Notes on Biden, credit card spending and Matthew Yglesias

None other than Matthew Yglesias published on Monday with a piece that jibes with part of the fact check of Vice President Joe Biden that we published on Sunday.

Yglesias:

 

So on one level, Biden’s point here is that Republicans are huge hypocrites on the subject of debt. Absolutely true. But what’s this about wars on the credit card? I heard some snark about this to the effect that Biden voted for the wars too. And so he did. But he also opposed the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts, and this kind of rhetoric was common from Democrats at the time. The party was split on the war in Iraq, but united on the principle that taxes should be higher to offset war spending.

But why? What kind of sense does that make?

 

Yglesias and I were on the same page on that one, though since it wasn’t the issue I was fact checking I didn’t go into it very deeply:

 

Biden deserves a break on the charge that he’s claiming to have voted against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  It’s reasonable to interpret him to mean he did not favor using deficit spending to finance the wars, though that implies that Biden favored some sort of tax increase during the recession of the early 2000s.

 

Yglesias rightly questions the sense of Biden’s statement.

I should also note that Jordan Weissmann of The Atlantic said “It’s really odd to pin the recession on (the) size of the government’s credit card tab.”

None of the big three fact checkers has published about this statement from Biden’s debate performance, so Zebra Fact Check delivers early on its promise to check statements the others might miss.

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