Thomas Gallatin / March 19, 2019

Even WaPo Rejects Negative Demo Spin on Good Economy

Presidential hopefuls spread the misleading claim about Americans working multiple jobs.

In a surprising bit of actual journalism, The Washington Post published an article today calling out Democrats for their fallacious attempts to spin good economic news as somehow bad. While the Post pulled away from its usual practice of awarding “Pinocchios” to establish the degree of a falsehood uttered by a politician — maybe in an effort to soften the criticism — the article was critical of three leading Democrat presidential candidates and their fallacious statements on the economy.

The particular economic talking point several Democrats have recently and regularly asserted — and that has the Post crying foul — is the claim that the historically low unemployment numbers are hiding a nasty reality. And what is this nasty reality? Well, according to Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, and Beto O'Rourke, the number of Americans forced to work two or three jobs just to make ends meet has increased under President Donald Trump.

Harris uses personal anecdotes in spinning her yarn, as she carefully seeks to avoid making any direct assertions. Sanders works his spin by removing context that would otherwise undermine his entire argument. O'Rourke cites a notoriously unreliable data type, the self-selected survey, as the basis for his claim that “half” of teachers work “a second or third job just to put food on the table.” In fact, the U.S. Education Department’s most recent nationally representative sample survey finds that only 17% of teachers in the South and 18% across the rest of the nation work a second job. They do, after all, have summers off of school.

The fact is that the number of Americans working two or more jobs has actually decreased under Trump. The Post reports, “There are almost 156 million people with jobs. But only 251,000 people had two full-time jobs in February [2019], compared with 343,000 in February 2018, according to BLS. That’s a decline of more than 25 percent. Another 4.5 million had both a full-time job and a part-time job, while nearly 2 million were juggling part-time jobs.” In total, there are approximately 7.8 million Americans working more than one job. Sanders is technically correct when he references millions of Americans working multiple jobs, but he fails to note that this represents only 5% of working Americans.

Furthermore, who’s to say why they are working multiple jobs? It was under Barack Obama that many Americans were forced into working multiple jobs due to ObamaCare, which mandated employers provide medical insurance to employees who worked 30 or more hours a week. As a result, many Americans found their hours cut below the ObamaCare threshold because employers couldn’t afford that massive new expense. Thus, workers were often forced to get a second job. (Thanks Obama.) Trump, on the other hand, has worked to cut back on government regulations, which in turn has freed up employers and boosted the American economy. Spinning Trump’s economic record as bad is simply dishonest. And even the Post admits it.

(Edited.)

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