President Joe Biden repeated the claim at Tuesday’s State of the Union that his administration’s policies are responsible for reducing the national deficit.
The president touted the approximate $1.7 trillion reduction in the national deficit without mentioning the end of COVID-19 stimulus checks and the rise in tax revenue from inflation. Marc Goldwein, senior vice president and senior policy director for the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB), told Check Your Fact in September that 80% of the deficit is related to COVID stimulus.
“In the last two years, my administration cut the deficit by more than $1.7 trillion – the largest deficit reduction in American history,” the president said. “Under the previous administration, the American deficit went up four years in a row because those record deficits, no president added no more national debt in any four years than my predecessor. Nearly 25% of the entire national debt that took 200 years to accumulate was added by just one administration alone.”
Former President Donald Trump’s administration added $6.7 trillion to the debt between fiscal years 2017 and 2020, an amount largely attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Balance Money. In the first year of the Biden administration, the debt rose $1.5 trillion, a 5.6% year-over-year increase.
After receiving boos from Republicans for criticizing the Trump administration, Biden commended Congress for raising the debt ceiling in the past. He then called on Congress to lift the current debt ceiling again, which hit the $31.4 trillion limit in January. (RELATED: White House Sends Out Error-Laden Economy ‘Fact Sheet’ On Eve Of SOTU)
He accused Republicans of planning to cut Social Security and Medicare in their negotiations to raise the debt ceiling. House Republicans have called on large spending cuts in return for raising the debt limit, leading to a negative reaction from Republican legislators.
House Republicans have denied accusations that they want to cut Social Security and Medicare. GOP House Speaker Kevin McCarthy told “Face the Nation” on Jan. 29 that any proposals to slash funding for either program are “off the table.”
“Let’s take those completely off the table,” McCarthy said. “If you read our Commitment to America, all we talk about is strengthening Medicare and Social Security. I know the president says he doesn’t want to look at it, but we have to make sure we strengthen those.”