Fact Check: President Biden’s SOTU Address:

Let’s begin with this:

From CNN:

The Deficit:

President Biden: “In the last two years, my administration has cut the deficit by more than $1.7 trillion – the largest deficit reduction in American history.”

Facts:

  • It is true that the federal deficit fell by $1.7 trillion under Biden in the 2021 and 2022 fiscal years, including a record $1.4 trillion drop in 2022 –
  • CNN claims President Biden doesn’t deserve all the credit:
    • The primary reason the deficit fell so substantially was that it had skyrocketed to a record high under then-President Donald Trump in 2020 because of bipartisan emergency pandemic relief spending, then fell as expected when the spending expired as planned.

Small business applications:

“Over the last two years, a record 10 million Americans applied to start new businesses.”

Facts:

  • True-There were about 5.4 million business applications in 2021, the highest number since 2005 (the first year for which the federal government released this data for a full year), and about 5.1 million business applications in 2022.
  • TFG had bigly numbers as well.

Unemployment among demographic groups:

“…near record unemployment for Black and Hispanic workers.”

Facts:

  • True:
    • The Black or African American unemployment rate was 5.4% in January 2023, just above the record low of 5.3% set in August 2019. (This data series goes back to 1972.) The rate was 9.2% in January 2021, the month Biden took office.
    • The Hispanic or Latino unemployment rate was 4.5% in January 2023, not too far from the record low of 4.0% that was set in September 2019 – though the 4.5% rate in January 2023 was a jump from the 4.1% rate in December 2022. (This data series goes back to 1973.) The rate was 8.5% in January 2021.

Read more at the link above.

And then there’s this:

Politifact:

“I stand here tonight after we’ve created, with the help of many people in this room, 12 million new jobs — more jobs created in two years than any president’s created in four years.”

Biden is correct about 12 million jobs created, but his comparison with previous presidents is Half True

In raw numbers, Biden did oversee greater job growth than any post-World War II president’s first or second term in office. However, this achievement comes with asterisks. 

“In 2020, 55 of the largest corporations in America — the Fortune 500 — made $40 billion in profits and paid zero in federal taxes.”

This is Mostly True.

Other claims need context, according to Politifact.

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