It’s only been a week since Ed wrote about Joe Biden getting 4 Pinocchios for an outright lie about the Georgia voting law. Today, Biden did slightly better for a bogus claim about his infrastructure bill. Last Friday, Biden claimed, “Independent analysis shows that if we pass this plan, the economy will create 19 million jobs — good jobs, blue-collar jobs, jobs that pay well.”
Is that true? Maybe. Sort of. Not exactly.
Biden is relying on a report put together by Moody’s Analytics. The first thing to know is that the 19 million jobs estimate is a prediction of growth over ten years. Obviously a lot can happen in ten years which makes any prediction like this pretty unpredictable. All it would take is another virus variant and that could all change very quickly. But the real problem with Biden’s claim is what he doesn’t tell you about where most of those 19 million jobs are coming from:
“With the AJP, the economy will create 18.96 million jobs between the fourth quarter of 2020 and the fourth quarter of 2030,” Zandi said. “Without the AJP, the economy will create 16.3 million jobs [in that period].”…
All told, as a result of the infrastructure plan, almost 2.7 million additional jobs would be created over 10 years.
So instead of telling people what their jobs plan could actually do, the entire Biden administration is repeating the misleading claim that the the economy could create 19 million jobs without mentioning that 16.3 million of those will happen even if we do nothing.
So, for instance, Jen Psaki claimed last Friday, “A report from Moody’s Analytics that came out yesterday afternoon projects that the economy will create 19 million jobs over the next decade if Congress passes the American Jobs Plan.”
What she said is strictly true and also intentionally misleading. And President Biden’s language is framed exactly the same way. Here’s Glenn Kessler’s conclusion:
Note how Biden carefully does not say the infrastructure plan would create 19 million jobs; instead, he says the economy would create that many jobs if the plan was passed.
Biden’s language is just on the edge of being technically correct, but even experienced communicators such as Deese and Buttigieg messed it up during interviews. That’s because — as Brennan’s question demonstrated — the impression left by the White House’s finely tuned language is that the infrastructure bill would create 19 million jobs all by itself.
In fact, the bill is estimated to create about 2.7 million additional jobs over 10 years. That’s a huge gap between the two numbers — six times smaller.
In the end Biden’s claim gets two Pinocchios for this intentionally misleading claim. I guess we’ll see if the White House decides to keep using this line after today.