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American News Jun 14, 2022 5:05 PM EST

CNN fact checks Biden's claim that he decreased federal deficit

"Let me remind you again: I reduced the federal deficit," Biden said in a speech last month.

CNN fact checks Biden's claim that he decreased federal deficit
Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

A fact checker with CNN recently pushed back on claims made by President Biden last month in which he said that "I reduced the federal deficit."

"Let me remind you again: I reduced the federal deficit," Biden said in a speech last month talking about economic growth and the deficit. "All the talk about the deficit from my Republican friends, I love it. I've reduced it $350 billion in my first year in office. And we're on track to reduce it, by the end of September, by another 1 trillion, 500 billion dollars -- the largest drop ever."

CNN noted in an article that while the deficit did in fact go down during the 2021 fiscal year, this decline was far less than expected, and noted that economic experts say Biden is "distorting reality when he claims that he is personally responsible for the deficit going down."

While the deficit has been smaller under the Biden administration than it was under the previous Trump administration, this deficit has been larger than if the Biden administration continued with laws put in place when Trump left office.

"The actions of the administration and Congress have undoubtedly resulted in higher deficits, not smaller ones," said Dan White, senior director at Moody's Analytics. "It is encouraging that the administration has proposed some initiatives to bring down the deficit, but so far none of those initiatives has been seriously considered."

Estimates from the Congressional Budget Office stated that the deficit decline should have been more than $870 billion, not the $360 billion the Biden administration saw during fiscal year 2021, of which Biden was in office for eight of those months.

Some of this shortfall could be blamed on the massive pandemic relief package passed in the early days of the Biden administration, totaling $1.9 trillion.

Senior vice president at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget Marc Goldwin told CNN that Biden’s claims of him personally reducing the deficit are "almost a bizarro world," referring to the Superman comic book world where everything is reversed.

CNN noted that the deficit skyrocketed in 2020 due to the pandemic-caused economic crash, and noted that "a decline from unprecedented 2020 deficit levels was always very likely."

"Whatever you think of all those policies – they all cost money," fact-checker Daniel Dale added in an interview with CNN’s "New Day."

Biden has continued to express these sentiments in recent weeks. Last Friday, Biden said that he would be cutting the deferral deficit by $1.7 trillion, though this is merely a projection.

He continued to say that "since I took office, families are carrying less debt on average in America, they have more savings than they've had."

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