‘Why Mislead Folks?’ Wallace Grills Secretary Buttigieg on Infrastructure Lies

News & Politics

While the liberal media were helping to push along President Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure slush fund, where only six percent actually went to infrastructure, Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace called out Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and the rest of the administration for lying to the American public about how many jobs would be created by the plan (by over 16 million) and lying about where the U.S. ranked in the world on infrastructure.

Wallace immediately set the tone of the interview by rhetorically slapping the Transportation Secretary with a cold fact-check. He exposed how the Biden administration was using hyperbole to suggest American infrastructure was lagging behind the rest of the world:

You all like to say that U.S. infrastructure is ranked 13th in the world, but our colleague Chuck Layne of The Washington Post did some interesting research, three of the nations ahead of us on that list are Singapore, Hong Kong, and the United Arab Emirates, which are tiny states and hardly comparable. Of the ten largest countries geographically, including China and Russia, the U.S. actually ranks first.

“So secretary, not to say that everything is fine, but why not be straight about the actual conditions here in the U.S. to the American people,” Wallace pressed.

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Buttigieg refused to address why the administration was manipulating the facts. Instead, he simply argued that “the American people already know that our infrastructure needs a lot of work.”

Moments later, Wallace used Buttigieg’s own words against him, playing a clip of him lying about how many jobs President Biden’s infrastructure bill would create. He overestimated by over 16 million:

WALLACE: I want to give you another fact-check. All of you in the Biden administration have been selling this plan as a huge job’s creator. Here you are just last Sunday.

BUTTIGIEG: 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.

WALLACE: But it turns out the study you are 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 grilled.

After saying he “should have been more precise,” Buttigieg again tried to give Biden’s plan credit for creating the 16.3 million jobs that would be created without it. But Wallace wasn’t having it, correcting the Secretary mid-sentence: “2 million, not 19 million.”

Wallace continued to push back on the administration by noting that it was more than just Buttigieg pushing the misleading job creation figure (Click “expand”):

WALLACE: But would you agree that you and the President and Brian Deese, the economic advisor on this program last week, you all exaggerated the jobs impact?

BUTTIGIEG: Look, there are a lot of different analyses about just how many million jobs this is going to create. I saw Georgetown study, I think it said an investment of this type will save or create —

WALLACE (Speaking over Buttigieg): But Secretary, you’re the one who cited Moody’s analytics as 19 million and it’s actually 2.7 million, which is a bunch, but it’s not what you said.

Towards the end of the interview, Wallace put another stick in the spokes by pointing out Democratic Party defections on the bill. Aside from moderate Democratic Senator Joe Manchin being against parts of the plan and the scheme to get it passed, Senator Chris Coons (D) of Delaware was also talking about scaling back the price tag to cover only “hard infrastructure” and not the perverse definition being used.

“So, he’s not talking about 2.25 trillion, he’s talking about hundreds of billions. Don’t you have to go back to the drawing board, Secretary,” Wallace wondered as Buttigieg floundered.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

Fox News Sunday
April 11, 2021
9:19:31 a.m. Eastern

(…)

CHRIS WALLACE: I want to start with a fact-check of how the Biden administration is selling this plan. You all like to say that U.S. infrastructure is ranked 13th in the world, but our colleague Chuck Layne of The Washington Post did some interesting research, three of the nations ahead of us on that list are Singapore, Hong Kong, and United Arab Emirates, which are tiny states and hardly comparable. Of the ten largest countries geographically, including China and Russia, the U.S. actually ranks first.

So secretary, not to say that everything is fine, but why not be straight about the actual conditions here in the U.S. to the American people?

PETE BUTTIGIEG: Well, the American people already know that our infrastructure needs a lot of work. That’s one of the reasons why there is such strong support for the President’s American jobs plan. The American Society of Civil Engineers rates our infrastructure, we’ve been getting a lot of C’s and D’s. But you don’t need an engineering report to know that driving on American roads, they’re not the way they should be.

(…)

9:21:09 a.m. Eastern

WALLACE: I want to give you another fact-check. All of you in the Biden administration have been selling this plan as a huge job’s creator. Here you are just last Sunday.

BUTTIGIEG: 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.

WALLACE: But it turns out the study you are 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: 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 showed us —

WALLACE (speaking over Buttigieg): 2 million, not 19 million.

BUTTIGIEG: Yeah exactly, 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. In fact, at least according to that Moody’s analysis, 2.7 million additional jobs if we pass this package. Just further proof that it’s good for the economy and taken as a whole it’s going to add jobs compared to doing nothing.

WALLACE: But would you agree that you and the President and Brian Deese, the economic advisor on this program last week, you all exaggerated the jobs impact?

BUTTIGIEG: Look, there are a lot of different analyses about just how many million jobs this is going to create. I saw Georgetown study, I think it said an investment of this type will save or create —

WALLACE (Speaking over Buttigieg): But Secretary, you’re the one who cited Moody’s analytics as 19 million and it’s actually 2.7 million, which is a bunch, but it’s not what you said.

(…)

9:25:35 a.m. Eastern

WALLACE: Democratic Senator Joe Manchin says he’s not willing to go to 28 percent tax increase, he wants to go to only 25 percent, which means he wouldn’t raise nearly as much money. He also says he opposes the idea of reconciliation, jamming this through on a straight party-line vote. And then there is Senator Chris coons, who’s very close – from Delaware, who’s very close to Joe Biden. He said this this week.

SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE): I do think that there is an opportunity here for us to come together around a smaller package. And by smaller I mean hundreds of billions of dollars that is directly targeted at hard infrastructure.

WALLACE: So, he’s not talking about 2.25 trillion, he’s talking about hundreds of billions. Don’t you have to go back to the drawing board, Secretary?

(…)

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