Joe Biden's Version of "Honesty"
When even CNN points out that the President is lying, he's got trouble
President Biden yesterday gave a stemwinder of a speech arguing principally, and with no trace of irony, that to vote for the opposing party in the upcoming election is to betray democracy.
A few hours before making this grand pronouncement, Biden’s White House put out the following statement: “Seniors are getting the biggest increase in their Social Security checks in 10 years through President Biden’s leadership.”
The statement is a point-blank lie. The size of the increase is dictated by a decades-old law and has nothing to do with the governing party’s “leadership.” As even CNN was forced to acknowledge (emphasis in original):
The increase in Social Security payments in 2023 is the biggest in years because the inflation rate has been the biggest in years. Under a law passed in the 1970s, Social Security payments must be increased by the same percentage that a certain measure of consumer prices has increased.
The increase is known as a cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA. Why will there be an 8.7% cost-of-living adjustment in 2023? Because average prices in the third quarter of 2022, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), were up 8.7% from average prices in the third quarter of 2021.
It’s impossible to believe that the White House didn’t know that the increase is dictated by law. Everyone in town knows it, largely because the pay of federal workers is adjusted by a similar COLA calculation.
Asked about the White House’s assertion that “President Biden’s leadership” is responsible for the increase, Gary Engelhardt, a Syracuse University economics professor who studies Social Security, responded: “This assertion is incorrect.”
Notice that when the Biden White House lies, what it says is “incorrect.” When Trump lies, which regrettably was and continues to be not infrequently, it’s “disinformation that threatens the foundations of democracy.”
“The Social Security COLA is mandated by law (and has been for decades) and is tied to the rate of increase in the Consumer Price Index (i.e., inflation). President Biden has control over neither. From a political standpoint, it is a decidedly positive spin on a problem (inflation) plaguing his approval ratings,” Engelhardt said in an email on Wednesday.
Mary Johnson, Social Security and Medicare policy analyst at The Senior Citizens League, an advocacy group, also dismissed the White House claim.
“If inflation climbs then seniors will get more in their Social Security checks the following year to protect the buying power of their benefits. The fact that Biden took credit in this fashion sounds a lot like he’s trying to make lemonade out of the inflation lemon,” Johnson said in a Wednesday email.
Ms. Johnson makes a good point, although one that, ironically, illustrates the sliver of truth in President Biden’s claim: In a sense, he is responsible for the size of the COLA increase, because his own gargantuan deficit spending — e.g., at least three trillion in unpaid-for COVID handouts — produced the inflation that now requires a fat cost-of-living adjustment just to catch up.
Or to put it more succinctly, the Social Security boost is only a nominal increase. Since it does no more than keep pace with inflation, in real terms, it’s no increase at all. Why no increase at all is worth bragging about, much less lying about, is something of a mystery.
One last note. When the phony White House boast got exposed by a “context” note on Twitter, the President’s people didn’t follow the path of the transparency they so often pretend to love — that is, they didn’t leave it there and add a correction. Instead, they scrambled to erase it, i.e., drop it down the memory hole, hoping, I guess, that no one would notice.
This is the same group that scripted the President’s dire warning, mere hours later, about how the opposition’s lying is coarsening our national debate.
What Trump lies are you talking about? I've never heard him lie about anything. The worst he does is get a detail wrong here or there. I'm guessing his "lies" are like our "lies" - truthful statements that woke people don't like. This kind of BS doesn't make you seem fair, it makes you seem dishonest and cowardly, like you're trying desperately to appease the left by pretending both sides are equally bad these days. It's not true, and appeasement never works anyways.
Trump actually rarely lies. He mostly only says things liberals disagree with, which they dishonestly call “lies”. Ironic really.