On Monday, the White House was fact-checked after it claimed that it had achieved the largest one-year reduction in the federal budget deficit in history.
The Biden-Harris Administration lowered the deficit with the single largest one-year reduction in American history.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) November 22, 2022
The White House’s communications team tried to make a misleading claim about the administration’s record when it posted a statement on Twitter. It was then confronted with a Community Note that provided additional context.
Readers pointed out that the White House left out important details about the increase in the deficit spending during the pandemic of COVID-19.
According to the Community Note, the deficits that were driven by the COVID pandemic were double those of the previous record. They also dropped to FY22.
The program known as Community Notes is a feature on Twitter that allows users to provide factual claims with a missing context. Unlike other platforms, Twitter does not manage the program. Instead, users rate and contribute notes to improve the quality of the service.
The community of Twitter pointed out that the White House’s claim about the deficit was misleading since it did not acknowledge that the spending had reached record highs during the Biden and Trump administrations’ time. According to the Treasury Department, the federal government’s spending went up by about 50% from 2019 to 2021 due to the pandemic-related legislation.
The federal budget deficit for the year 2020 was at $3.13 trillion, while it was at a slightly lower level of $1.38 trillion in FY2022. Although the deficit during the previous year had decreased by almost 50%, the Biden administration still ran the fourth-largest budget deficit in history.
The national debt, which is the value of the services and goods that the US economy produces, stands at over $31.2 trillion.