During an interview on Thursday with the Associated Press, President Biden told Americans that they “shouldn’t believe” warnings from economists about the United States entering a recession next year. Biden’s comments came shortly after a report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis revealed that the United States economy shrank at a 1.5% annual rate during the first quarter of 2022.
“You’ve got serious economists who warn of a recession next year… What should Americans believe?” AP reporter Josh Boak asked Biden.
“They shouldn’t believe a warning. They should just say: ‘Let’s see. Let’s see, which is correct.’ And from my perspective, you talked about a recession. First of all, it’s not inevitable,” Biden replied before claiming that he reduced the federal deficit and increased pay for American workers.
Biden’s claim that he reduced the federal deficit is an embellishment “for the ages,” as explained by The Wall Street Journal, and assumes that he fails in enacting his desired agenda – like passing his Build Back Better plan or additional COVID relief.
“[Biden’s] also using the fiscal 2020 budget as his benchmark. Congress passed $2 trillion in Covid relief in March 2020 to prevent a recession. Both parties piled on $900 billion more that December, and Democrats in March 2021 ladled out nearly $2 trillion more. The deficit is declining because Congress blew it out for two years,” The Wall Street Journal wrote, noting that the inflation crisis that began shortly after Biden took office also contributed to increased government revenues. “Revenues have been surging thanks to strong corporate profits, capital gains, and rising nominal incomes. Inflation is always good for government coffers. Receipts are up 28% during the first four months of this fiscal year. But the Congressional Budget Office still projects deficits to exceed $1 trillion on average over the next decade.”
Additionally, Biden’s claim that he increased pay for American workers is false when adjusting for inflation. According to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Real average hourly earnings decreased 3.0 percent, seasonally adjusted, from May 2021 to May 2022. The change in real average hourly earnings combined with a decrease of 0.9 percent in the average workweek resulted in a 3.9-percent decrease in real average weekly earnings over this period.”
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