A recent claim by President Joe Biden that his administration dramatically lowered the federal budget deficit was met by a near-immediate correction by a Twitter service.
The president’s recent assertions were heavily contested by conservatives. It was also swiftly corrected by Twitter’s new context feature.
President Biden’s tweet claimed that his administration “cut the deficit by more than $1.7 trillion.” The president also called it “the largest deficit reduction in history.”
Under my predecessor, the deficit went up four years in a row.
In the last two years, my Administration cut the deficit by more than $1.7 trillion.
The largest deficit reduction in American history.
— President Biden (@POTUS) February 11, 2023
Twitter cited four sources, including two from traditionally left-leaning media sources that contradict the president’s claims.
According to the Twitter context, COVID spending increased during the tenure of Presidents Trump and Biden due to the stresses of the pandemic. It also cited that the 2022 deficit under the Biden Administration was “41% larger than Trump’s largest non-COVID deficit.”
The context feature was created prior to the acquisition of Twitter by billionaire Elon Musk. However, the use of such context is now more commonly used under left-wing political claims than previously.
Recently revealed files from the company lend credence to conservative accusations that pre-Musk Twitter was targeting right-of-center content.
There were several other elements of Biden’s statement that were contradicted by recent statistics. The Treasury Department reported that the deficit in the current fiscal year is $201 billion larger than in the same period last year.
Furthermore, the federal government’s current debt load is sparking concern among oversight agencies. The Government Accountability Office released a 2022 report that stated its belief that recent massive deficits and higher debt will cause serious budget issues over the next several decades.
The office wrote that increased interest rates will contribute to further deficits for years. The report states that while interest on debt service represented 8% of the federal budget in 2019, it will nearly double to 14% in 2035 and nearly double again to 27% in 2050.
The same report estimated that overall government spending will increase significantly over the next several decades. This includes increases in both nominal dollars and as a share of the country’s gross domestic product.
President Biden’s assertions met with significant criticism as deficit spending continues during his time in the White House.