President Biden was either confused or misleading the public when he claimed that the past five former chairs of the Federal Reserve support his tax hike plan as a way to boost the economy.
The president caused a lot of head-scratching when he told reporters last week, “By the way, you saw — you know, the last five leaders of the Fed coming out and saying — what’d they say? They said, ‘Biden’s plan is going to grow the economy.’”
What did they say, indeed?
For starters, two of the previous five Fed chairmen — Paul Volcker and G. William Miller — have died. Of the others, only Janet Yellen is advocating publicly for the president’s proposed tax increases, and she happens to be Mr. Biden’s Treasury secretary.
The White House didn’t respond to a request for clarification.
An anonymous White House official told CNN that Mr. Biden misspoke. What the president meant to say, the official said, was that five former IRS commissioners endorsed his tax plan as a way to boost the economy.
Which is also not true.
Five former IRS chiefs wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post in which they said Mr. Biden’s plans to raise taxes on individuals earning more than $400,000 and to boost corporate tax rates would “restore our tax administration system to make it far fairer and more effective.”
“This would benefit everyone who pays their taxes,” they wrote. “It would produce a great deal of revenue by reducing the enormous gap between taxes legally owed and taxes actually paid — much of it through increased voluntary compliance. And it would improve taxpayers’ interactions with the IRS.”
It was an endorsement of their view of tax “fairness,” to be sure. But it was hardly a prediction that Mr. Biden’s tax plan will “grow the economy.”