Issues & Insights:
Almost exactly a year ago, then-candidate Joe Biden promised something that many apparently believed. “I’ll always tell you the truth,” he said. “This is the responsibility of a president. That’s what is owed the American people.”
So how is Biden doing on that promise?
Not very well, when you consider his inability to tell the truth about the COVID-19 vaccine, the economic rebound already underway, or the border crisis. Biden won’t tell the truth about the first two because he’d have to credit President Donald Trump. And he won’t tell the truth about the border crisis because he himself is entirely to blame for it.
Biden has repeatedly claimed that when he got to the White House, there was no plan in place to distribute the vaccine and that the credit for the widespread distribution all belongs to him. In his prime-time address earlier this month, for example, Biden said that “I have as president of the United States put us on a war footing to get the job done. Sounds like hyperbole, but I mean it, a war footing. Thank God we’re making some real progress now.”
But the former head of Operation Warp Speed, the program created by Trump to speed development and production of COVID-19 vaccines, told NBC’s “Face the Nation” over the weekend that “90% of what is happening now is the plan that we had.”
Of course, all you have to do is look at the data to see that rollout of the vaccine had nothing to do with Biden. By the time Biden took office, daily doses were well above 1 million – for a vaccine that nobody, including Biden, thought would be approved by then.
Biden isn’t telling the truth about the economy, either, or his $1.9 trillion plan to “rescue” it. Earlier this month, for example, he said that “today’s jobs report shows that the American Rescue Plan is urgently needed, in our view … the rescue plan is absolutely essential for turning this around.”
As we’ve pointed out in this space, while Biden has been talking about how dire the economy is, growth has been booming. This quarter will be no exception. The Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank’s GPDNow estimate for Q1, which ends at the end of this month, is currently at 5.7%. The Congressional Budget Office forecasts that the economy will have recovered all the ground it lost during the pandemic lockdowns before this quarter is over – and well before any of Biden’s “rescue” plan has had a chance to make an impact on growth.
As of January, the unemployment rate in 18 states was below 5%. And the day Biden talked about how urgently needed his “rescue” plan was, the national unemployment rate dropped to 6.2% in February as 379,000 jobs were created.
Biden is also not telling the truth when he claims that “every major economist” supports his $1.9 trillion spend-a-thon. Last week, he said that “major economists — left, right, and center — support this plan.” It’s an echo of an earlier statement in which he said that “Every single major economist out there — left, right, and center — supported this plan.”
But as the Cato Institute’s David Boaz points out, “major economists from left, right, and center (are) opposing the plan as proposed and passed.”
Like Greg Mankiw, chief economic adviser to President George W. Bush. And Olivier Blanchard, former chief economist of the IMF. Michael Strain of the American Enterprise Institute. David Henderson and John Cochrane of the Hoover Institution. Constance Hunter, chief economist at KPMG, and the vast majority of business economists. Tyler Cowen of George Mason University. Nobel laureate Eugene Fama. Even Jason Furman, former chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, while saying he would support the plan on a ‘yes or no’ vote, warned that it risked triggering inflation and should be better designed.
Then there’s the dire situation at the border, which Biden either refuses to acknowledge or tries to pin on Trump. Most likely that’s because Biden is directly responsible for the humanitarian crisis that erupted after he took office.
The Heritage Foundation recently launched an immigration policy tracker to keep tabs on all the ways Biden has reversed Trump administration border security policies. It shows 21 areas where Biden has revoked, reversed, or is considering changes.
“President Biden has quickly dismantled those effective policies, opened the border, stopped immigration enforcement, and brought chaos to our immigration system, prioritizing illegal aliens over Americans,” the tracker notes.