Fact Check: Joe Biden’s State of Union address

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during the State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, U.S, March 1, 2022. Al Drago/Pool via REUTERS

COVID-19:

Claim: Severe cases are down to a level not seen since July of last year.”

THE FACTS: Biden overstated the improvement, omitting a statistic that remains a worrisome marker of the toll from COVID-19.

While hospitalizations indeed are down from last summer, deaths remain high. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID tracker shows 289 deaths on July 1, 2021. This past Monday the CDC tracker reported 1,985 deaths.

NPR:

THE CLAIM: “We’ve sent 475 million vaccine doses to 112 countries, more than any other nation.” – President Biden

Fact:

This is true.

Yes, the U.S. has sent 475 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to 112 countries. But that’s less than half of the administration’s total donation goal.

Verifythis:

Economy:

THE CLAIM

“Our economy grew at a rate of 5.7% last year, the strongest growth in nearly 40 years, the first step in bringing fundamental change to an economy that hasn’t worked for the working people of this nation for too long.” — President Biden

THE ANSWER

This is true.

Yes, the U.S. economy grew at a rate of 5.7% last year, which was the strongest growth in nearly 40 years. But that’s after a year that saw a GDP decrease of 3.4%.

Verifythis:

Fact check: 55 Fortune 500 companies earned $40 billion in profit and paid no federal taxes

President Biden: “Last year, 55 of the Fortune 500 companies earned $40 billion in profit and paid zero in federal taxes.” 

Fact check: True.

Gunz: Biden wrong on gun manufacturer liability

Claim: “Look, repeal the liability shield. It makes gun manufacturers the only industry in America that can’t be sued.”

Fact: This is false. Gun manufacturers can certainly be sued — and some other industries have some liability protections.

Gun manufacturers only U.S. industry that can’t be sued

President Biden: Called on Congress to “Repeal the liability shield that makes gun manufacturers the only industry in America that can’t be sued.”

Fact check: Misleading

The liability shield law that President Biden referenced is called the “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.”

CBS:

Russia/Ukraine Crisis:

Fact check: Ruble down 30%, Russian stock market has lost 40%

President Biden: “Tonight I am announcing that we are joining our allies in closing off American air space to all Russian flights — further isolating Russia and adding an additional squeeze on their economy. [Russian President Vladimir Putin] has no idea what’s coming. The ruble has lost 30% of its value. The Russian stock market has lost 40% of its value, and trading remains suspended.”

Fact check: True

Taxes:

Nobody making under $400K per year will pay more in new taxes

President Biden: “Under my plan, nobody, let me say this again, nobody earning less than $400,000 a year will pay an additional penny in new taxes. Not a single penny.”

Fact check: True, but lacks context

Mr. Biden has put forth a number of tax proposals in the American Families Plan, some of which become effective at $400,000 in income and some of which kick in at much higher thresholds.

The plan proposes to raise the top tax rate to 39.6% from its current 37%, a change that would kick in at $452,700 for single taxpayers and $509,300 for married couples. It would place an additional tax on pass-through business income of $400,000 or higher. Taxpayers making above $1 million would also see a new capital gains tax. Also, taxpayers who die with significant accumulated wealth — $1 million or more in unrealized capital gains — would face an additional tax on the increase in their investment. Mr. Biden also proposes increasing the corporate tax rate to 28% from 21%.

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