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Fact check: Biden wrong on three statistics he cited in ABC interview




Biden was generally factual in the interview, much of which aired Wednesday. But he was wrong in three statistical claims.

The context around two of these inaccurate claims suggests that they may have been slips rather than intentional lies. And in the third statement, referring to the story of the Senate filibuster, Biden explicitly told Stephanopoulos that he did not believe the figures he used were correct.

Still, it is our job to correct the record when the president is wrong. Here is a review of the three inaccurate statements and two other statements Biden made in the interview.

Biden, announcing the tax benefits of the $ 1.9 trillion US rescue plan pandemic relief law he signed last week, said: “60% of all these tax breaks go , all these tax credits go to the lower 60% of the population “.

Facts first: Biden stumbled here with inaccuracy. When CNN asked where Biden got that figure, the White House said Biden was referring to a figure from the Fiscal Policy Center. But Howard Gleckman, a senior member of the Center for Fiscal Policy, told CNN that the center actually Found that 67.4% of this year’s tax benefits from the new law would go to 60% lower than households, and not that “all” profits would reach 60% lower, as Biden said.

“He got the first half of the sentence right and underestimated it. But he got the second half of the sentence wrong,” Gleckman said.

Obama-era assistance to Central America

Biden was credited with passing an Obama-era initiative to increase federal assistance to Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, countries the United States had experienced influx of unaccompanied minors. He dit that “I was able to pass a bipartisan bill for nearly $ 800 billion to go to the root cause of why, why people are leaving.”
Facts first: The 2015 initiative that Biden was talking about, which he did, as vice president, in a significant way paper in passing – always up to $ 750 million in U.S. funding for Central American countries, not “$ 800 billion,” as Biden said. We would have let it slip if it had said “$ 800 million” instead of $ 750 million, but “$ 800 million” is a major mistake.
Funding in Central America was contained in a broader spending bill that did happen with bipartisan support.

The story of the filibuster

Biden avalat a change to the Senate filibuster rules, which says senators should once again be forced to stand on the ground and keep talking if they want to prevent legislation. The current filibuster policy allows filibuster senators without making speeches.
Biden dit: “Look, I think, don’t take my numbers, George, but I think between 1960 and 2000 there were, I’m doing this number, I don’t know, there were, like – I already you know, 50 filibusters. Now there are, like, 200 since then … ”
Facts first: As Biden himself said, he didn’t have the right numbers. Although experts say it is difficult even for them to determine the number of filibusters a year (here is an explanation of complexity), it is clear that the Biden figure was too low for both the past and the present period, although accurate on its general point that the number of filibusters has increased significantly in the 21st century compared to the end of the 20th century.
Molly Reynolds, a senior member of the Brookings Institution who has studied filibuster, said most scholars think the best measure of representation is the number of motions filed. fence, a measure to end a debate in the Senate. According to the official Senate data, there were 755 coagulation motions filed from 1961 to 2000 (occurring at an average of less than 20 per year) and 1,516 coagulation motions filed from 2001 (estimated at an average of about 75 per year ).

Trump’s tax cuts

Biden said about Republican opposition to his Covid relief plan: “They don’t like it because, in fact, their idea of ​​a tax cut is to give Trump the tax cut, where 83% went to the top 1% of people in America. “

Facts first: This needs context. While it’s generally fair to say that the wealthiest Americans were the biggest beneficiaries of Trump’s 2017 tax cuts, the “83%” figure is a projection of what could happen in certain circumstances on 2027, not about what has already happened.

The Center for Tax Policies dear in 2017, the top 1% would get approximately 83% of profits in 2027, if individual law tax cuts (which were designed as temporary) were allowed to expire and corporate tax cuts continued. law (which were designed as permanent). exist. By contrast, in 2018, the Tax Policy Center estimated that the top 1% earned 20.5% of profits, while the 95% to 99% group earned 22.1% more.
There is certainly one substantial difference in how the new Biden Act and the 2017 Trump Act treat the rich and the poor. For example, the Center for Tax Policies Found that families earning $ 25,000 or less will receive an average tax cut of $ 2,800 this year from the new relief law, which will increase their after-tax income by 20%. Under Trump law, these households experienced an average reduction of $ 60 in the first year, or about 0.4% of their income after taxes.

Survey on the American rescue plan

Speaking of the American Rescue Plan, Biden boasted that “there are 78% of people who support this program, 52% of Republicans.” He conceded that there could be some voting error, saying, “Suppose 15% is disabled.”

Facts first: This statement is quite accurate; there have been some public polls that have shown global support for the U.S. bailout plan, which Biden claimed nearly 78% ago and support among Republicans even higher than the 52% he claimed. However, other public polls have found less support than Biden claimed, for both the general public and Republicans. The results of the surveys have it seemed to vary with the wording of the interviewers ’questions.
A Morning Consult / Politico poll conducted between February 19 and 22, 76% overall support for the relief plan was found among registered voters and 60% support among Republican registered voters, after respondents received information about the cost of $ 1.9 trillion plan and some key provisions, including direct payments of $ 1,400. A Morning Consult / Politico poll conducted from March 6 to 8, 75% general support was found for the plan and 59% Republican support.
A University of Monmouth poll from Feb. 25 to March 1 found support substantially lower than the plan that Morning Consult, especially among Republicans: overall support was 62%, while Republican support it was 33%. In addition to the standard differences in survey methodology and sampling (the Monmouth survey surveyed adults, not registered voters in particular), it is worth noting that Monmouth mentioned the $ 1.9 trillion cost of the plan before asking respondents for their opinion, but did not mention the $ 1,400 until after that question.