President Joe Biden said a falling U.S. budget deficit would ease inflationary pressures for the country as he lambasted Republicans’ “ultra-MAGA agenda" during a White House event Wednesday.
In an attempt to defend his administration from high levels of inflation, Biden argued that his Republican predecessor had contributed to rising costs for consumers by adding to the federal deficit with corporate tax cuts.
Biden said his administration was on track to cut the deficit by $1.5 trillion by the end of the fiscal year, calling it “the biggest decline in the single year ever in American history.”
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He said the Treasury Department would also pay down the national debt this quarter for the first time since 2016. “It didn’t happen a single quarter under my predecessor,” Biden said. “Not once.”
He added: “The bottom line is that the deficit went up every year under my predecessor before the pandemic and during the pandemic.”
Biden’s defense of his handling of the economy takes on increasing urgency for Democrats in an election year and as the country wrestles with rising prices for everyday goods. Critics have pointed to the trillions of dollars in federal spending under the Biden administration, with more proposed but unable to pass the Senate, as a significant contributing factor.
On Wednesday, Biden settled on a simple message: “We reduce federal borrowing, and we help combat inflation,” he said in remarks from the White House.
But he also blamed Republicans, charging that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed under the Trump administration had hurt ordinary people by adding to the government’s costs.
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“I don’t want to hear Republicans talk about deficits and their ultra-MAGA agenda,” Biden said, charging that the deficit increased because of a “reckless $2 trillion tax cut … that was not paid for.”