Apparently, Monday was opposite day in Washington.
President Biden insisted to a roomful of Democrats that their party were “the ones that are fiscally responsible” as new polls show voters believe Republicans would be better at handling the economy.
“We, the Democrats, are the ones that are fiscally responsible. Let’s get that straight now,” Biden told a room full of Democratic National Committee staffers and volunteers Monday.
The president’s audacious statement came three days after he tried to take credit for “a record decrease” in the federal deficit, which was only elevated due to stimulus spending approved by Democrats in Biden’s first year in office.
Though the deficit was lower in the past year due to increased tax revenue and subsiding COVID-19 expenses, the national debt continued to expand past $31 trillion amid the worst inflation since 1981.
The federal deficit in fiscal year 2022, which ended Sept. 30, was $1.38 trillion — down dramatically from $2.77 trillion in fiscal year 2021 and $3.13 trillion in fiscal year 2020, the first year of the coronavirus pandemic.
However, that was still the fourth-highest gap on record, after 2009’s $1.42 trillion caused by corporate bailouts and lower tax revenue during the Great Recession.
In September, the deficit surged 562%, according to the Treasury Department, which accounted for Biden’s attempt to forgive between $10,000 and $20,000 of federally owned student loans per borrower. That plan is estimated to cost $400 billion.
Biden also insisted once again Monday that his economic policies were not to blame for rampant inflation, but instead pointed the finger at the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“We know a lot of folks are struggling with inflation driven by Putin’s war in Ukraine and the global pandemic … but we have a lower inflation rate than almost any other nation,” the president said.
The president also accused Republicans of “threatening to hold the economy hostage” and “crash the economy” over his refusal to cut Social Security before saying that he isn’t paying attention to polls ahead of Election Day.
“If you speak to most pollsters, they’re not sure anymore – not about the outcome but about polling … I don’t pay attention to anything having to do with the polls,” Biden claimed.
Most Americans polled in a CNBC survey released last week said that Republicans are better equipped to fix the economy.
On the issue of which party would better control inflation, the CNBC All-America Economic Survey found that Republicans have a 15-point lead among registered voters, 42% to 27%; on dealing with taxes, the GOP leads 40% to 29%; on reducing the deficit, Republicans came in at 36% compared to 25% for Democrats; and on creating jobs, Republicans beat Democrats 43% to 33%.
Meanwhile, a New York Times-Siena College poll found that the economy and inflation were the most important issues to a combined 44% of likely voters.
In addition, a Monmouth University poll found that just 31% of Americans agreed that Biden was “giving enough attention to the issues that are most important to your family,” with 85% calling inflation an “extremely” or “very” important matter for the government to address.
With reporting by Steven Nelson
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