Where’s the Demand That Biden Stop George ‘Santosing’ About the National Debt?

What George W. Bush called ‘fuzzy math’ is just another way of avoiding the truth.

AP/Evan Vucci
President Biden during a meeting with Democratic lawmakers at the White House, January 24, 2023. AP/Evan Vucci

America is on track to hit the debt ceiling as soon as this summer, yet President Biden keeps bragging about having cut the debt. Amid a bipartisan chorus demanding that the Republican congressman from New York, George Santos, be punished for lying about his record, why the silence on Mr. Biden misleading citizens about the nation’s financial health?

“The Bipartisan Policy Center currently projects that,” the think tank wrote on Wednesday, “absent congressional action, the debt limit ‘X Date’— the day when the federal government can no longer meet all its obligations in full and on time — will likely arrive in summer or early fall of 2023.”

Mr. Biden denies this reality, using verbal origami to fold it into a more pleasing shape. “We’ve reduced the national debt, so far,” he said at a DNC fundraiser three weeks ago, “$1.7 trillion in two years.” He repeated the same figure in his State of the Union address, calling it “the largest deficit reduction in American history.”

A speech to International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers’ Local 26 in Lanham, Maryland, last week featured the same boast. Mr. Biden said Republicans are “not going to pay the national debt, which took 200 years to accumulate. This is not the debt this year or last year. We cut the debt by $1.7 trillion the last two years.”

This is what President George W. Bush used to call “fuzzy math.” Mr. Biden is indeed talking about deficit reduction year over year, while presenting the figure as a reduction in the national debt, which was $27.8 trillion when he took office and is now $31.6 trillion, an increase of more than $4 trillion.

Mr. Biden also told the union crowd that in 200 years, “no president added more to the national debt … than my predecessor.” CNN reported, “This claim is false. More debt was added in the eight years under President Barack Obama, with Biden as vice president, than in the four years under Trump.”

Even had Mr. Biden’s false claim been true, when you’re spending like a drunken sailor, it’s little comfort to citizens paying the tab that you’re more sober than a fellow seaman. Covid has abated, in any case, so of course the nation is longer paying for such items as checks to those the lockdowns put out of work.

By conflating the annual budget deficits from the final year of the pandemic with the national debt — the overall total the nation owes — Mr. Biden is the equivalent of a husband who assures his wife that while he charged up $60,000 in Vegas last year, he’ll blow just $50,000 in 2023.

That is not a $10,000 cut; the couple is still on the hook for $90,000. The only way they can get out from under it is paying down the credit card, and this is the case with the national debt. The can only take two forms: Growing the amount of money you take in or reducing spending, with canceling Vegas vacations being a good place to start.

Republicans and Democrats in Congress are happy to go after Mr. Santos for his fanciful claims, but how is their legerdemain in respect of the budget any less mendacious ; so, the bipartisan spending binge rolls on, adding to the quarter of a million dollars that each individual taxpayer now owes on the nation’s credit card.

Mr. Santos’s lies helped earn him a congressional seat by deceiving voters about his accomplishments, but the damage was limited to a single district. When Mr. Biden lies about shrinking the debt, the Democrat gives Americans a false sense of security, insisting that drinks are on the house for the foreseeable future.

The fact that America just raised the debt ceiling and is on track to hit it again in as little as six months puts the lie to Mr. Biden’s crowing about the national debt. Sooner or later, it’ll be time for the big spenders to put down the scotch glass and call it a night. The longer it takes to do so, the more damaging the hangover will be.

The New York Sun

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