President Joe Biden has frequently sought to justify his massive spending proposals, at least in part, on the grounds that they will help put millions of Americans back to work.
Even some progressive pundits and fact-checkers, however, have noted that he appears to be playing fast and loose with the figures, potentially costing him political capital he will need to navigate a full term in office.
“16 million new jobs”
In a statement at the White House on Wednesday, the president declared: “You have Moody’s talking about increasing — I don’t know the recent new one — 16 million new jobs.”
As Breitbart recently reported, however, the credit-rating agency has “said nothing even close” to what the president claimed about the impact of his infrastructure plan. In reality, Moody’s estimated that the American Jobs Plan proposed by Biden “would create roughly 2.6 million additional jobs” in the next decade, totaling about 19 million new positions overall.
Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler similarly took Biden to task last month for his job-creation claims.
“For weeks before the passage of his coronavirus economic package, Biden asserted that it would help create 7 million jobs,” Kessler wrote at the time.
Upon introducing a new infrastructure plan, however, he noted that Biden’s estimate “has a shiny new number: 19 million jobs.”
“Not nearly as large”
That inflated figure, Kessler explained, is about six times larger than actual projections. Kessler said that Moody’s number included “many jobs that would be created if government policymakers did absolutely nothing.”
Moody’s economist Mark Zandi determined that “the economy will create 18.96 million jobs between the fourth quarter of 2020 and the fourth quarter of 2030” with the American Jobs Plan in place.
Even without that plan, however, he projected that “the economy will create 16.3 million jobs” over the same period. Notably, that number would have decreased to 15.65 million jobs without the American Rescue Plan.
As Kessler acknowledged, the president has a penchant for exaggeration, which appears to have grown worse since he came into office. Kessler added: “While Biden at times used somewhat similar framing regarding the earlier Moody’s report on the American Rescue Plan, the gap in that case was not nearly as large.”
While Biden remains focused on job creation, many local and state leaders are dealing with another problem as many job openings remain unfilled. Two GOP governors have already announced plans to withdraw from COVID-related supplemental unemployment benefits approved by the federal government, arguing that the extra money has served as a deterrent for citizens receiving it who might otherwise look for a job.