On Friday (April 28), Washington Post editor-in-chief Glenn Kessler gave President Joe Biden the “bottomless Pinocchio” award for repeatedly making what the reporter called “highly misleading” claims about deficit reduction.
Earlier this week, Biden told union workers he had “lowered the deficit by a record $1.7 trillion” in his first two years in office, a claim Kessler awarded “three Pinocchios” in September.
In Friday’s post, Kessler notes that Biden repeats this statement “over and over” with the Washington Post, knowing of at lease 30 incidents since June.
“Why is this significant?” Kessler queries before explaining that “during Donald Trump’s presidency,” WaPo created a new category called ‘Bottomless Pinocchio’ to deal with false or misleading claims that were repeated so often that they became a form of propaganda.
Kessler explains that A statement is “added to the list” if it would have earned three or four Pinocchios and is “repeated at least 20 times.”
“By the end of the Trump presidency,” Kessler continues, 56 of Trump’s claims had made the list.
Kessler, who in November gave Biden his very first rating of “Bottomless Pinocchio” for repeatedly claiming without proof that he traveled 17,000 miles with Chinese President Xi Jinping, explained that the $1.7 trillion figure Biden was touting “came from comparing [the] fiscal year 2022’s $1.375 trillion deficit to [the] fiscal year 2020’s $3.132 trillion deficit.”
But Kessler notes that is misleading as the “best way” to assess a President’s impact on budget deficits would be to examine “what was predicted before he arrived and then what happened after” enacting his policies; taking this into account, Biden only decreased the deficit by 850 billion “more than originally projected.”