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It’s Time To Kill This Big Fat Biden Lie Once And For All

If Google, Facebook, Twitter, and the rest of the Big Tech bullies insist on stopping “misinformation,” why aren’t they censoring President Joe Biden for his repeated flagrant lie about the economy? You know, the one where he claims we were in a state of crisis when he came into office, from which he and his $2 trillion “American Rescue Plan” saved us.

Biden says it over and over again. Here’s a sampling over the past year:

  • “We’ve turned the tide on a once-in-a-generation economic crisis. And families are beginning to be able to breathe just a little bit easier.”
  • “Look, when we came to office, we knew we were facing a once-in-a-century pandemic and a once-in-a-generation economic crisis.” 
  •  “When I was sworn in as president, the nation was struggling to pull out of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.”

In his State of the Union, Biden claimed that his “American Rescue Plan” was one of the “few pieces of legislation” to have “done more at a critical moment in our history to lift us out of a crisis.”

This is a lie. A big fat lie. A big fat Biden-sized lie.

If President Donald Trump were to repeatedly claim a phony economic crisis, the media would preface each statement with “Trump’s false claim that …” – if they were feeling generous. Instead, they give Biden a pass.

So, even though we have said it in this space many times before, it’s time to spell it out as plainly as we can:

The country was not in an economic crisis, or a crisis of any kind, when Biden took office.

It is a crisis now, however, thanks to what Biden has done since taking office.

Here are the facts.

On the day Biden signed his “American Rescue Plan” into law, the COVID-lockdown recession had been over for more than a year.

The National Bureau of Economic Research, which is the official scorekeeper of downturns and recoveries, says that the 2020 recession lasted all of – wait for it – eight weeks. It was, in fact, the shortest recession in modern history. It started in February 2020 and was over by April 2020.

The recession was also completely avoidable since it was caused by the catastrophically ill-informed and wrongheaded decision by governments, enacted in a panic and with no empirical support, to force the economy into a lockdown to “flatten the curve” on COVID outbreaks. We know that, based on scientific studies done since, these lockdowns were worse than doing nothing.  

As university researchers who did a “meta analysis” of studies on the effectiveness of lockdowns concluded, “Lockdowns have had little to no public health effects,” adding that “they have imposed enormous economic and social costs where they have been adopted. In consequence, lockdown policies are ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument.”

This once-in-a-generation mistake threw the then-booming economy into a tailspin, tossed millions out of work, and sparked trillions in deficit-financed spending to spare the country a worse fate.

I&I Chart

But once cooler heads prevailed and businesses reopened, the economy rebounded much faster than the experts had expected. The consensus view on jobs, for example, was that unemployment would still be around 10% by the end of 2020. It dropped to 6.7% by November and was falling fast. The jobless rate would have come down faster still if Democrats hadn’t insisted on ridiculously large unemployment “bonuses” as part of Trump’s COVID bills, which kept millions out of the labor market.

Meanwhile, GDP growth in the third quarter of 2020 was a jaw-dropping 33.8%, followed by a 4.5% gain in Q4. At the start of 2021, the typically pessimistic Congressional Budget Office forecast real GDP growth for the year would be close to 5%, which would have been the biggest annual gain since 1999. That was assuming nothing Biden proposed was enacted.

And in the month Biden took office, the GDP had recovered all the ground it had lost from the COVID recession, according to the monthly figures by Macroeconomic Advisors. It was $21.92 trillion in February 2020, plunged to $18.5 trillion by April 2020, and topped $22 trillion by January 2021. (See the nearby chart.)

To call this situation a crisis is a lie. A blatant lie. A big fat blatant lie. A big fat blatant Biden lie.

So why does Biden do it? And why doesn’t the army of media fact-checkers and the self-appointed Big Tech misinformation police call him on it?

For Biden, he needed to pretend the country was in a state of crisis to justify his $2 trillion spending spree. Since then, he’s needed to keep up the fiction about this crisis so he could claim to have “rescued” the country from it.

“Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, we lifted this country out of crisis, created 6.5 million jobs – more jobs than any American has ever created in a single year,” is a favorite Biden line.

The reality is that Biden’s rescue plan didn’t rescue anything. It and Biden’s other ministrations have made the economy worse. His reckless spending set off an inflationary spiral, one that Biden has no clue how to stop. His “rescue” plan’s unemployment bonuses and his COVID mandates exacerbated the labor shortage and supply chain problems. His war against oil helped push up gasoline prices.

On and on it goes. If Biden had done absolutely nothing upon taking office, we’d be in far, far better shape than we are.

The reason the mainstream press and Big Tech thought police don’t call Biden on it is that they are hopelessly partisan, not to mention economic ignoramuses.

We have no doubt that Biden will keep repeating his Big Lie about inheriting a crisis for as long as he can remember that he’s president. And we will keep calling him out for it, again and again. Because nobody else will.  

Editor’s note: A reader points out that the above chart shows “nominal” GDP numbers. After adjusting for inflation, when Biden took office real GDP had “only” regained 99% of the losses it suffered during the pointless COVID lockdowns.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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I & I Editorial Board

The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.

16 comments

  • “The reason the mainstream press and Big Tech thought police don’t call Biden on it is that they are hopelessly partisan, not to mention economic ignoramuses.” I&I

    In a nutshell, you nailed it. What the mainstream press “omits” is scandalous malpractice: Wisconsin is moving to decertify their 2020 presidential vote count, and accuses Zuckerberg forces of bribery and breaking election laws. Pennsylvania still refuses to explain how it counted several hundred thousand more mail-in ballots than were mailed out (hardly a minor issue). No mention of Durham indictments, only coverage of anti-Trump Dem persecutions. The economic ignorance is unfortunately leading us towards an inflationary depression. And the Federal Reserve is a real policy basket-case, and not in a transitory way.

      • Maybe Bruce is pure too. Specifically, when you set aside the spin, the truth is in the timeline and is pretty easy and clear to follow. I want to thank you and the other editors for publishing this.

    • You’re right! The writer forgot the part about the damage the Biden team is doing being deliberate.

  • Most Democratic politicians and their appointed apparatchiks are lickspittle functionaries and petty careerists, think Lois Lerner or, for that matter, Joe Biden before James Clyburn boosted him into the Oval Office. Biden spent decades treading the murky and mephitic waters of the Beltway swamp, barely keeping his head above the fray, an affable lightweight without policy chops before latching onto the Sanders-Warren-Squadronista agenda, a program antithetical to American tradition, saturated with the kindergarten Marxism of class struggle and hatred of the bourgeoisie. Sloganeering substitutes for substance in Joe Biden’s United States, thus, fair share, BLM, equity without merit, critical race theory, systemic racism and the like. It’s easy on the ears if you’re one of the favored groups, but anathema to the vast majority of citizens.

  • President Biden started the inflation with his “American Rescue Plan”. Economists like Larry Summers told him not to push that plan, because it would cause inflation. We all know from the eighties how hard it is to get rid of inflation. Once that genie is out of the bottle, it it hard to put it back.

  • This current administration is worse than Jimmy Carter’s. Pick any topic concerning Americans! I’m so sick of listening to Climate Change, LGBTQ, and everyone’s a racist. We are on the edge of war and they want to Go Green. Inflation is at a 40 year high and gas is through the roof. Anyone want to talk about foreign policy right now? Anyone want to defend this administration? Left wing media and Social Media propaganda is all they have at this point.

  • People have more money in the bank. There are more jobs. There is lower unemployment. The annual deficit is down. These are all things that happened on Biden’s watch. You want to say it would have happened anyway without any governmental intervention, that is foolish. You would have had a harder crash, and a lot more concentration of wealth by the very rich who would have enough money to buy everything at bargain basement prices. That’s what happens in most recessions. As for the timing, the fact that the rescue plan was “in the works” means that markets will be ahead of the actual signing. That’s how markets and economics work. Businesses hire and fire based on market expectations. Given the financial push from the Fed, businesses had access to all the capital they needed to grow, again, you can thank Biden for much of that. Biden even kept the same chair of the Fed, to instill market stability. As for shutdowns not working, you have to be real dense not to understand that they absolutely reduced US mortality. The US is full, like 50+%, of people with co-morbidities. Extrapolate what happened in NY and NJ to the entire US population, that’s what would have happened, actually it would have been worse. It’s hard for some people to realize the value of avoiding problems if no actual harm comes to them, but that’s exactly what happened with the lockdowns. We would have seen 3-5 million dead Americans, and not just the older ones. Maybe that’s what you wanted all along.

  • Commie-la Harris was asked by a radio talk show host to break down the Ukrainian war in “layman terms”. She skillfully managed to break it down into “idiot terms”.
    Read this and weep.

    So, Ukraine is a country in Europe.”
    “It exists next to another country called Russia,” she continued. “Russia is a bigger country. Russia is a powerful country. Russia decided to invade a smaller country called Ukraine. So, basically, that’s wrong, and it goes against everything that we stand for.”

    This is what we have in the office of VP all because of a rigged election. A third grader could have explained it better. And Joe Biden is sending the ignorant buffoon to Poland to discuss the war in Ukraine. What she said my sound like she is attempting to describe the war like she was talking to stupid people, but the reality is, how she described it is exactly at the dumb level that she sees it. She is the stupid one.

  • The biggest lie is that biden doesn’t speak in public, you are seeing a body double.

  • The editorial is fundamentally correct, but erroneously claims the economy got back to its pre-pandemic level in Jan. 2021.

    That’s not true. In Jan. 2021, it was within 1.3% of its Feb. 2021 level in inflation-adjusted $ (I&I’d graph is in nominal $). It finally got there in June 2021 thanks to mediocre 1.5% absolute growth during Biden’s first five months.

    See IHS Markit’s (parent of Macro Advisers) historical data Excel for confirmation:

    ihsmarkit dot com/products/us-monthly-gdp-index.html

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