Icons on Biden speech backdrop appear to symbolize reduced pay for American workers

 January 29, 2023

Everyone knows that President Joe Biden is prone to making gaffes and inadvertent mistakes in his speeches, but that tendency appears to have also spread to some of his aides and staffers in the White House.

During a speech Thursday, Biden touted "good jobs, lower costs, better pay" for American workers, but the iconography on the background behind him seemingly told the opposite story, the Western Journal reported.

In fact, the visible symbols on the backdrop were interpreted by some to represent the reality that many American workers are working for less money than before.

"Definitely an American worker working for less money"

President Biden traveled down to Springfield, Virginia on Thursday to deliver remarks on the nation's "economic progress" since he took office in January 2021.

Behind the president and podium was a large blue sign that read at the top, "President Biden’s Blueprint For America," and toward the bottom featured the message, "good jobs, lower costs, better pay."

In between those two phrases were three icons -- a worker with a hard hat and clipboard, an arrow pointed in a downward trajectory, and a dollar sign -- that presumably were intended to represent the bottom message of "good jobs, lower costs, better pay."

However, in the view of Christian Martinez, the deputy press secretary for Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R), the icons represented an entirely different and opposite message, as he wrote on Twitter, "Did anyone in the Biden administration check the logos? Because that’s definitely an American worker working for less money."

Real wages have gone down over the past year

As it turns out, and in contrast to what President Biden claimed in his speech about rising wages, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, "real average hourly earnings" for American workers had decreased from December 2021 to December 2022.

For all employees, the BLS reported that "Real average hourly earnings decreased 1.7 percent, seasonally adjusted, from December 2021 to December 2022. The change in real average hourly earnings combined with a decrease of 1.4 percent in the average workweek resulted in a 3.1-percent decrease in real average weekly earnings over this period."

With regard to just "production and non-supervisory employees," the bureau reported that "From December 2021 to December 2022, real average hourly earnings decreased 1.1 percent, seasonally adjusted. The change in real average hourly earnings combined with a decrease of 0.9 percent in the average workweek resulted in a 2.0-percent decrease in real average weekly earnings over this period."

Where Biden's staffers found the data to support his disingenuous claim of rising wages came from the slight increase from November to December of 0.4 percent for all workers, seasonally adjusted, and 0.5 percent for production and non-supervisory employees. Those purported increases in wages, however, were largely derived from a combination of slightly lower inflation and slightly reduced workweeks, and not so much from actual increases in pay rates.

More half-truths, lies, and gross misinterpretations

President Biden's speech itself was filled with numerous other examples of his disingenuousness and, at times, blatant dishonesty, such as his claims about massive job growth and deficit reduction that fail to mention the obvious connection to the recent pandemic, in that the millions of "new" jobs were mostly just workers returning to old jobs following temporary lay-offs and shutdowns, or how the trillions of dollars reduced in the annual deficit were simply one-time pandemic relief expenditures that have since gone away.

Elsewhere in the speech, Biden also quite predictably delivered grossly misinterpreted versions of Republican economic and tax proposals framed in the most negative way possible to justify his incessant attacks on "extreme MAGA Republicans" -- but that is just par for the course for him and his fellow Democratic comrades and media allies.

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