that year were $4.4 trillion. By comparison, in FY 2023 under Biden, they were $6.1 trillion, so he and the Democrats in Congress have the country essentially still spending at pandemic levels.

Is there any issue Biden won't lie about?

When Trump left office in January 2021, the national debt was $27.8 trillion. It’s currently about $34.8 trillion and rising rapidly.

The deficit last year was $1.7 trillion, up from the $1.38 trillion in FY 2022.

So, again, how is that reducing the deficit?

In February, the Congressional Budget Office projected the deficit will drop back slightly to $1.6 trillion this year and bounce back up to $1.8 trillion in FY 2025.

The reason for the ballooning budget deficits under Biden is all the new spending enacted.

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The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022 as a scaled-down version of Biden’s Build Back Better proposal, raised taxes on corporations, which the administration projected would result in more than $300 billion in new revenue over a decade.

But the “green” initiatives included in the IRA are costing almost three times more than the administration forecasted, Bloomberg reported in August.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, working with the investment firm Goldman Sachs, updated their estimated cost of the IRA’s green initiatives from $385 billion over a 10-year period to in excess of $1 trillion in April 2023.

Biden also signed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill into law in November 2021, which attracted support from some Republicans in the Senate (though not a majority of the GOP caucus) and just a handful of GOP House members.

How irresponsible is that? Biden and the Democrats added trillions in new spending even when the U.S. was already running large deficits.

Another big driver of the deficit is the interest payments needed to service the national debt.

In FY 2023, the federal government took in $4.4 trillion and the interest payment for the national debt was $659 billion, leaving about $3.6 trillion to cover the rest of the expenses: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, national defense… Hence the $1.7 trillion deficit.

That interest payment was up from $475 billion in FY 2022. By comparison, under Trump the amount was around $350 billion.

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates to try to tamp down the inflation caused by the Democrats massive deficit spending.

The economy was well on its way to recovery when Trump left office, but the Democrats passed $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan anyway in March 2021.

All the cash flooding into the economy helped spark the highest inflation the U.S. had experienced in 40 years, just as both Democratic and Republican economists warned.

Clinton Treasury Secretary Larry Summers called it, “the least responsible macroeconomic policy we’ve had in the last 40 years.”

Former Obama administration Treasury Department official Steven Rattner in a November 2021 article for The New York Times identified the American Rescue Plan as the “original sin” leading to the inflation spike seen under Biden.

If the president can’t even be truthful about the deficits, he’s clearly not the one to solve the problem.

Hopefully, the American people will elect a fiscally conservative Republican Congress and Trump is elected president, so they can get to work getting the nation’s fiscal house back in order.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 3,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith