Akela Lacey provides evidence of all the lies that Joe Biden made during the last debate with Bernie Sanders. The major one was when he said that he had never tried to cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and veteran’s benefits when he has actually boasted about doing so.
In 1984, though, Biden co-sponsored an amendment to freeze military and domestic spending for a year, which included some built-in-adjustments for Social Security benefits — tantamount to cutting the program.
In the 1995 speech, Biden was more explicit: He bragged about advocating for cuts to Social Security. “I’m up for reelection this year and I’m gonna remind everybody what I did at home, which is gonna cost me politically,” Biden said, removing his glasses. “When I argued if we should freeze federal spending, I meant Social Security as well. I meant Medicare and Medicaid. I meant veterans’ bene— I meant every single solitary thing in the government. And I not only tried it once, I tried it twice, I tried it a third time, and I tried it a fourth time.”
Biden had denied that he had been an enthusiastic supporter of the bankruptcy bill that caused serious hardship for people in the lower income brackets.
“I did not like the bill. I did not support the bill,” Biden said. “And I made it clear to the industry I didn’t like the bill.”
In fact, Biden pushed for years to ram the bill through, voting for some version of it at least four times between 1998 and 2005 — often against a majority of Democrats — and even inserting its language into a 2000 foreign relations bill.
And Biden did the opposite of what he claimed on the amendments. “The record makes clear that as a senator, Biden used his clout to push for the law’s passage and to defeat amendments to shield service members, women, and children from its harsh treatment,” Adam Levitin, a bankruptcy law professor at Georgetown Law School, wrote in January. “When votes were taken, ‘Middle-Class Joe’ was no friend to the middle class.”
Biden also shamelessly attacked Sanders for his statements about the health and education reforms in Cuba as inexcusable praising of dictators.
Biden himself has praised and made excuses for dictatorial rulers, including Hosni Mubarak, the former president of Egypt, as well as both Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, and Dubai’s former ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Biden also claimed that he was a key architect of the Paris climate accords. This is part of his effort to claim that he was either the architect or deeply involved in all major decisions.
Asked if Biden’s climate plan was ambitious enough to tackle the burgeoning environmental crisis, the former vice president said he would rejoin the Paris Climate Accord and took credit for organizing it.
“I would immediately rejoin the Paris Climate Accord, which I helped put together,” Biden said.
It’s not the first time Biden has claimed an outsized role in the Obama administration’s efforts to support the climate agreement. At least six administration officials contradicted that claim in interviews, E&E News reported: “All of them said Biden did not appear to play an instrumental role in finalizing the Paris Agreement.”
Of course when it comes to self-aggrandizing lies, no one can hold a candle to Trump but it is unsettling that we are likely to see a presidential election between two people who have such a loose affinity to the truth.