From Joe Biden
In a speech to union activists in Springfield, VA, President Joe Biden said he would refuse even to negotiate spending reforms with House Republicans to secure an increase in the federal debt limit, Mr. Biden is now promising not to agree with them on any legislation at all.
At first blush, acknowledges James Freeman in the WSJ, Biden’s pledge may sound intriguing to those who favor small government.
But this Biden promise is sure to be broken once someone explains to the President that his beloved spending bills—and all other kinds of bills—have to pass both houses of Congress before becoming law. Perhaps the White House will be issuing a correction, as it did for another part of the Thursday speech.
Foolish and false presidential comments are not exactly news, but Mr. Biden’s Thursday remarks were striking.
In what appeared to be just a warm up with Biden’s standard distortions early in the address, here’s how the President reacted to the news of slowing GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2022:
Every three months, the economic outlook of America is laid out on an official report—a government report that—on the state of the economy. It came out today, this morning. And I’m not sure—and I mean it sincerely—the news could have been any better.
Billionaires Pay 3%
Republicans want to cut taxes for billionaires, continued the president, “who pay virtually only 3% of their income now—3%, they pay.”
Freeman’s Facts First:
Biden’s “3%” claim is incorrect.
For the second time in less than a week, Biden inaccurately described a 2021 finding from economists in his administration that the wealthiest 400 billionaire families paid an average of 8.2% of their income in federal individual income taxes between 2010 and 2018; after CNN inquired about Biden’s “3%” claim on Thursday, the White House published a corrected official transcript that uses “8%” instead.
Also, it’s important to note that even that 8% number is contested, since it is an alternative calculation that includes unrealized capital gains that are not treated as taxable income under federal law . . .
A Reasonable Argument
Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy is now making an argument that will surely strike many Americans as reasonable.
No Government Waste?
According to The WSJ’s Dave Michaels and Andrew Restuccia:
Mr. Biden has said he plans to meet with Mr. McCarthy to discuss a range of issues, including the debt ceiling. But the president and his top aides have stressed they have no intention of negotiating on the issue, arguing that the debt ceiling should be raised without conditions like spending cuts.
“I want to look at every single dollar we’re spending no matter where it’s being spent,” Mr. McCarthy said. “You’re going to tell me that inside Defense there’s no waste?”
Mr. McCarthy said that Mr. Biden is “playing with the markets” by not agreeing to negotiate. “Does the president really believe there is no waste in government?” Mr. McCarthy said Sunday.
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