Biden lies about the inflation rate, which rose dramatically after he took office

Biden lies about the inflation rate, which rose dramatically after he took office
Joe Biden (Image: YouTube screen grab)

Inflation is higher now than when Joe Biden took office, due to the massive federal spending increases he supported and signed into law. But Biden lies about this, claiming inflation fell after he took office. As a fact checker at The Dispatch explains:

In an interview this week with CNN’s Erin Burnett, President Joe Biden claimed that the inflation rate was 9 percent when he entered office, crediting his administration with bringing that inflation under control. “No president has had the run we’ve had in terms of creating jobs and bringing down inflation,” Biden said in the interview. “It was 9 percent when I came to office, 9 percent.”

Burnett did not interject or push back on the president during the interview, but Biden’s claim is false: The annual rate of inflation was significantly lower when he took office in January 2021 and did not reach 9 percent until June 2022.

According to the consumer price index—the most common measure of U.S. inflation—the annual rate of inflation was only 1.4 percent in January 2021, the month Biden was sworn into office. Inflation quickly rose in the ensuing months, reaching a peak of 9.1 percent in June 2022 before retreating to 3 percent by June 2023. Year-over-year inflation has ranged from 3.1 to 3.7 percent in the 11 months since then, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent reading—for March 2024—was 3.5 percent.

A separate measure of inflation—the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ personal consumption expenditures index—followed a similar trajectory. By that metric, the annual rate of inflation stood at 1.6 percent when Biden took office in January 2021, reaching a peak of 7.1 percent in June 2022. In March 2024, the most recent month in which data is available, the year-over-year rate had fallen to 2.7 percent.

Biden’s big spending spawned inflation, according to economists like Bill Clinton’s Treasury Secretary, Larry Summers, and Obama advisor Steven Rattner. As Rattner noted in the New York Times, Biden has spent “an unprecedented amount” of taxpayer money, which resulted in “too much money chasing too few goods.”

Thanks to this massive spending, the federal budget deficit doubled to roughly $2 trillion in 2023, noted the Tax Foundation. This doubling “is basically unprecedented in U.S. history during relative peace and prosperity,” notes economist Brian Riedl. This was due to a “massive spending spree” by President Biden, soaring interest rates on the national debt that resulted from Biden’s policies, and continuing increases in entitlement spending, noted Riedl:

This year’s 7.6% of GDP budget deficit has been exceeded only during the depths of World War II, the great recession, and pandemic. Deficits didn’t even hit these heights during the Great Depression, Korean War, Vietnam War, or Reagan defense build up.

Deficits are supposed to rise during war & recessions and then fall during peace & prosperity. A $1 trillion jump in a single year with no war or recession has long been considered nearly impossible. (These figures exclude the student loan bailout that was never implemented).

In October 2022, Biden lied about gas prices. Joe Biden said, “The most common price of gas in America is $3.39. Down from over $5 when I took office.” The average price of gas when Joe Biden took office was actually $2.39. At the time he made this claim, the average price of gas today was $3.76, not $3.39.

Biden lied about giving his uncle a purple heart, which his uncle never received. Biden famously lied in 1987 when he claimed that he “graduated with three degrees from college,” was named “the outstanding student in the political science department,” “went to law school on a full academic scholarship — the only one in my class to have a full academic scholarship” and ”ended up in the top half” of his class. None of those claims were true. He graduated near the bottom of his law school class. In May 2022, Biden made a false claim at the Naval Academy, about supposedly being appointed to the Naval Academy in 1965.

The New York Post argues that “Joe Biden lies and lies and lies because he’s never had to pay any price.” But in the distant past, when the media was less in the tank for Democratic candidates, Biden sometimes did pay a price — The Post itself notes that Biden “got called out” for lying “during his first presidential run, nearly four decades ago (that’s the campaign that collapsed after he falsely claimed to descend from a long line of coal miners).” But he routinely repeats other lies, with few in the media even taking note of them — “Just Monday he trotted out an old fave — that he was the first in his family to go to college — at a speech in Wisconsin.”

Biden has told lies repeatedly for decades, and he had to end his first presidential campaign in 1987 due to a scandal involving plagiarism of speeches and a law school paper. Biden falsely claimed in speeches back then that “my ancestors … worked in the coal mines of Northeast Pennsylvania and would come up after 12 hours and play football for four hours.” In reality, Biden’s family did not mine coal.

In 2021, Biden told Jewish leaders that he remembered “spending time at” and “going to” the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh after the mass murder of 11 people in 2018. But he never visited the synagogue.

In September 2022, Biden falsely told people in Idaho that he received his “first job offer” from a local business, Boise Cascade. This was contradicted by the company, and Biden had never described any interest in moving to Idaho.

In January 2022, Biden told students of historically black colleges in Atlanta that he was arrested while engaging in a civil rights protest — which again was not true.

In 2020, Biden falsely claimed he “had the great honor of being arrested” in South Africa when he was “trying to get to see [Nelson Mandela] on Robbens [sic] Island,” where Mandela was imprisoned until 1990. He claimed Mandela thanked him for it. Later, Biden admitted that was not true.

In the Washington Times, Everett Piper argued that “Joe Biden is a pathological liar….a proven, habitual, unrepentant fraud….’In 1987, when Joe Biden was running for president for the very first time, his campaign got swallowed up in a swarm of lies that [he] told about himself all over the country. First, Biden was caught plagiarizing a famous speech from, then, British Labor Party Leader Neil Kinnock — including parts of the speech that came straight from Kinnock’s personal life that were not true for Biden. Then, he plagiarized yet another speech from the late Robert Kennedy and another from JFK and another from Hubert Humphrey … Soon, it was discovered that Biden had not just plagiarized those four speeches, but had lied about academic awards [that he never earned], lied about scholarships [that he never received], and lied about his ranking in law school [stating he graduated in the top half of his class when in fact he finished 76th out of 85].’”

Jeff Chidester described Biden’s falsification of an entire chapter of his life, falsely claiming to have been a civil-rights activist: “On numerous occasions, Biden claimed he … was an activist and organizer within the civil rights movement, that he had been trained as a civil rights activist in Black churches, that he had participated in civil rights sit-ins, boycotts, and marches, and even went so far as to claim he was ‘raised in a Black church.’ None of this is true, not even a little bit. It’s all a complete fabrication … A decent man does not do this; a deceitful man does.”

Mr. Chidester highlighted “one Biden lie, above all others” that he deemed “not only repugnant, but vile to its very core.”

In 1972, Mr. Biden’s first wife and daughter lost their lives in an auto accident. Afterwards, Joe Biden falsely claimed that Curtis Dunn, the driver of the tractor-trailer rig that hit the Bidens, was drunk at the time of the accident. But that was utterly untrue.

Mr. Chidester pointed out that the truth is that “Biden’s wife failed to yield the right of way, Dunn put his life in jeopardy when trying to avoid hitting the Biden vehicle, and after the accident tried to render aid to the Biden family. Delaware Superior Court Judge Jerome O. Herlihy, who oversaw the police investigation as chief prosecutor [at the time], said there was absolutely no evidence whatsoever supporting Joe Biden’s ‘claim.’ Curtis Dunn was, in fact, cleared of any wrongdoing.”

Everett Piper observed that “For over 47 years of public life, Joe Biden has shown himself to have an irresistible propensity to lie. He has lied to his professors. He has lied to his constituents. He has lied about his academic work. He has lied about his speeches. He has lied about his support of civil rights. He has even lied about the death of his own wife and young daughter.”

Hans Bader

Hans Bader

Hans Bader practices law in Washington, D.C. After studying economics and history at the University of Virginia and law at Harvard, he practiced civil-rights, international-trade, and constitutional law. He also once worked in the Education Department. Hans writes for and has appeared on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal.” Contact him at


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