The Biden administration is already overpromising on this infrastructure package that doesn’t have much to do with infrastructure. They’re claiming that it would create an incredible nineteen million jobs – a sum equal to roughly 12% of the entire U.S. labor force.
Bicycle enthusiast Pete Buttigieg said over the weekend that “The American Jobs Plan is about a generational investment. It’s going to create 19 million jobs. And we’re talking about economic growth that’s going to go on for years and years. It’s time for America to lead the way again. And those 19 million jobs we’re about to create go way beyond some quarterly or monthly report.” He later repeated the same claim during an interview with ABC. He cited Moody’s Analytics for the claim (the study can be read here).
National Economic Council Director Brian Deese also made the same claim on Fox News Sunday.
As it turns out, Buttigieg and Deese just took Moody’s estimate for the number of jobs the U.S. economy will generate through the fourth quarter of 2030 if the infrastructure plan gets passed, and attributed 100% of those gains to this infrastructure plan. Moody’s projected 16.3 million jobs created over the next decade without the infrastructure plan, and 19 million with it.
In other words, Moody’s estimates the plan would add 2.7 million jobs, not 19 million. And even if the plan were to create 19 million jobs as those misrepresenting Moody’s claim, it would still be at an incredible cost of over $118,000 per job.
The obvious disclaimer when it comes to figures about the government “creating jobs” is that there will also be job losses from the tax increases to pay for such programs, both in the immediate term and in the future. For every dollar the government spends to create a job, it has to pay back a dollar plus interest. Moody’s also doesn’t have the best track record when making these sort of projections. Moody’s also estimated that Donald Trump’s tax plan would cost 3.5 million jobs and would cause the stock market to plummet… when in reality it caused zero and accompanied a record boom in employment and stocks.
Buttigieg has at least since retracted the claim, telling CNN:
“I should be precise about this,” Buttigieg said, before acknowledging that the 2.7 million figure is the accurate reading of the Moody’s report. “The point is, this will contribute to a scenario where we create [19 million] jobs, and millions of them are specifically attributable to this plan.”
We’re only left to wonder how the talking point was spawned in the first place. Did they misread the Moody’s report, or deliberately misrepresent it knowing that most probably wouldn’t bother to actually read it themselves? We’ll never know.
Biden’s infrastructure plan comes with a price tag of over $2 trillion dollars, which would make it the second priciest piece of legislation in modern U.S. history after the CARES Act.
Only six percent of the proposed spending goes towards roads and bridges in its current form, and overall, less than half of the “infrastructure spending” actually goes towards things traditionally defined as infrastructure. Among the non-infrastructure spending includes:
- The aforementioned $400 billion for home-based care for elderly and disabled
- $35 billion for climate change-related R&D
- $50 billion for “research infrastructure” at the National Science Foundation
- $50 billion for new Commerce Department office “dedicated to monitoring domestic industrial capacity”
- $213 billion for home sustainability and public housing
- A $174 billion “investment” in electric vehicles
- $213 billion directed as “home sustainability and public housing”
- $20 billion to fight “racist highways“
Biden has proposed funding his plan by a series of tax hikes, including one to the corporate tax that would lead to the U.S. would once again have the highest corporate tax rate in the world.
Matt Palumbo is the author of Dumb and Dumber: How Cuomo and de Blasio Ruined New York, Debunk This: Shattering Liberal Lies, and Spygate
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