Biden claims ‘inflation has come down’ in US, X adds a ‘context’ - Hindustan Times
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Biden claims ‘inflation has come down’ in US, X adds a ‘context’ to the tweet with many Americans wondering how

Dec 01, 2023 11:47 AM IST

Inflation, debt, and tax claims, US President Joe Biden's tweets fact-checked by X users

Joe Biden's recent tweet asking corporates to stop price gouging over falling inflation has been questioned on X (formerly known as Twitter) with many wondering have prices really gone down. High consumer prices has been a major factor driving voter disapproval of Biden’s handling of the economy, polls show, this perception threatens to torpedo his reelection bid next year.

US President Joe Biden, during a meeting with Joao Lourenco, Angola's president in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, US, on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023. Photographer: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg(Bloomberg)
US President Joe Biden, during a meeting with Joao Lourenco, Angola's president in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, US, on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023. Photographer: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg(Bloomberg)

According to numbers released by the White House, US inflation slowed marginally to 3.2% in October against 3.7 basis points in September. President Joe Biden took credit for easing supply-chain pressures and lowering inflation ahead of the holiday shopping season. “We know the prices are still too high for too many things, that times are still too tough for too many families,” Biden said Monday at the White House. “We’ve made progress, but we have more work to do.”

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On Thursday, Biden tweeted, “Let me be clear to any corporation that hasn’t brought their prices back down even as inflation has come down: It’s time to stop the price gouging. Give American consumers a break.” Followed by another post, “Investments we're making spurred by the Inflation Reduction Act are going to communities that historically get left behind. When I took office, I vowed I’d be president for all Americans, and we're delivering on that promise.”

The social media platform has added “Community Notes” to three of Biden’s tweets in the recent weeks, providing context and corrections from other sources.

This time the X community post read - “Readers added context they thought people might want to know. As long as the inflation rate is positive, prices are increasing. The fact that inflation has come down to 3.2% in October means that prices are still going up, albeit at a slower rate than before.”

Several users pointed out that inflation is not down, it's just rising at a lower rate. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the average earnings of Americans were better during Donald Trump's time at the White House.

Inflation during Biden's era vs Trump's era(US Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Inflation during Biden's era vs Trump's era(US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

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Amy Nixon wrote, "This will be studied in an economics class someday:

What part of this tweet is unclear?

A. His understanding of inflation

B. His understanding of disinflation

C. His understanding of deflation

D. All of the above"

This isn't for the first time Biden is facing criticism for celebrating ‘price cooling’ a bit too soon. Earlier this year the US President had tweeted that “America is not a deadbeat nation. We have never, ever failed to pay our debt. But MAGA Republicans are engaged in reckless hostage-taking by threatening to force America into default. It’s dangerous and wrong.”

However, X users pointed out that the U.S. has defaulted on its debt several times in history, most recently in 1979. A Community Note added to Biden’s tweet listed the occasions where the country failed to honor its obligations, contradicting his claim.

Netizens tore into Biden's “fact”

On Wednesday, Biden tweeted that “Let me give you the facts. In 2020, 55 corporations made $40 billion and paid zero in federal taxes.” He was referring to his Inflation Reduction Act, which imposed a minimum tax on corporations with average pre-tax earnings greater than $1 billion.

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But another Community Note clarified that of the 55 corporations mentioned by Biden, only 14 had earnings greater than $1 billion and would be eligible under his tax law. The note also cited a report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, which found that the effective tax rate for the 55 corporations was 8.5%, not zero.

X’s ‘fact-checking’ of Biden comes amid a tense standoff between Democrats and Republicans over the debt ceiling, which is the legal limit on how much the federal government can borrow. The U.S. Treasury Department has warned that it will run out of money to pay its bills by December 15, unless Congress raises the debt limit.

Biden has accused Republicans of playing “Russian roulette” with the economy, while Republicans have blamed Democrats for spending too much and causing inflation. Both parties have been using social media to rally their supporters and attack their opponents.

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