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.
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.
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