Fact-Checking Biden’s Recent Economic Talking Points

As he seeks re-election, President Biden has been trying to sell voters on his approach to the economy and draw a contrast with his likely 2024 opponent, former President Donald J. Trump.

During Mr. Biden’s administration, the economy has grown 3.1 percent from the end of 2022 to the end of 2023. The rate of inflation has dropped considerably since its summer 2022 peak (although it dipped less than economists had expected in January). And job gains continue.

At recent public and campaign events, though, Mr. Biden has made some misleading statements about the economy, jobs and taxes.

Here’s a fact check.


“We now have a thousand billionaires in America. You know what their average tax rate is — federal tax? 8.2 percent.”
— during a campaign event in late January

This is misleading. Mr. Biden was referring to a White House study that sought to use a “more comprehensive measure of income” than the way income is currently assessed. In other words, it offered a hypothetical on what the rate would be if the law was different.

More specifically, the study, released in 2021, included gains made in unsold stocks. Under the law, those gains are not taxed until the asset is sold. The report estimated the average federal income tax rate paid by the 400 wealthiest families in the United States to be 8.2 percent.

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