As Team Biden capitalizes on improving economic statistics and leans toward ‘Bidenomics,’ Elon Musk’s Twitter has added a fact-check note to the president’s Sunday tweet about improving real wages.
It accused President Joe Biden of making a ‘data error’ with his claim that real wages were higher now than before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Data flagged by Twitter users showed that real wages – adjusted for inflation – were higher now than at the end of March 2020.
Republicans hammered the numbers saying Biden is out of touch with the economic realities facing ordinary Americans, though the president’s allies said the correct comparison came a month ago when real wages were really low.
The dispute comes days after the release of the June consumer price index, which showed inflation had eased to three percent.
President Joe Biden believes he has a good news economic story to tell. But Twitter disagrees
His claim that real wages (ie salaries adjusted for inflation) are better now than at the start of the pandemic were disputed by Twitter, which said it contained a ‘factual flaw’.
“Right now, real wages for average American workers are higher than before the pandemic, with low-wage workers seeing the biggest gains,” said a message posted on Biden’s Twitter account on Sunday afternoon. ‘It’s Bidenomics.’
After months of economic gloom, with rising inflation and crippling gas prices, officials believe they now have a good story to tell.
But Twitter users were quick to disagree.
Tommy Piggott of the Republican National Committee’s Rapid Response Unit posted, ‘Prices have risen 16.6% and real wages have fallen 3% since Biden took office.
“This is the reality of “bidenomics”.’
Twitter’s community note added context saying: “There is a factual error in the tweet’s claim about real wages.’
‘The real wage adjusted for inflation (AFI) was $11.15 when the US COVID lockdown began on 3/15/20. Actual wage AFI as of 7/16/23 is $11.05.
‘Real wages remain lower (not higher) than before the AFI pandemic.’
It includes a link to a Centers for Disease Control timeline that shows states beginning to implement shutdowns in the middle of the month and at the end of March and Bureau of Labor Statistics data showing that real wages stood at $11.15 at the end of the month.
Biden recently touted his policies as ‘Bidenomics’, taking credit for reducing inflation.
A recent Wall Street Journal survey of economists found that their average probability of a recession forecast in the next 12 months fell from 61 percent to 54 percent.
Yet the same chart shows that wages were $11.03 after the first case was detected in the US at the end of February.
A White House official told Newstimesuk.com that the National Bureau of Economic Research indicated that the month marks the peak of the business cycle.
‘Thus it is the right starting point for pre-pandemic comparisons,’ the official said.
And they referred an outside economist who agreed that the fact check was off point.
‘Here’s the most obvious interpretation of Biden’s claim… “before the pandemic” = January 2020,’ wrote University of Michigan economist Justin Wolfers, noting that the median income then was $10.98.
After two years on the defensive, Biden has been making the case in recent weeks that his policies have maintained a healthy labor market and kept the economy on track.
‘Today’s report brings new and encouraging evidence that inflation is easing while our economy remains strong,’ he said last week with the release of encouraging inflation numbers.
‘Our progress in creating jobs while reducing costs for families is no accident, and I will continue to fight for lower costs for families every day.’
More than half of voters said they were worse off since he came to power – some 43 per cent said they were much worse and another nine per cent classified themselves as ‘a little worse’.
But Republicans see weakness as they seek to oust him from the White House.
A recent Newstimesuk.com poll found voters believe they are worse off since he took office.
Overall, about 43 percent of Americans say they are ‘a lot worse off’ since Biden took office, while nine percent classify themselves as ‘a little worse off’.
Yet Biden has leaned on the issue and put the economy at the center of recent campaign appearances.
This has sometimes gotten him into trouble with fact checkers. In June he claimed he had cut the deficit by $1.7 trillion,
In June, Biden claimed he had cut the deficit by $1.7 trillion, which the Washington Post assessed as “highly misleading” because the deficit would have declined steeply anyway as pandemic spending ended.
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