CNN Releases Fact Check for Some Important Biden Claims, And It’s Not Good For Team Biden 

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Following another Biden campaign speech touting his economic “success,” even CNN was forced to admit that many of his claims were “false, misleading or lacking critical context.” 

First, Biden falsely claimed that a $2,000 yearly cap on prescription drug costs for seniors was now in effect as of January 1. However, this assertion is inaccurate. However, the cap, outlined in the Inflation Reduction Act signed by Biden the previous year, will take effect in 2025 for Medicare Part D enrollees. Additionally, the maximum amount may vary in subsequent years as it is linked to Medicare Part D’s per capita costs. A White House official clarified that while other healthcare provisions from the Inflation Reduction Act came into effect on January 1, 2023, the prescription drug cost cap did not. 

In an attempt to portray Republicans as wanting to cut taxes for billionaires, Biden once again claimed that this elite group of high earners pay only 3% of their incomes in taxes. However, economists in Biden’s administration found that between 2010 and 2018, the wealthiest billionaire families spent about 8.2% of their income on federal individual income taxes.  

Even this 8% number is disputed because it includes unrealized capital gains not considered taxable income under federal law. According to tax experts, the top 400 households likely paid an average effective tax rate of 23% in 2018. Despite this, Biden has used the 8% statistic in multiple speeches without fully explaining its unconventional calculation. In recent speeches, he mentioned figures like “3%” and “2%,” which do not align with the data provided by economists. 

Next, Biden claimed his administration cut the deficit by $1.7 trillion over the last two years, presenting it as the most significant reduction in debt in American history. CNN fact-checkers noted that while it’s true that the federal deficit fell by $1.7 trillion under Biden in the 2021 and 2022 fiscal years, this claim overlooks significant context.  

Much of this reduction was due to the record-high deficit under Trump in 2020, primarily caused by emergency pandemic relief spending. Analysts argue that Biden’s policies have generally added to, rather than reduced, deficits. Moody’s Analytics and the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget have stated that Biden’s actions will likely increase deficits by trillions over the next decade due to Biden’s bills and policies. 

Biden also took the opportunity to boast that the days of paying no federal taxes “are over” for corporations. This isn’t entirely true, according to the CNN fact-checkers. Biden cited a report that found 55 large corporations paid no federal corporate income taxes despite making significant profits. However, Biden’s statement is exaggerated.  

Although the new minimum tax is expected to decrease the number of corporations paying no taxes, it targets companies with an average annual income of at least $1 billion, excluding numerous profitable corporations. In other words, large companies may still avoid paying federal income tax. 

CNN also reported that Biden’s criticism of Trump’s efforts to vaccinate Americans suggested that only 3.5 million people had received their first COVID-19 vaccine when he took office. However, this figure is misleading. By the time Trump left office in January 2021, about 19 million people had received their first vaccine dose. The 3.5 million figure represents those who had received both shots for full vaccination. While Biden may have been referencing completing the vaccination series, his phrasing could be misinterpreted to imply a smaller vaccination effort under Trump, who, according to Biden, “didn’t think it mattered a whole lot.” 

Biden was also caught seriously misrepresenting the success of the massive “infrastructure bill” he passed in 2021, claiming that the bill funded 700,000 construction projects nationwide. However, Biden’s claim of “700,000” projects is significantly overstated due to the “accidental” addition of two zeroes, not including the one giving the speech. The accurate figure, used in a previous speech and by the White House, is 7,000 projects. The White House later corrected the official transcript to reflect the correct number. 

CNN is not known for neutrality. Is CNN shifting to the center, or is Biden’s biggest cheerleader abandoning him? The idea of CNN embracing a centrist viewpoint is as unrealistic as finding a unicorn in a desert. It seems Biden may need to stop depending on media defense and try something more original – fighting a fair campaign on his own perceived merits.