Though he ran in 2020 claiming to be a straight-shooting moderate capable of restoring integrity to the White House, now-President Joe Biden has rapidly been revealed as someone willing engage in gross misrepresentations of fact in order achieve policy aims, and a key administration figure was just taken to task for it.
During an interview on Fox News Sunday, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was grilled by host Chris Wallace about Biden’s massive infrastructure bill and was pressed on why he and other administration figures continued to vastly overstate the number of jobs it would likely create.
According to Wallace, Buttigieg as well as other administration representatives had appeared on Sunday shows the prior week and touted numbers from a Moody’s Analytics study to suggest that the American economy would gain 19 million jobs if the Biden infrastructure plan is passed, as the New York Post noted. He then pointed out the problem that that assertion, saying:
But it turns out the study you’re citing from, Moody’s Analytics, says the economy will add 16.3 million jobs without the infrastructure bill, and 2.7 million more with it. So it doesn’t, as you said last Sunday, create 19 million jobs. Again, Secretary Buttigieg, why mislead folks?
Buttigieg scrambled to clean up the mess, feebly stating, “You’re right, I should have been more precise. The 19 million jobs that will be created are more than the jobs that will be created if we don’t do the plan. And it’s very important to make this point, as you’ve just showed us.”
Wallace, who gained infamy among regular Fox News viewers for his perceived kid-glove treatment of Biden during a September presidential debate over which he presided, would not be deterred, however, bluntly observing, “Right, but 2 million – 2 million is not 19 million,” and pointing out that National Economic Council Director Brian Deese and others in the administration had publicly used the inflated number as well, according to the Post.
The Transportation secretary had little choice but to concede at least party of Wallace’s point and said, “So, yes, you’re right, I should be very precise,” but continued to prevaricate, adding, “The difference in jobs is that that particular analysis suggests is 2.7 million more. That is a great place to be. Why wouldn’t we want America to create 2.7 million more jobs?”
Try as they might to gin up additional support for the so-called “American Jobs Plan” by artificially inflating its potential benefits, the Biden administration is facing growing opposition to the scope of the bill as presently comprised. As The Hill reports, even Democrat Sen. Chris Coons (DE) – a staunch ally of the president – has indicated that the legislation will likely need to be significantly scaled down in order to secure Republican support.
Biden planned to meet with a bipartisan group of lawmakers on Monday to discuss potential areas of negotiation regarding his expansive – and costly – plan, but he has also signaled a willingness to try and pass the bill without any GOP buy-in, as Reuters noted. Even so, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has already signaled opposition to the proposal, calling it a “Trojan horse” designed to sneak through “more borrowed money and massive tax increases on all the productive parts of our economy,” according to CNBC.
Though the Biden administration’s unfettered willingness to dramatically distort the facts to hide the president’s true legislative intentions is indeed disturbing, but kudos to Wallace for – at least in this instance – shining a spotlight on the deception.