President Joe Biden and members of his administration are doing everything they can to sell a massive infrastructure bill to the public, but Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was forced to clarify a glaring misconception about a supposed benefit of the bill.
According to Breitbart, Buttigieg was pressed by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace on the number of jobs that the newly-minted transportation chief originally touted as a probable outcome of passing the $2.2 trillion piece of legislation — a number that turned out to be completely untrue.
On other media networks that tend to be more Biden-friendly, Buttigieg claimed the infrastructure proposal would create some 19 million American jobs if passed, which is a shockingly high number and certainly newsworthy.
The only issue with touting that number is that it’s false. It turns out that Biden’s infrastructure plan will add jobs, according to a recent study, but nowhere near Buttigieg’s original number.
“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?” Wallace asked.
Buttigieg, like a deer caught in headlights, simply replied, “Well, you’re right. I should have been more precise.”
“It will create 2.7 million more jobs than if we don’t do it, and that’s very important because there are people on this network and others saying with a straight face that this would somehow reduce the number of jobs,” he said.
Buttigieg’s conveniently misleading number might not matter much in the long-haul, anyway, as Senate Republicans continue to slam the bill as nothing more than a “slush fund” and suggested in a memo on Monday that the bill will actually “crush” American jobs, according to The Hill.
“Biden’s Partisan, Job-Crushing Slush Fund spends just 5% of the total $2.7 trillion on roads and bridges,” the memo said.
“The rest is: a wish list of non-infrastructure spending on failed Obama policies; a dog’s breakfast of slush funds for Democrats’ pet projects without any accountability or transparency; expensive green energy mandates on Americans; a ban on the right to work; and a flurry of tax hikes that will to drive companies out of the U.S. and give China and Russia a say in the United States’ tax laws. As a result, the plan will eliminate at least 1 million jobs,” it continued.
With Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) suggesting that he can’t support the bill in its current form given the high corporate tax rates, Biden and Democratic leadership will have an exceedingly tough time passing the bill in its current form without major overhauls, even through the budget reconciliation process, which only requires a simple majority.
Only time will tell if the bill ever makes it to the president’s desk, but as it stands, it’s a long way away from the Oval Office.