Commentary | Center for American Prosperity

FACT SHEET: Joe Biden’s Economic Op-Ed: Who Does He Think He Is Fooling?

CLAIM: “The fastest decline in unemployment on record.” VERDICT: False.

  • From May 2020 to January 2021, employment grew by 12.5 million (more than Biden’s 8.3 million).
  • From April 2020 to January 2021, the unemployment rate fell from 14.7% to 6.4%, a decline of 8.3% (more than Biden’s 2.6%). 

CLAIM: “Millions of Americans are getting jobs with better pay.” VERDICT: False. 

  • Over the last 12 months, real wages have been down 2.8%; earnings have only risen 5.5%, while prices have gone up 8.3%.
  • The average American has lost about $1,350 in purchasing power from President Biden’s inflation tax.

CLAIM: “In January 2021, when I took office, the recovery had stalled.” VERDICT: False.

  • The economy grew at an annualized rate of 4.5% in the 4th quarter of 2020. GDP growth in the most recent quarter under President Biden was -1.5%

CLAIM: “The price at the pump is elevated in large part because Russian oil, gas, and refining capacity are off the market.” VERDICT: Incomplete.

  • The price of gasoline rose from $2.38 per gallon when President Biden took office to $3.53 the week Russia invaded Ukraine to $4.59 last week. More than half of the increase in the price of gas occurred before the invasion of Ukraine.
  • U.S. production is down 1.5 million barrels per day compared to 2020, and refineries are down 1 million barrels per day—that has nothing to do with Putin.

CLAIM: Before the pandemic, the country was characterized by “low growth, low wage gains, and an economy that worked best for the wealthiest Americans.” VERDICT: False.

  • From 2017 until 2019 (the pre-pandemic Trump years), GDP growth averaged 2.54%.
  • From February 2017 to February 2020, hourly earnings averaged 2.97% compared to inflation averaging just 2.13%. Between 2016 and 2019, weekly earnings for low-wage earners rose 14.6% compared with 13.5% for the top earners.
  • In 2019, median household income saw its largest increase on record. The unemployment rate hit its lowest rate in nearly 50 years, poverty rates for all races were the lowest on record, and income inequality declined.

CLAIM: “The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected that the deficit will fall by $1.7 trillion this year - the largest reduction in history.” VERDICT: Misleading.

  • The deficit will still be $1 trillion this year, the 7th worst on record (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2020, and 2021 were worse).
  • President Biden wanted larger deficits, but the deficit is actually falling because Biden’s Big Government Socialism Bill failed to pass Congress.

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